The best is yet to come. Upskilling – the process of learning new skills – is advisable whether the economy is on the up or not. With organisations always trying to cut costs and technological advancements ever occurring, technology is threatening to make a lot of people redundant.
Deloitte, a Big Four accounting firm, published a report in 2015 that stated that ‘technology has potentially contributed to the loss of over 800,000 lower-skilled jobs’. An even earlier report, Agiletown, stated that 35% of jobs in the UK ‘are at high risk from automation over the next two decades.’ Occupations that the 2015 report states have seen the largest fall since 2001 include:
- Personal assistants and other secretaries
- Typists and related keyboard occupations
- Bank and post office clerks
- Retail cashiers and check-out operators
- Shopkeepers and proprietors, wholesale and retail
- Postal workers, mail sorters, messengers and couriers
- Assemblers (electrical and electronic products)
- Business sales executives
- Metal machining setters and setter operators
The above roles have a high ‘probability of automation’ i.e. they are likely to be done by a robot or computer programme.
However, the aforementioned 800,000 jobs are ‘being replaced by higher-skilled, non-routine jobs that require dexterity, creativity, digital knowhow and other ‘softer’ people skills.’ Examples of roles that were highlighted as having a low risk of automation include business and financial project management, teaching and nursing. Job boards show an abundance of Business Analysis, Project Management and Digital Marketing roles.
The information above makes it clear that upskilling is necessary if many are to remain relevant in the job market. What is necessary now is finding out how to acquire new skills.
Soft skills such as communication and public speaking, and also leadership can be gained by joining Toastmasters. Toastmasters allows members to practice public speaking at regular meetings, and to improve by getting constructive feedback each time. Toastmasters clubs can be found in 122 countries, and because it is member run, elected committee members can take up roles such as club President, Vice President Education, Vice President Public Relations, Treasurer, etc.
Concerning more technical skills, there are a variety of training opportunities available, some of which lead to certification. Popular Project Management certifications include PRINCE2, Project Management Professional (PMP) and the APM Project Management Qualification. Furthermore, Project Management Bachelor and Masters degrees are available at select universities.
However, Career Insights offers Project Management, Business Analysis and soon, Digital Transformation training via its eWorkexperience platform. Candidates can choose to go for the initial 1 week’s training at their London headquarters but this is not necessary as training can be successfully conducted via the internet hence the organisation’s increased number of international trainees. What really makes Career Insights different from most training organisations is that following the initial training, trainees can get involved in projects, have their CV reviewed and get a mentor. This depends on continued monthly subscription to their platform though.
Nonetheless, technology will drive a lot of future job growth but as digital marketing advice website Smart Insights states, a university education is not enough to land a promising role in the IT sector, the ability to add value right from the beginning is often key. The website mentions ‘online learning’ as a tool to improve one’s expertise saying, ‘it should be easy to find opportunities that will help you train for specific tech fields such as network administration, programming, and software engineering.’
The website also advises that internships could be a way to improve one’s knowledge of a field but warns that internships are competitive. It should be noted that internships are mostly geared towards the young.
All in all, there are likely to be ample job opportunities in the future, including some roles most people have never dreamed of, and as long as people are proactive and willing to upskill as soon as possible, the future should be bright. The best is yet to come.