Technical professionals need to prepare for a future where skill sets are constantly evolving. The World Economic Forum’s “The Future of Jobs” report estimates that 85 million jobs may be lost to machines by 2025. Meanwhile, 97 million new jobs will require skills for working with machines and algorithms.
Given this new reality, technical professionals will need to constantly re-invent themselves and learn new skills, according to Ravin Jesuthasan, global leader of Mercer’s transformation services business. Understanding “job deconstruction” will be vital to surviving this transition, he reports in Fast Company. This will involve:
- Knowing all the “component tasks” of your job
- Examining the ways in which new technologies or “alternative work options” such as gig work might have “a competitive advantage in performing these tasks”
- Understanding how “digitization may create demand for new tasks (and skills)”
“Understanding how work is changing is essential to gaining insight into the changing demand for skills,” Jesuthasan states. “As new work options like AI, gig workers, and automation are incorporated, some skills are rendered obsolete, others are changed in their application, and new skills are demanded.”
Employers Struggle To Find the Right Technical Talent
Employers are already increasing hiring, but are struggling to fill these roles. According to ZD Net, 50% of employers who participated in a survey conducted by The Linux Foundation and edX said they have ramped up hiring since the COVID-19 pandemic. However, 92% said they aren’t finding enough talent due to growing competition. Among the most in-demand skills include cloud and open source talent.
Demand for employers to provide training opportunities for employees is also increasing — approximately 92% of managers surveyed said they saw an increase in professionals asking for these opportunities. A majority of developers surveyed reported that training sponsored by their employers was the most popular benefit that allowed them to succeed.
“Getting the job done will require organizations to adopt a talent management strategy that uses an all-encompassing mix of upskilling, cross-training, smart hiring, and effective retention programs,” state the report’s authors, as reported by ZD Net. “All of this work must be planned for and undertaken with an eye towards time, budget, and availability of technical skills.”
The authors added that new technology is adding to the hiring dilemma: “When combined with a lack of skills around both old and new technologies, the hiring market for open source talent is experiencing unprecedented stress. There are no easy solutions to these challenges, and it will take years to work through all the legacy applications that still exist.”
Given this new reality, it’s imperative for professionals to upskill on a regular basis, and that organizations provide opportunities for them to do so.
Want to Learn New Digital Skills? Join IEEE Education Week (4-8 April 2022)
IEEE Education Week (4-8 April 2022) is a weeklong celebration of continuous education opportunities provided by the world’s largest technical professional association and its many organizational units, societies, and councils. Through local and regional activities, webinars, online courses, scholarships, and more, this event offers IEEE members and the global community a wealth of educational resources. Participants will get a chance to earn points towards an IEEE Education Week Digital Badge. The celebration will feature both in-person and virtual events. Check out the IEEE Education Week video to learn more.
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Are you a technical professional looking to develop new skills? A university student in need of networking and training? A STEM educator who wants to expand your students’ knowledge? IEEE Education Week is a great opportunity to explore the educational resources you need most!
IEEE offers pre-university STEM, university, and continuing professional education resources for students, engineers, and technical professionals all over the globe. IEEE Education Week will highlight resources for:
- Engineers and professionals working in technical fields,
- University students and faculty members,
- Anyone looking for pre-university STEM education resources and experiences to encourage the next generation of engineers and technologists
You do not need to be an IEEE member to participate. However, IEEE members receive free and discounted access to many of these events and resources, so be sure to check them out. Not an IEEE member? Now is the perfect time to join to take advantage of membership benefits. Click here to learn more.
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McKendrick, Joe. (21 September 2021). Technology skills in demand, 2021: cloud, with a twist of open source. ZD Net.
Jesuthasan, Ravin. (14 September 2021). Want to future-proof your career? Prepare to reinvent yourself constantly. Fast Company.