AMIDST the political noise and clashes, let’s resume our discussion about future-proofing the workforce. No matter who wins as president in 2022, a major factor for the country to economically progress is still the quality of our workforce and the complexity of our production ecosystem.
Every citizen who is part of the workforce should already embark on his or her own skilling, reskilling and upskilling timeline, with or without the support of any politician – since this is a matter of survival. To do this we need to understand what skills industries in the new world require.
If we remain as a country producing low-value products and predominantly possessing skills that are easily disrupted by new technologies — we cannot elevate our status from lower-middle-income nation to middle income or upper middle income. There will still be more than seventy percent of our population in the lower-middle-income class, and a significant number living below the poverty line.
The Global Skills Index 2021 released by Coursera a few weeks ago made a summary of the Skills Areas of The Future outlined by a recent study of the World Economic Forum (WEF).
These are cloud computing (delivering innovative computing services), content production (driving brand through creative visual or written assists), data and artificial intelligence (driving strategy with insights), engineering (developing software solutions), green economy (building a sustainable future), marketing (building brand and acquiring), people and culture (creative positive work environments), sales (finding customers and solutions for their challenges), and care economy (supporting the well-being of our communities).
Cloud computing is the delivery of computing services – including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence – over the internet. With public cloud service spending projected to reach $370 billion in 2022, demand for cloud computing skills will only continue to accelerate. Nearly three-quarters of IT decision-makers (71 percent) believe their organizations have lost revenues due to a lack of cloud expertise, and the lack of cloud profession costs businesses up to $250 million per year.
Top jobs in cloud computing are site reliability engineer, platform engineer, cloud engineer, DevOps engineer and cloud consultant. While the fields of study are Computer Science, Engineering, Business, Mathematics and Statistics, and Arts and Humanities. Entry-level position is computer support specialist and the key learning areas for entry-level cloud computing roles are cloud platforms like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud, operating systems and computer networking concepts, databases and cloud storage, data security and DevOps and technologies like Kubernetes.
Content production is the process of developing and creating visual or written assets, such as videos, eBooks, blog posts, whitepapers, infographics. Content marketing market is expected to grow by $269 billion during 2020-2024, driven by growth in time spent on social media. Roughly one-third of all on the internet is spent on social media. Top jobs include social media coordinator, content specialist, content producer, writer and creative copywriter.
The entry-level target job is Public Relations or Communications Specialist and the top fields of study are Arts and Humanities, Business, Social Sciences, Computer Science and Engineering. The key learning areas for entry-level content production roles include effective writing and communication, project management, content marketing strategies, copywriting and the editorial process, and gaining influence and sharing content in social networks.
Data and artificial intelligence (AI) involve developing code and quantitative algorithms to organize and synthesize large amounts of information used to answer questions and drive strategy in organization. Data and AI jobs have been among the fastest-growing, at 40+ percent annualized growth over the past five years.
Top jobs in this area include artificial intelligence specialist, data scientist, data engineer, big data developer and data analyst, while the entry-level target job is as a data analyst. The top fields of study are Business, Computer Science, Engineering, Biological Sciences, and Social Sciences.
The key learning areas for entry-level data and AI roles are data analysis in Excel, databases and data management in SQL, statistical programming in Python or R, statistical techniques like regression and A/B testing and data visualization.
We need to guide our children very concretely in determining their future. I will discuss the other skills areas in the next column.