- Demand for technological skills will grow by 55% over the next two decades, a new report by McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) predicts. This growth will affect demand for digital skills as well as more advanced technological skills, such as programming, the firm said. The report also says that demand for leadership and managerial skills is expected to grow by 24%.
- On the other hand, demand will decline for some cognitive skills (like those used in data input and processing), the firm predicts. The same goes for physical skills like equipment operation, which remains the largest classification of job skills in many countries. MGI said the demand for skills can vary by industry, as in the case of healthcare, where demand for physical skills may rise.
- Continuous learning for employees will be a new focus for organizations moving forward, MGI said, as will a greater shift to team-based and cross-functional work. That may mean redefining jobs and embracing technological change; according to MGI, nearly one-fifth of employers said that their executives lack the knowledge to lead their organizations in adopting artificial intelligence (AI) and automation.
Today's workforce is increasingly shifting from an old paradigm — in which large numbers of low-skill workers were necessary for day-to-day operations in many industries — to a new one marked by rapid adoption of technologies like AI. As a result, the demand for high-level skills is expected to grow in bounds, even as those in charge of talent struggle to make the most of a limited pool of workers.
To prepare workers for this disruption and shift in skills demand, it might seem prudent for employers to direct efforts to training as well as recruiting. But the vast majority of companies don't have a plan in place to organize learning around long-term change.
Even on the back end, not every enterprise is fully ready to adopt new technology, either because of a lack of funds or a lack of know-how at the executive level. HR leaders and their organizations may need to be more agile to address these challenges, especially as contingent workers flood the market.