2021 represents the start of a new decade. And now more than ever, the working public is nervous about the changes to the workplace that are imminent this decade.
That is primarily because the end of the previous decade didn’t leave many with hope for the new one. 2020 represented a significant turning point for many industries and careers.
With the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic recession, many have been left without jobs as we start 2021. Furthermore, many of those without jobs are uncertain whether those jobs will come back.
The future is in doubt
The workplace at the end of 2020 could not have been more different from what it looked like at the beginning of the same year.
Several businesses like restaurants, schools and industries had to close for the entirety of the pandemic because they could not guarantee the safety of their employees and customers.
Those businesses that could guarantee their stakeholders’ safety had to reorganize and dramatically change how they do business to survive. Many people had to work remotely and, in doing so, had to train their employees on how to be effective when working remotely.
However, even for the businesses that managed to stay open during and after the pandemic, most of them had to lay people off either because they couldn’t afford to have a full staff or because those roles were no longer relevant.
This was especially true for the hospitality industry. A restaurant that stayed open during the lock down because it switched from dine-in services to deliver would have to lay off all its wait staff because there was no one to wait on.
Training and reskilling after the pandemic
Training and reskilling are the main buzzword in the post-pandemic economy. As mentioned above, many jobs that existed before the pandemic aren’t going to be there anymore after. Furthermore, those are still around have evolved to require a different set of skills altogether.
Many companies are investing heavily in on-the-job training for employees, both new and old.
Ongoing training is what many rightly believe to be the way to get their employees in shape for the new workplace. However, learning managers in many companies are scratching their heads trying to figure out which jobs and skills to train for and which ones to abandon.
In this article, we will shed more light on what the job market is going to look like this decade. Hopefully, this will help you figure out which skills and jobs to prepare for this decade.
These industries will experience the biggest growth in the next decade (2021-2030)
Here are the three predicted fastest growing industries of this decade.
Internet of things
This has been a steadily growing industry in this last decade and is predicted to grow even faster this year. The world of technology has colonized the appliance manufacturing space, with consumers demanding IoT technology with every household appliance today.
From doorbells to refrigerators, alarm systems and children’s toys, customers demand that more of their household appliances be interconnected.
As Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation become more mainstream this decade, we anticipate that the IoT industry will blow up even more.
Furthermore, 5G is another potential accelerator of this industry, as faster internet will make many more technological dreams a reality this decade.
This will create new jobs in cyber security, customer care and retail as IoT goes mainstream.
As the fastest growing form of retail business, e-commerce is well poised to continue growing in this decade. More people are buying things online than ever before.
This is due to the growth in access to the internet and smartphones and the pandemic in 2020 that dramatically reduced the number of in-store purchases.
Furthermore, the growth of e-commerce this decade is likely to be facilitated by the expansion of 3D printing. 3D printing is expected to become more mainstream and versatile this decade, as many more companies are coming up with 3D printed product alternatives.
One of the latest industries to be taken over by 3D printing is construction, with many companies coming up with 3D printed housing solutions for urban dwellers.
This 3D printing trend is likely to increase the kinds of goods that can be sold electronically and create more demand for e-commerce sales and marketing representatives.
Healthcare and the healthcare support industry are predicted to be the fastest-growing industries in this decade, with a 20% increase in jobs expected in healthcare support in the US.
As baby boomers grow old and need healthcare assistance and Covid-19 continues to impact the planet, it is no surprise the demand for health services and healthcare assistance is expected to increase this season sharply.
Jobs like nursing assistants, wellness consultants, laboratory attendants and many more are expected to be more available than any other jobs this decade.
These future skills are predicted to be most in-demand between 2021 and 2030
Data management and analysis
Data is the currency of the 21st century. Every job can be done better with data analytics. Data analytics helps companies make better, faster decisions with quantifiable risk attached.
One of the workplace’s required skills this decade is data analysis and synthesis. This skill is useful in every industry and in most of the jobs that are going to be available this decade.
The internet will continue to drive innovation and technological advancement this decade, just like it has been since it went public. As a result, software design and programming will continue to be highly demanded in the workplace this decade.
Programming can also be done remotely, which is a high selling point for any job right now.
One of the major anticipations of this decade is the shift towards environmental sustainability and greener economies, especially for all the member countries in the Paris Agreement.
The green economy is expected to create millions of jobs worldwide, but that is only if the workforce can learn the ‘green skills’ required for nations to make the transition.
Green skills cut across several industries like academia (teaching and training for green jobs), manufacturing, agriculture, energy and the transportation industry.
Sales and marketing
These skills will have a place in the economy this decade, just like the last one. As e-commerce is predicted to grow, so is the demand for sales and marketing representatives.
Sales and marketing jobs are not likely to go anywhere soon since they cannot be automated entirely. Furthermore, they can be effectively done remotely, and many companies will be looking to hire remotely for sales and marketing jobs.
Which jobs are at risk in the next 5 years?
As many industries take to automation to cut costs and increase efficiency, the manufacturing industry will be one of the most affected by this transition.
Many manufacturing jobs are easy to automate, and with the advancement of technology and AI, automating low skill jobs is expected to be the logical solution for all businesses to make.
Driving and delivery jobs
Ride sharing is one of the last decade’s emergent tech industries, with ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft having a global presence.
While these are expected to stay, drivers are expected to begin being phased out as self-driving cars and trucks become more mainstream and safer than human-driven vehicles.
Furthermore, drone delivery and 3D printing will also affect the delivery truck driving business in this decade, especially in first world countries, but not exclusively.
This is a job that is already well on its way out of the marketplace. Telemarketers for long were the backbone of many sales and marketing departments.
However, with the advancement of technology and online marketing, telemarketing has been rendered obsolete in the modern workplace.
It is now a fringe tool used by fringe businesses, specifically those targeting older generations of customers. This job will continue to be phased out in the next 5 years till it is non-existent.
What will be the highest paying jobs in the future?
We have begun this decade in a health-conscious state due to the pandemic that hit the planet in 2020. As a result, health workers like doctors, surgeons and registered nurses are in high demand globally and are being celebrated as heroes.
This global demand and recognition are expected to translate into higher salaries as economists catch up with the prevailing times and assign a monetary equivalent to the risk the health workers are taking on the frontline of this pandemic.
Demand for software developers is expected to keep growing as the world becomes more reliant on technology for day to day activities. There is an app for everything imaginable today, and there are still many more to come.
As millennials and Gen Z graduates join the workforce, this will be one of the leading employers of these two generations as the first internet generations to enter the workforce.
How can you future proof your career?
The future is already upon us. The workplace is changing quickly, aided by advances in technology and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are ten tips you could use to help you future proof your career and make sure that you remain appropriately skilled and positioned, even as the nature of work as we know it changes.
- Join an organization that values employee training and career development
- Be deliberate about building your professional networks
- Integrate data analysis and data-driven decision making into your work process
- Learn how to work remotely effectively
- Stay on top of the technology in and out of the workplace.
- Take Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training.
- Improve your teamwork and collaboration with others
- Grow your self-awareness
- Stay current on emerging trends in your industry.
- Develop your soft skills like communication and leadership
Gerald Ainomugisha is a freelance Content Solutions Provider (CSP) offering both content and copy writing services for businesses of all kinds, especially in the niches of management, marketing and technology.