Tips for Job Seekers in the Digital Job Market

Photo: Bloomberg

The coming years will be challenging for job seekers, as tech advances and globalization push hiring competition to new levels. Philanthropist Ravi Venkatesan says workers will need to hone more than just technical know-how; they will need to cultivate a resilient, optimistic mindset as well. “The biggest challenge that every job-seeker will have is to differentiate herself from others who may have a similar education and IQ. Over time, I have come to learn and believe that the biggest and most sustainable differentiator is a positive attitude.”

Robots and Automation

A new report released by McKinsey & Company indicates that by 2030, as many as 800 million workers worldwide could be replaced at work by robots. About one-third of employees in the U.S. may need to learn new skills or find new work by 2030. In economies like China, roughly 12 percent of workers may need to switch occupations by 2030. The report also provides insight into the industries that will be least impacted by robots. It also includes the skills you will need to fill those positions.

For some industries, an increase in automation won’t mean a decline in employment. It will just cause a shift in the work that will need to be done by humans. Any job that involves managing people, applying expertise and social interaction will still be necessary. Human performance in those areas can’t be matched by a machine. However, jobs involving mortgage origination, paralegal work, accounting and back-office transaction processing can easily be wiped out by automation.

Technical skills vs. Soft Skills

Today, a very small share of jobs require skills such as high-level logical reasoning and emotional skills. With the share of those jobs only increasing in the future, the challenge to educators will be to emphasize these traits in school and training programs. These skills are typically thrown into an ignored bucket of “soft skills.”

The good news is that an analysis of LinkedIn data suggests that workers already understand that they need to enhance their softer skills that are less susceptible to automation. Skills such as accounting and financial reporting are being added less frequently to member profiles whereas skills such as management are increasingly being showcased. Is your job safe in a future of automation?


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