In 2012, data scientist was named the sexiest job of the 21st century. As we head toward 2022, that admiration hasn’t waned. The World Economic Forum’s 2018 Future of Jobs Report puts data analysts and scientists at the top of the emerging in-demand roles list, even as automation begins to take hold and replace other roles.
The report, which surveys executives from 313 of the world’s largest brands, notes that four technological advances are top-of-mind when it comes to the top positive drivers of business growth over the next few years. These four are:
- ubiquitous high-speed mobile internet
- artificial intelligence (AI)
- cloud technology
- and topping the list, the increasing availability of big data and widespread analytics adoption
Among the 300-plus companies surveyed, 85% say they intend to expand their use of big data analytics between now and 2022. With the need for digital transformation forcing this hand, data analysts and scientists top a list of 20-plus roles that are becoming increasingly in demand. The list also includes digital transformation specialists, AI and machine learning specialists, big data specialists, information security specialists, process automation specialists, innovation professionals, and user experience and human-machine interaction designers.
The latter becomes increasingly important as currently, respondents report that an average of 71% of total task hours are performed by humans compared to 29% by machines. But by 2022, WEF report authors note that this average is expected to shift to 58% task hours performed by humans and 42% by machines.
"The Time to Shape the Future of Work is Now"
Despite the rapid rise of automation, most predictions say that new roles created for humans will outpace the jobs lost to machines. The Future of Jobs Report estimates that 75 million jobs may be displaced by automation, but 133 million new roles may emerge related to the new division of labor between humans, machines, and algorithms. These roles will require significant reskilling and upskilling, notes the World Economic Foundation. It’s predicted that by 2022, more than half of all employees will need new skills and training to adapt to the future of work. “The time to shape the future of work is now,” advises the WEF.
Check out the increasingly in-demand roles from the WEF Future of Jobs Report below, as well as “redundant roles” that the WEF notes may be in jeopardy.
Learn more—read the full report. For a look at other top trends, including the predicted talent shortage when it comes to data analysts and scientists (and what to do about it), read 8 Enterprise Analytics Trends to Watch.