The recent Future of Jobs Report 2018 by the World Economic Forum has painted a rather gloomy picture for some job profiles. Automation and machines are threatening to replace half of workplace tasks by 2025.
While a cluster of emerging roles will gain importance over the coming years, another cluster of job profiles is set to become increasingly redundant. Such large-scale decline in some roles should ring alarm bells for people who are currently pursuing these roles or want to take them up in the future.
Across various industries surveyed, jobs which are expected to become increasingly redundant over the next five years are mostly routine-based, middle-skilled white-collar roles. Here is the list of jobs which may decline according to the report:
- Data Entry Clerks
- Accounting, Bookkeeping and Payroll Clerks
- Administrative and Executive Secretaries
- Assembly and Factory Workers
- Client Information and Customer Service Workers
- Business Services and Administration Managers
- Accountants and Auditors
- Material-Recording and Stock-Keeping Clerks
- General and Operations Managers
- Postal Service Clerks
- Financial Analysts
- Cashiers and Ticket Clerks
- Mechanics and Machinery Repairers
- Electronics and Telecommunications Installers and Repairers
- Bank Tellers and Related Clerks
- Car, Van and Motorcycle Drivers
- Sales and Purchasing Agents and Brokers
- Door-To-Door Sales Workers, News and Street
- Vendors, and Related Workers
- Statistical, Finance and Insurance Clerks
These jobs are going to be highly susceptible to advances in new technologies and process automation. Industries are set to take diverse routes in the wake of this challenge of accommodating the displaced workforce. They could be redeployed in alternative, higher value-added functions.
Speaking to the Financial Express Online Anurag Malik, Partner HR Advisory & Skill Development at Ernst & Young, said, “There are three scenarios for people and companies doing these jobs. Firstly, it is possible, going forward, there is no impact on these jobs at all. Secondly, there could be some impact for which you’ll need some degree of change or update in your skill-sets and thirdly the job becomes completely redundant.”
“A majority of jobs will fall under the second category where companies will need to invest in skill upgradation of their workforce. They need to create structured skill learning programmes and individuals will need to learn and diversify their skills through these programmes or otherwise,” he added.
“For these structured learning programmes, companies will have to identify what jobs and what skills are going to get impacted. Their programmes should smoothen the transformation from current skill sets to new job with new skill sets. This destination needs to be identified carefully,” he added further.
Coming to the third scenario, Malik said, “If your job is in danger of going completely redundant, individuals need to focus on significantly revamping their skills. They can identify the jobs that match their skills in similar or allied services and profiles and start acquiring these skills. The pace of automation is not going to be same across industries and profiles and it will vary accordingly. This will give you enough time to prepare for the switch from the current skill sets to new job with new skill sets.”