Manish Bahl, AVP, Centre for the Future of Work, Cognizant
Last year, Cognizant outlined 21 jobs that will emerge in the next 10 years and be central to the future of work. As we enter 2019, the company predicts 21 more jobs that will emerge in a world of AI, automation, algorithms, bots and big data. Both reports espouse Cognizant’s view that even as work is changing with the emergence of AI, humans have never been more integral to the future of work.
These jobs are both plausible and futuristic – and represent important work that humans will continue to need to do. No matter how technology-driven our lives become, ultimately, we as humans, want the human touch. Cognizant’s 21 More Jobs report fall under three broad themes born from the deep-seated human aspirations for the future:
Ethical behaviors: We want machines and humankind to act well and behave themselves; our jobs include a Chief Purpose Planner, an Algorithm Bias Auditor, a Juvenile Cyber Crime Rehabilitation Counsellor, a Head of Machine Personality Design and a Head of Business Behaviour.
Security and safety: We want to feel safe in this brave (and scary) new world we’re creating; this will call for jobs such as a Cyber Attack Agent, a Cyber Calamity Forecaster, a Machine Risk Officer and a Virtual Identity Defender.
Dreams: A number of our new jobs stem from age-old science fiction visions that are set to become science fact in the next 10 years: Smart Home Designer, Flying Car Developer, a Vertical Farm Consultant. In times that are undeniably cloudy (if not entirely dark), and in which the downsides of technology are more visible than ever, these types of jobs derive from our desire to continue to believe in the positive power of technological-driven progress.
Every job in the report is emerging at a time when the commercial value of human skills is being radically reassessed. Some old skills are losing their power in the market today, while many new skills are the source of outsized advantage. But paradoxically, some old skills are more important than ever. And not all new skills will have a long shelf life.
With the future of work evolving quickly, skills too must evolve to keep pace. Frequent skill upgrades are needed to ensure that people have the relevant skills to be – and stay – employable.
In this scenario, corporates and academia must redefine the construct of learning and skills. The year 2019 will be crucial in furthering ‘the future of jobs’ vision and bringing businesses and educators together to train the workforce in skills needed to succeed in a digital economy.