The future of tech: a brave new world?
Machines are going to carry out half of all work tasks by 2025.
This daunting sounding statistic was included in a recent report from the World Economic Forum.
But rather than being a sign that we’re all doomed to a jobless, robot-led future, it’s a reflection of changing patterns in the way we live and work. And that’s down to the tech revolution.
A tech revolution has automated many jobs of the past but has created roles we didn’t even know we needed ten years ago.
And this trend is set to continue. As technology advances and new industries emerge there will be big changes ahead. Experts at the World Economic Forum predict that 65% of children starting primary school today will be employed in jobs that don’t exist yet. We can’t predict what these jobs will be, but we do know that technology will be at the heart of them. Here are some predicted trends that could influence jobs of the future…
AI will rise
AI, or artificial intelligence, is about more than robots. It’s about developing machines that can process information in a similar way to the human brain. Recent breakthroughs have made AI more adaptable and it looks like the technology will play a big part in our future. Self-driving cars are already on the roads and companies are looking at using this technology for trains, planes and public transport. Cybernetics is a new field combining AI with robotics that has the potential to transform the development of artificial limbs. And on a micro-level AI will continue influence our everyday lives easier by predicting our needs and behaviours through virtual assistants and wearable tech
Big data will stay… big
Big Data is data that is too large to be processed in normal databases. If businesses can analyse big data, they can use it to predict patterns and trends that can lead to better decisions. That's why more and more people are investing in software and services that can do this job. As long as we continue to use more devices, connect more products to the internet, there will continue to be more and more data being collected. And with that, more demand for people who can analyse and make sense of the data.
Facial and body recognition will grow
Breakthroughs in biometric tech, combined with 5G is paving the way for new relationships between people and machines. As data speeds become even faster and the tech becomes even more sophisticated, we have the potential to turn our bodies into human barcodes and the products and services we interact with more personal and instinctive.
Cybersecurity will be key
With new developments come new risks. As we become more personally connected to tech our privacy and security will become even more important. Cybercriminals will evolve as technology does and those who provide products and services will need to invest resources into staying one step ahead.
So how can you make sure you’ll be ready to snap up top jobs in the brave new tech world?
Qualifications in STEM subjects will continue to be in demand. Studying science, technology, engineering or mathematics can open up a world of opportunities across all kinds of industries. The impact of the science and technological innovations shaped by STEM subjects is everywhere: from the products we use, to the roads we drive, to the tech that powers modern life.
Work on your soft skills
While a qualification in a STEM subject is likely to be future-proof, even in a tech-driven society there will still be a need for original thinkers and creative minds. So, if you’re not passionate about a STEM subject and are heading down a humanities route there are ways you can stay ahead of the pack. Skills such as problem solving, collaboration and critical thinking are key in the modern workplace, especially in tech environments.
These soft skills are equally important for STEM students. Excelling at coding, statistics and algorithms will only get you so far, understanding the impact of these on projects, strategies and wider society will put you a step ahead.
Stay on top of emerging technology
Digital literacy is already a near-universal requirement, highlighted by a recent UK government report that found more than 80% of jobs now require digital skills.
As technology advances digital skills are going to be more important than ever across more roles and industries. Baseline skills such as word processing and database software will be needed in most jobs and the need for task-related digital skills such as Adobe Photoshop for designers or CRM (customer relationship management) tools for sales jobs will increase in many roles.
However, the area expected to change most dramatically in the future is those jobs where specific digital or tech skills are required. Jobs centered around programming and software, digital analysis, machine technology and digital communication.
At NatWest Group our award-winning technology teams are driving our digital transformation. We’re passionate about using technology to meet the ever-evolving needs of our customers.
To find out more about how we're doing this, check out our blog here.