ARTIFICIAL intelligence and the Internet of Things are changing the way we work.
In fact, more than 50 per cent of NSW jobs are at risk of computerisation over the next 10 to 15 years, according to the recent Future Workforce Trends in NSW: Emerging Technologies and their Potential Impact Report.
Adidas’ announcement that it will open a robot-operated Speedfactory in 2017 is another example of how automation is continuing to transform the global workforce.
Global job search engine Indeed has revealed what the jobs of the future will be, pinpointing those that require human intelligence, skills and compassion, and that will thrive as professions in the next 30 years.
CYBER SECURITY EXPERTS
As hackers become increasingly skilled at accessing secure systems, the demand for cybersecurity professionals is continuing to grow. In fact, between 2014 and 2016, Indeed saw a 36 per cent increase in employers seeking candidates for cyber security roles. High profile breaches such as those at WA Parliament and the Bureau of Meteorology, coupled with recent terror related incidents and the announcement of Turnbull’s new $230 million national cyber security program, were influencing factors for this, and contributed to an 88 per cent spike in related job searches on the site.
INTERNET OF THINGS/VIRTUAL REALITY DEVELOPERS
Forget the clunky headsets of the 1990s — the Internet of Things and virtual reality are evolving, and technology is coming of age. As technology advances and connects everything from your car to your fridge to the internet, a whole new raft of developer jobs are being created.
Developer postings in these fields have increased by 736 per cent in the past two years, with searches up by 276 per cent.
Demand for people with data science skills is set to increase in line with our growing capacity for collecting, storing and analysing information. People who combine technical and scientific expertise with the ability to find important stories hidden in a mass of information will be especially sought-after. It’s little wonder then that Indeed has seen searches for data roles increase by 98 per cent in the past two years.
We’re an ageing population; in the next 40 years, the number of Australians aged 65+ is projected to double, and those aged 75 or older will account for 14.4 per cent of the country. As a result, healthcare jobs such as caregivers and occupational therapists have a solid future, and since 2014, Indeed has seen a five per cent uplift in job postings for ‘Healthcare Assistant’.
The emotive skills required for these kind of roles mean they are at little risk of automation — in fact, a recent study entitled The Future of Employment, shows the probability of computers replacing healthcare workers in the next 10-20 years is below one per cent.
DELIVERY AND LOGISTICS MANAGERS
South Australia is hosting the nation’s first trial of self-driving cars on public roads this November, just another example of automated machinery being employed to improve the efficiency of logistical operations. Yet with logistics a crucial part of Australia’s trade landscape, human workers will play a key role in this field, with oversight and management of today’s incredibly complex, global-spanning delivery and supply chain processes one that can’t be replicated by machines.
Talent is becoming an increasingly important asset and companies are competing to attract the best candidates. As the amount of information available to employers and job seekers multiplies, the HR industry is evolving. Recruitment will become more data-driven and automated screening based on machine learning and the use of analytics tools will become more widespread. Those best-placed to succeed as HR professionals in the future will combine soft skills and emotional intelligence with expertise in software and analytics.
DIGITAL MARKETING AND DESIGN
Machines do many things well, but ideation is not (yet) one of them. This makes creative professions, which focus on ideas, words and images, highly sought-after. Digital marketing has recently experienced growth and will most likely continue to do so as marketers spend more to see a higher return on investment — a 2015 study by Duke University has already predicted growth in spending by 14.7 per cent in the year ahead. Meanwhile, the latest IAB/PwC online advertising expenditure report showed mobile advertising in Australia has passed the half billion dollar mark, with mobile growth more robust than ever.
According to the Australian Council for Educational Research, the population of school students is expected to increase by 26 per cent by 2022. As more teachers are needed to teach those students, education is a key area where there will be strong job demand. The explosion of online learning is also opening up new possibilities as educators in one country can now teach classes to students based all over the world. For instance, Harvard Business School is already using “virtual classroom” software to teach business courses to a global student audience. Mass immigration to advanced economies will also have an impact on education as teachers with the skills to cross cultural and linguistic barriers will be in high demand.
People will always need to eat and enjoying eating out, but it’s the creativity and complex manual skills required that are difficult to automate. In fact, the probability of automation for this job stands at 10 per cent, according to The Future of Employment. While the foodie trend is ever-present, long hours, minimal holiday and tough training mean there is a current shortage of chefs in Australia, and employers are hungry for culinary talent.
With advances in digital technology, the gig economy (of temporary workers) is thriving. Firms such as Uber have already revolutionised this sector by enabling smartphone connected drivers to work flexibly on their own time. This model is spreading quickly to other areas of the service economy, and job seekers have taken notice — global interest in gig economy work increased by 23.1 per cent between 2013 and 2015. As this model becomes more widely accepted (and regulated), it will become even easier for more people to participate. However, some of the major gig employers are investing heavily in self-driving cars, so this type of work may not last forever.