Automation is set to make many jobs defunct in the not-so-distant future.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) Jobs of the Future 2018 Report warns that “routine-based, middle-skilled white-collar roles – such as data entry clerks, accounting and payroll clerks, secretaries, auditors, bank tellers and cashiers” are at risk of automation.
Despite the high number of jobs that could be displaced, a higher number of jobs could be created through advanced technology, while jobs that require human interaction are less likely to be taken over by robots.
— World Economic Forum (@wef) December 18, 2018
“In purely quantitative terms, 75 million current job roles may be displaced by the shift in the division of labour between humans, machines and algorithms, while 133 million new job roles may emerge at the same time,” said WEF.
Job losses are predicted to be offset by job gains; while some jobs will become redundant, others are set to grow.
Here are five emerging roles that are set to grow, according to the WEF.
Data analysts and scientists
The scope of work done by data analysts or data scientists may differ across various fields.
But the job may entail extracting and interpreting meaning from data. This can include collecting large sets of structured and unstructured data, validating them to ensure accuracy, analysing them to identify trends and patterns before communicating them to relevant stakeholders.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning specialists
— World Economic Forum (@wef) December 19, 2018
Techopedia describes AI as “an area of computer science that emphasises the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans.”
Meanwhile, Emerj describes machine learning as “a method of data analysis that automates analytical model building. It is a branch of artificial intelligence based on the idea that systems can learn from data, identify patterns and make decisions with minimal human intervention.”
AI and machine learning are being applied in many of today’s technologies, such as driverless cars, with its application steadily gaining traction. It’s unsurprising that this career is expected to grow.
General and operations managers
The Bureau of Labour Statistics describes general and operations managers as those who “Plan, direct, or coordinate the operations of public or private sector organisations.”
Their duties and responsibilities may include “formulating policies, managing daily operations, and planning the use of materials and human resources, but are too diverse and general in nature to be classified in any one functional area of management or administration, such as personnel, purchasing, or administrative services.”
These are roles that still leverage “distinctively human skills”.
Software and applications developers and analysts
WEF notes that among the range of roles that are set to experience increasing demand in the period up to 2022 stand software and applications developers. These are roles that “are significantly based on and enhanced by the use of technology”.
Jobs in this field include application analysts – professionals responsible for the administration, monitoring and maintenance of software infrastructures and applications.
Meanwhile, software developers create the applications that enable us to perform specific tasks on devices like computers, while an applications developer makes computers perform specific tasks based on client specifications.
Sales and marketing professionals
The role of a sales and marketing professional requires a human touch. While they appear similar, they each have distinct differences.
A sales professional is someone who sells products or services to potential customers, such as individuals or small groups, and requires turning leads and prospects into purchases.
Meanwhile, marketing involves communicating the value of a product or service to a larger audience. The process of doing so is typically longer as it requires time to build a brand.