Building blocks for the future

Building blocks for the future

Building blocks for the future

The world is changing, jobs in the future won’t be what they are today and some of the jobs people will be doing in years to come don’t even exist right now.

As we move further into the digital age, the skills and jobs we have relied on for years are no longer as relevant as they used to be, and graduates need to ensure they are arming themselves with the right skills sets to make a success of the careers that will be available to them. disciplinary than it is now.

More jobs will involve working with intelligent systems and digitised machinery. On an environmental level, the world will increasingly be battling sustainability issues, which will affect most workers, and the responsibilities of all citizens will become more complex because society will face new issues.

Magda Wierzycka, CEO at financial services company Sygnia, points out we’re currently experiencing the Fourth Industrial Revolution – a digital revolution in which technologies are merging the physical, digital and biological worlds.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has highlighted two skills sets that will be vital for survival in the wake of this revolution: quantitative analytics and qualitative education. Maths and science are central to both of these. Quantitative analytics is defined by Investopedia as economic, business or financial analysis that aims to In a digital age, the only certainty is change – which requires adaptability and flexibility. Future-proof your career by diversifying your skills set. understand or predict behaviour using mathematical measurement, calculations, statistical modelling and research.

Essentially, it is a way of representing a particular reality in numerical terms. Traders, for example, use quantitative analytics to determine the best time to buy or sell in certain market conditions. It is also used to evaluate performance of financial instruments, predict real-world events, such as changes in a country’s gross domestic product, and enable easy comparison.

For example, using quantitative analytics, companies can compare their year-on-year growth. Governments make use of quantitative analytics to inform their economic and policy decisions, as do central banks. Qualitative communication, on the other hand, takes a more in-depth look at communication and generally forms insights based on observations, interviews and reflections.

Given what we know about the changes already taking place, leading futurist John B Mahaffie predicts that our work lives will be constantly evolving and affected by change. He says work will involve more international connections and citizenship will have a more global focus

The WEF’s Future of Jobs report predicts that five million jobs will be lost before 2020, as a result of artificial intelligence, robotics and nanotechnology, affecting primarily manual and clerical workers. However, although there is no doubt that certain roles will become redundant as a result of technological advancements, those very same advancements will mean that new jobs are required.

So, on the upside, it is thought that more than two million new jobs will be created through technological advancement. In future, there will be demand for:

  • Data analysts
  • Computer and maths positions, including computer programmers, software developers and information security analysts
  • Architects and engineers – particularly engineers focused on robotics and materials
  • Specialised sales people
  • Senior managers to lead companies through change
  • Commercial and industrial designers
  • Human resources and organisational development specialists to reskill workers
  • Regulatory and government relations experts


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