How to prepare for the jobs that don’t yet exist

The specific skills IT jobs will require will certainly change, many of the underlying skills will be the ones that were always needed.

illustration of a robotic arm spilling alphabetic tiles that spell 'jobs'

What can we do to prepare organizations for uncertain future jobs? Well first, it is important to stress there has always been an ebb and flow of different roles. Last year Deloitte analysts published a paper “Technology and people: The great job-creating machine” [PDF] which examined UK census results since 1871 in conjunction with Labour Force Surveys (LFS) since 1992.

This showed the gradual change in roles over the last 150 odd years and revealed that in that time the role of telegraph operator entirely came and went. While the hairdresser – despite remaining a consistent employment – was counted at one for every 1,793 citizens in 1871 and now stands at one for every 287. You can almost guarantee that few nineteenth century barbers went by the title Senior Stylist.

“There definitely is a taste of hype around this [jobs] issue,” Kristine de Valck, academic director of the HEC Paris Executive MBA advanced certificate in Leading Digital Transformation tells us, “although all hype holds a fraction of truth at its core.”

James Smith, managing director at Networkers, Technology Recruitment seconds this point because as he puts it “disruptive technologies have always been part of life. Think how steam engine trains were replaced by their electronic equivalent.”

Nikki Watkins, the CEO of Tyche Leadership a leadership coach specializing in the IT sector takes up this wider point. “At the moment it is not so much that roles disappear it is that they have uniquely different requirements to three to five years ago – take traditional marketing roles vs the social media driven requirements of marketing today.”

While James Eiloart, SVP EMEA at Tableau believes: “It’s no longer about jobs that don’t exist yet. Data analysts, digital marketers, information managers – these are just a few jobs that are increasingly important within organizations; and there is a great need for talent in these areas right now.”

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