Jobs in this Changing, Evolving World

(Jobs - 2020 to 2040)


My preoccupation with AR and VR this month made me feel somewhat nostalgic about my childhood. About thirty years ago, things didn’t change at such a breakneck speed. Our parents, I am sure weren’t so anxious about what kind of job their kids would end up getting. There were a few cool jobs – you could be an engineer, a doctor, a lawyer, sometimes a professor; then there were many other not-so-cool jobs, but the job-descriptions and their names generally stayed put. They didn’t change every morning…or even every month…or year.

The point is…
80% of the jobs that will exist ten years from now haven’t been invented yet.

You can download and read the entire report at:

If that is the case,
Then what should the schools and colleges prepare the students for?
The same report talks about a global talent pool where with disappearing geographical boundaries, organizations will compete for the best resources to get a job done. At this point, I’d like to mention the term VUCA World, a term used to describe a world that is increasingly Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous. While I agree with the spirit of VUCA and its far-reaching impact on every facet of our lives, as a learning specialist, I find myself thinking more about how learning is going to change in this evolving, mercurial world.

Six Important Trends (that we must be aware of)

Let us begin by quickly reviewing the trends.

  1. Processing power increases 10 times every 5 years (Moore’s Law)
  2. AR and VR are here to stay and they are expected to witness phenomenal growth in the next 5 years. (According to, AR VR Combine market that was about 17 Billion in 2019, shall be 160 Billion Dollars by 2023.
  3. Gig Economy is now a fully recognized term that characterizes an economy driven by short-term contracts and freelance work.
  4. Cloud computing will make anytime anywhere access of content a reality. Even today, Adobe allows us to access and work on their software applications that are stored on their cloud.
  5. Artificial Intelligence and Robots are here to stay and grow. Robots today can walk, jump, climb steps, care for people, converse, work, do stuff in factories.
  6. Geographical boundaries are disappearing for everything. People can work and learn across boundaries.

What types of Jobs will we have in the coming decades?

With these in mind, you could expect new kinds of job to hit the market.
I imagine that that the world will need:

  • Human-Robot Interface Agents
  • AI Programmers,
  • AI bug-fixers,
  • AR Programmers,
  • 3D Artists,
  • VR Environment builders,
  • Block-chain experts,
  • Digital Finance experts,
  • Emotional Intelligence experts to help bots achieve singularity ( a horrific prospect, if Sci-fi is to be believed,)

The is a tip-of-the-iceberg list that would evolve and grow with each passing day, and new jobs that haven't been heard about will get added to it, but these are just the jobs that would directly relate to technology. For each technology job, there are nineteen other kinds of jobs – some of which would stay, some will change shape, and many would disappear altogether.

In India, of the 3 Crore (30 million) people employed in the organized sector, about 40 Lakh (4 million) are employed in the IT sector (in programming jobs.) In the US alone, 6.7 million of the total 155 million employed work in the IT industry, and as IT invades every other industry, the number of IT workers is set to grow. In almost all jobs, some degree of IT-proficiency would be desired, even required.  As we can see, in India about 13% of the employed work with the IT industry already and this number is set to rise.

But this leaves us with 87% of the employed who are working elsewhere in jobs that aren't directly related to technology. As IT spreads its wings, how many of those 87% will find employment in IT/IT-generated jobs and how many will be rendered jobless, is something that I don’t think can be predicted with a reasonable accuracy.

Remember, it’s a VUCA world.

So How do we remain Employable in this changing, Evolving World?

The question therefore is what can we do to ensure that we remain employable.
Theoretically, the answer isn’t difficult.

  1. Be prepared for changing times
  2. Learn to become a forever learner
  3. Keep yourself informed of the trends
  4. Learn to gain new competencies on the go
  5. Be mind-agile or become the Agile Learner

Who is the Agile Learner?

In my next article, "The AFR Learner Types** - Learning in this Changing, Evolving World," I'll share my most important learning of the past two decades - that all learners can be broadly classified into three different types - and these types will become the key to unlocking the human potential in the changing, evolving word of tomorrow. I recommend that you head over to that article now to read it, and if you don't have the time right away, download its PDF (available in Downloads section) and read it when you can.

Thank you for reading. May you be Steel.


- Author: Shafali R. Anand


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