“Will artificial intelligence replace my job?”
That’s the question on a lot of people’s minds these days as they contemplate the future of work. A rapid evolution has already been happening in the labor markets, driven not only by the recent global pandemic but also by the rise of automation technologies.
Today, with the accelerated development of generative AI and its advanced natural language capabilities, we’re seeing some seismic shifts in the road ahead. Moving forward, it will be crucial for individuals and organizations to anticipate the impact of these technological shifts on employment, skills, and the nature of work itself.
Job Transitions and the Impact of Automation
During the first three years of the pandemic, there were 8.6 million occupational shifts in the U.S. labor market – up 50% from the previous three-year period – mostly among people leaving jobs in office support, in-person sales, and food services. This trend will likely continue as employers speed up their adoption of automation technologies.
However, workers have shown that they’re willing to pivot and change career paths – which is positive because employers around the world expect a structural labor market churn of 23% of jobs over the next five years, according to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report 2023. This number encompasses both emerging jobs being added and declining jobs being eliminated. Overall, respondents anticipated a net decrease of about 2% of current employment.
The human-machine frontier will change as well. For instance, in 2022, the proportion of tasks completed by machines in the workplace was 34%, compared to 66% performed by humans. By 2027, that number is expected to reach 43% machines and 57% humans. The good news is that there’s a growing consensus that AI will augment human performance rather than replace it – at least in the near future. But what about 50 or 100 years from now? We may end up living in a post-automation world.
Skills Evolution in the Age of AI
The labor market churn and changing job requirements will inevitably have a massive impact on skills needed among the workforce. Employers estimate that 44% of workers’ core skills are expected to change, on average, across all jobs over the next five years alone.
According to surveyed companies, the top two skills judged to be increasing in importance most rapidly in the future are cognitive skills: creative thinking and analytical thinking. Then the five next most important skills are technological literacy; curiosity and lifelong learning; resilience, flexibility, and agility; systems thinking; and AI and big data. This reflects how crucial it is for workers to have the ability and self-efficacy to adapt to workplaces disrupted by AI and automation in the years ahead.
However, only about 50% of workers are currently seen to have access to adequate training opportunities. Surveyed companies report that investing in learning and on-the-job training will be their number one workforce strategy moving forward. The second and third most common strategies will be accelerating the automation of processes and transitioning existing staff from declining roles to growing ones.
Future-Proofing Careers: The Critical Role of Training
All of the above suggests that training – both reskilling and upskilling – will play a crucial role in shaping the workforce of tomorrow. A major reskilling and transition effort will be required for current workers in declining sectors, while those in evolving or growing fields must focus on upskilling and nurturing a mindset geared toward constant learning.
Individual learners and workers can go it alone through self-education, but what’s really needed is a two-part investment in training, from both workers and employers. In fact, most employers who invest in their workers’ training expect to see a return on investment within one year – and the best employers will prioritize a skills-first approach over focusing on qualifications and job history.
So how can this be done? The most effective skills training is both personalized and efficient. That’s where Ahura comes in.
Pioneering AI-Driven Learning for Tomorrow’s Talent
It’s impossible to predict exactly what the future of work will bring over the next five years and beyond. But for workers, it will inevitably be about embracing change, acquiring new skills, and adapting to an ever-evolving work environment. With innovative solutions like Ahura, individuals and organizations will be well equipped to thrive in this new landscape, ensuring they’re not just ready but also ahead of the curve for achieving success in the jobs of tomorrow.