A recent McKinsey report delivers specific predictions regarding the impact of technology on jobs and skills with some striking conclusions. According to the analysis, approximately 50% of current work activities could be automated using currently demonstrated technology. By 2030, as much as 15-30% of the workforce could be displaced by technology. The impact is expected to be dramatically different in different countries and for different types of work, with as many as 375 million workers globally needing to shift occupational categories. What the adoption of technology doesn’t mean is that there won’t be enough work. Fears of that are unfounded, says the report. At the same time, the impact of technology on many jobs will require workers to upgrade skills.
The skills needed for the jobs of the future are in the process of shifting as technology replaces predictable, repetitive work. As the report says,
“Workers of the future will spend more time on activities that machines are less capable of, such as managing people, applying expertise, and communicating with others. They will spend less time on predictable physical activities and on collecting and processing data, where machines already exceed human performance. The skills and capabilities required will also shift, requiring more social and emotional skills and more advanced cognitive capabilities, such as logical reasoning and creativity.”
The report makes it clear that both businesses and individuals will need to change how they think about work and the skills needed for productivity.
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