August 2020
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Predictions of Future Jobs

Friday, July 31, 2020

Emerging professions will demand a diverse mix of human, business, and tech skills.

Even before COVID-19 affected unemployment rates throughout the world, companies and workers were wondering what jobs of the future would be. The World Economic Forum sought to answer that question in Jobs of Tomorrow: Mapping Opportunity in the New Economy. A collaboration with Burning Glass Technologies, LinkedIn Learning, and Coursera, the report examines emerging jobs—those in professions that have grown the most during the past five years—in the global economy and the unique skill sets needed to excel in those jobs.


According to the report, future jobs fit into seven clusters: care economy; data and artificial intelligence; engineering and cloud computing; green economy; people and culture; product development; and sales, marketing, and content. The clusters encompass both digital-first jobs, such as AI specialists and site reliability engineers, and human-centric jobs such as agile coaches and talent acquisition specialists.

Using Coursera activity data from users within those emerging jobs and a newly developed skill taxonomy, the report maps the learning priorities for the professions. For example, individuals classified in the people and culture cluster were drawn to such courses as Human Resource Management: HR for People Managers and Introduction to People Analytics, with such skills as performance management, onboarding, and measurement taught. On the tech side, in the engineering and cloud computing cluster, learners targeted the Deep Learning and Machine Learning courses to master hyperparameter and artificial neural network skills.

Going further, the second part of the report segments the data by cluster to show the top emerging jobs and top 10 skills within that cluster. Consider the care economy of health and care support professions: The first two emerging jobs in health are medical transcriptionists and physical therapist aides, while the leading skills in care support include respiratory therapy and caregiving.

Jobs of the future, in-demand skill sets, and learner priorities are critical information for the private and public sectors as companies seek deeper insights to plan workforce upskilling and reskilling initiatives. By knowing what professions are up and coming, workers will be better equipped to plan their own educational and career journeys.

About the Author

I'm a developmental editor at ATD Press, working primarily with books. I joined the ATD team in December 2014. I review manuscripts and team up with authors to produce well-written and well-developed books. Before ATD, I worked as a jack-of-all-trades editor for a small editing and design firm in DC. with a focus on economic and development reports. I have a master's in publishing from George Washington University.

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