The rapid advancement of new technologies is transforming the world of work as we once knew it. Artificial intelligence, predictive data analysis, machine learning, the Internet of Things, and robotics, among other innovative tools, are not only improving the efficiency and productivity of organisations but also generating jobs and demanding new skills to adapt to the 21st century.

While technology has been altering the nature of work since the Industrial Revolution commenced in the late 18th century, the speed and breadth of the current wave of innovation are unprecedented. Experts estimate that in the next decade, millions of jobs could be modified by this technological revolution.

The latest report from the World Economic Forum states that new technologies will cause a 23% structural rotation in the composition of the labour market for companies worldwide. This implies the disappearance of existing jobs and the creation of new professions.

This scenario sparks excitement and expectations. Organisations face the challenge of reinventing their human resource management processes, with policies for designing new roles and professional training so that employees acquire the skills demanded by the new paradigm.

Challenges of the Tech Revolution

Artificial intelligence is undoubtedly the technology having the greatest impact on the labour field.

Its benefits are manifold. AI allows the automation of repetitive tasks, improves customer service through chatbots, optimises decision-making based on advanced data analysis, and personalises services through the study of customer preferences.

Likewise, the use of artificial intelligence is enabling the creation of new jobs and professions in areas such as the development and maintenance of AI systems, data analysis, or algorithm design.

According to a recent Microsoft study, the use of Large Language Models (LLMs) – large-scale language models designed with artificial intelligence – can improve organisational productivity by up to 40%.

The landscape for organisations is challenging, but it also raises some questions about the role workers will play in the face of the unstoppable advance of machines.

The International Labour Organization (ILO), in a report published at the end of last year, argues that most jobs and industries are only partially exposed to automation, and that they are likely to be complemented rather than replaced. In other words, the impact of technology is not the destruction of employment, but rather potential changes in the nature of jobs.

Indeed, training workers in the skills required by new technologies will be a fundamental aspect in shaping the new labour market.

An IBM study, based on the opinions of 3,000 executives and 21,000 employees from 21 countries, projects that 40% of the planet's workers (around 1.4 billion people) will need to be retrained to adapt to the growing use of technology (particularly artificial intelligence) in production processes.

Emerging Professions

According to the aforementioned World Economic Forum report, the professions that have experienced the fastest growth in recent years are those related to technology, particularly artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Next on the list of new jobs are sustainability specialists, business intelligence analysts, and information security analysts. Other professions that will experience great development in the times to come are FinTech engineers, data analysts, robotics engineers, electrotechnology engineers, and digital transformation specialists.

Renewable energy experts or solar energy system installation engineers are also growing as countries' economies increase their production of clean energy.

All of these emerging professions demand a diverse set of skills, including programming, data analysis, and mathematics. But there are also other abilities, known as soft skills, that are not taught in universities, and that will be increasingly required by organisations in the future. For example, good communication, empathy, creativity, ethics, and critical thinking, among others.

A Path of Opportunities

The changes that the labour landscape is experiencing with the emergence of new technologies require a commitment from companies to implement continuous training and professional retraining programmes.

Additionally, it is crucial for organisations to work together with the government and educational institutions to reduce the skills gap separating labour supply and demand.

Technology is not a threat. On the contrary, if implemented through appropriate policies, it can help create more collaborative, productive, and satisfying work environments.

Organisations willing to embrace change and invest in professional development will be better positioned to thrive in this digital era.


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