Future of Work: The Fastest-Growing Jobs in 2024 and Beyond

Jobs related to technology and sustainability will dominate the job market, highlighting the need to upskill to not be replaced by a robot

In the future of work, jobs related to technology and sustainability will dominate the job market, highlighting the need to upskill and learn new technologies, to not be replaced by a robot.

According to WEF’s Future of Jobs Report 2023, which surveyed 803 companies across 45 different economies worldwide, new technologies and climate change are changing the work landscape faster than ever before. These changes will lead to higher demand for certain roles, while making certain jobs obsolete. Sixty-nine million jobs will be created, but 83 million jobs will be destroyed, leading to a contraction of 14 million jobs until 2027.

Fastest-Growing and Fastest-Declining Jobs

The advent of Artificial Intelligence and climate change concerns have made technology and sustainability roles highly in-demand. AI and Machine Learning Specialists top the list of fastest-growing jobs, followed by Sustainability Specialists, Business Intelligence Analysts, Information Security Analysts, Fintech Engineers, Data Analysts and Scientists, Robotics Engineers, Electrotechnology Engineers, Agriculture Equipment Operators, and Digital Transformation Specialists.

On the other hand, technology and digitalization will hit certain jobs the hardest. These are mostly clerical and secretarial roles, with Bank Tellers and Related Clerks, Postal Service Clerks, Cashiers and Ticket Clerks, and Data Entry Clerks expected to decline fastest.

“Surveyed organizations predict 26 million fewer jobs by 2027 in Record-Keeping and Administrative roles, including Cashiers and Ticket Clerks; Data Entry, Accounting, Bookkeeping and Payroll Clerks; and Administrative and Executive Secretaries, driven mainly by digitalization and automation,” the report said.

Automation and Job Displacement

Companies expect 42% of business-related tasks to be automated by 2027, from the current 34%, with only 58% of the tasks to be done by humans. The tasks will vary from 35% of reasoning and decision-making to 65% of information and data processing work. Traits where humans supposedly have a built-in advantage such as reasoning, communicating, and coordinating, will be done by machines in the near future. Its facilitator, artificial intelligence, will be adopted by 75% of the surveyed companies.

Advanced Technology Jobs

Demand for AI and machine learning specialists is expected to grow by 40% and add one million jobs, as industries strive to quickly transform and keep up with the faster-evolving, technological advancements.

Meanwhile, the increased adoption of encryption and cybersecurity, due to widespread cybercrime and cyber insecurity has led to a 31% increase in demand for Information Security Analysts, especially with a current 3 million global shortage in cybersecurity professionals today.

Green Jobs

A growth area that currently still employs a small number of people are jobs related to renewable energy and climate change mitigation. Sustainability Specialists and Environment Protection Professionals for instance, are expected to grow by 33% and 34% respectively, translating into around a million jobs. While Renewable Energy Engineers and Solar Energy Installation and System Engineers were also expected by survey respondents to experience strong demand in the next few years.

Social Jobs and Agriculture

Education, health and agriculture jobs are seen as other growth areas. In fact a research done by the job portal Indeed showed that Social Jobs, those in care, healthcare and education, have grown faster than other jobs in recent years.

Agriculture jobs are likewise expected to see faster growth due to several factors: shortening supply chains, input costs rising, increasing use of agriculture technologies, and increasing investments in climate change adaptation.

Top Skills Required in the Digital Age

Analytical thinking and creative thinking, both cognitive skills, remain the most important skills for workers, indicating the increasing need for complex problem solvers in the workplace.

The confidence in one’s ability to finish a task or achieve a goal emerged as the next most important skills category, as three self-efficacy skills — resilience, flexibility, and agility; motivation and self-awareness; and curiosity and lifelong learning — were deemed the next three most important qualities for workers.

In terms of the ability to work with others, empathy and active listening, as well as leadership and social influence, were considered the most important qualities for the category.

For management skills, quality control emerged as the most important trait, while technological literacy was considered the most important technological skill. It ranked sixth overall, outpacing working with others in importance.

The identified skills also influence the training being prioritized by companies, with training programs to develop analytical thinking to accounting for 10% and creative thinking 8% of all training initiatives. On the other hand, how to utilize big data and Artificial Intelligence is third on the priority list. More than half of the companies expect to see a return on investment in their training efforts, in 6 months to over a year.

Although skills enhancement has become more critical, companies have been ironically cutting their training budgets due to the increasing cost of training programs. “Six in 10 workers will require training before 2027, but only half of workers are seen to have access to adequate training opportunities today,” the report said. Here, eLearning, which has enjoyed a 400% rise in demand since the pandemic, is seen as a game changer, and a more cost-efficient alternative for upskilling.

The Future of Jobs Report 2023 explores how jobs and skills will evolve over the next 5 years. This fourth edition has the widest coverage so far by topic, geography, and sector.