Perhaps the hardest part of being a member of the workforce today is predicting which skills and which jobs jobs will be needed in the economy of tomorrow.
On Thursday, the Brookings Institute released a sobering report that details the impact technologies such as Automated Intelligence (AI) will have on workers. "Almost no occupation will be unaffected by technological change in the AI era," reads the report, which predicts one-quarter of jobs are at "high risk" of being automated.
One tool that can be used to predict which jobs will be in demand in the coming "AI era" is the Cognizant Jobs of the Future (CJOF) Index. The CJoF Index tracks the popularity of 50 jobs predicted to be in high demand in the future. Earlier this week, the index released its latest figures from the fourth quarter of 2018, providing insight into the jobs of the future.
Here are the jobs that had the largest growth in number of openings over the past year:
≈ 84,000 more job openings
Cyber/Information Security Engineer/Analyst
≈ 12,000 more job openings
Cyber Calamity Forecaster
≈ 8,300 more job openings
≈ 6,800 more job openings
The following jobs were the fastest-growing roles on the CJOF Index over the past year:
Job growth: +279 percent
Job growth: +257 percent
Job growth: +181 percent
Social Media Strategist/Specialist
Job growth: +172 percent
Job growth: +163 percent
Unsurprisingly, many of the jobs that topped the CJoF Index this quarter were roles in digital fields. "The employment growth in these areas reflects the greater demand for people with the software, cybersecurity and digital design to drive companies' digital future," states the Cognizant report.
However, many other more surprising roles also showed strong job growth. For instance, Cognizant reports that there was a 279 percent increase in the number of job openings with the title of "Fashion Designer" in 2018.
Benjamin Pring, Director of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, says that these surprising and unsurprising job titles comes down to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) training.
"STEM-style jobs that people have been saying are going to be important — data science, machine learning, cyber security — those sorts of STEM-based jobs that people have been saying are going to be important, the data is absolutely supporting that argument," Pring tells CNBC Make It. "The argument is being proven that if you're 16, or if you're 25, or if you're 35, trying to get yourself into one of those STEM areas is absolutely the right thing to do. There's a clearly a huge demand for that kind of capability."
However, Pring also says there will still be opportunities for workers in the future even if they don't have these in-demand STEM skills. The key, he says using technology competently and mastering uniquely human characteristics.
"The notion that every kind of person, whether or not you're maths-based or STEM-based, needs to be in a technical job, that doesn't make sense. A lot of jobs will be STEM-based, tech-based jobs, but loads wont be. They'll have a tech component within them, but they wouldn't be tech jobs, per se," he explains. "You have to double-down on the things that differentiate a human being from software, or from a machine, and they are those human qualities — the ability to be empathetic, to care, to be creative, to sell, to help, to support — all of those things that machines are not going to do any time soon."
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