Future-proofing your job means continuously learning.
The future of work depends not on what you know, but what you can learn, according to a recent study from ManpowerGroup.
The study, which surveyed 18,000 employers in 43 countries on the impact of automation on employee head count in the next two years, found that long-term employability is contingent on learnability, or your "desire and ability to learn new skills to stay relevant."
"The life cycle of skills is shorter than ever and change is happening at an unprecedented pace," the study reports. "As the cost and complexity of implementing technology falls, the pace is set to accelerate." To underscore the point, the study found that 65 percent of the jobs that Generation Z will perform do not yet exist.
In general, job growth is expected to occur in fields where digitization and skilled work will bring the most opportunities. For instance, employers surveyed anticipate that IT and customer-facing roles will increase the most in the short term, by 26 percent and 15 percent, respectively. Roles in HR also will increase, by 20 percent, to help guide people through digitization and automation efforts.
Some jobs will not fare as well, according to the study, particularly those held by women. Roles in areas such as sales, business and financial operations, and office and administration—which tend to have higher proportions of women—are "all under threat from automation."
Yet the study found that most employers expect automation to result in a net increase in head count. Only 12 percent plan to decrease head count due to automation, at least in the short term, and 83 percent plan to "maintain or increase their head count and upskill their people in the next two years." To future-proof their workforce, 74 percent of employers are investing in internal training, 44 percent are recruiting workers with desired skill sets to join existing employees, and 39 percent are hiring experts temporarily to train employees.