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There are various reasons for such dramatic shifts in expected skills requirements.As noted earlier, in the face of rapidly rising computing power, an ability to work with data and make data-based decisions will become an increasingly vital skill across many job families as employers scramble to build a workforce with solid skills in data analysis and presentation (e.g.
On average, by 2020, more than a third of the desired core skill sets of most occupations will be comprised of skills that are not yet considered crucial to the job today, according to our respondents.
At an industry level, the highest expected level of skills stability over the 2015–2020 period is found in the Media, Entertainment and Information sector, already profoundly transformed in recent years, while the largest amount of skills disruption is expected to occur in the Financial Services & Investors industry.
In this new environment, business model change often translates to skill set disruption almost simultaneously and with only a minimal time lag (Figure 8A).
Our respondents report that a tangible impact of many of these disruptions on the adequacy of employees’ existing skill sets can already be felt in a wide range of jobs and industries today (Figure 8B).
Today’s job markets and in-demand skills are vastly different than the ones of 10 or even five years ago, and—as demonstrated in this Report—the pace of change is only set to accelerate.
Governments, businesses and individuals alike are increasingly concerned with identifying and forecasting skills that are relevant not just today but that will remain or become so in the future to meet business demands for talent and enable those that possess them to seize emerging opportunities.Businesses in industry sectors such as Mobility, Energy, Financial Services & Investors and Information and Communication Technology are increasingly finding themselves confronted with new consumer concerns about issues such as carbon footprints, food safety, labour standards and privacy.From a skills perspective, they will need to learn to more quickly anticipate these new consumer values, to translate them into product offerings and to become ever more knowledgeable about the processes involved in meeting these demands and the impact this may have on their employees’ current skill sets and working practices.At the other end of the scale, among all jobs requiring physical abilities less than one third (31%) are expected to have a growing demand for these in the future, about as many as the proportion of jobs in which physical abilities are anticipated to decline in importance (27%).The skills bundle with the most stable demand across all jobs requiring these skills today or in the future are technical skills: nearly half (44%) of all jobs requiring these skills today will have a stable need for them in the coming years.While most jobs require use of a wide range of skills, somewhat different skill set combinations are sought after in different industry sectors.Our dataset allows us some generalized observations about the impact of various disruptive changes on skills demand at an aggregate industry level.As an ancillary characteristic to increased automation in these fields, employees are expected to have more responsibilities related to equipment control and maintenance and problem-solving skills, as well as a broader general understanding of the work processes of their company or organization.Many formerly purely technical occupations are expected to show a new demand for creative and interpersonal skills.For example, technological disruptions such as robotics and machine learning—rather than completely replacing existing occupations and job categories—are likely to substitute specific tasks previously carried out as part of these jobs, freeing workers up to focus on new tasks and leading to rapidly changing core skill sets in these occupations.Even those jobs that are less directly affected by technological change and have a largely stable employment outlook—say, marketing or supply chain professionals targeting a new demographic in an emerging market—may require very different skill sets just a few years from now as the ecosystems within which they operate change.