‘Where do you see yourself in 5 years? It is a good time to think about your future career and explore the skills and qualities that will be in demand in the future to give yourself the best chance of success – the good news is that there are lots of choice out there for everyone!

What will future jobs be like?

According to the Future of Jobs Report 2020, COVID-19 has caused the labour market to change faster than expected and what used to be considered the “future of work” has already arrived! Covid-19 has pushed companies to explore remote working and sped-up digitalisation and automation.

The Future of Jobs Report expects that by 2025, the hours worked by machines and people will be equal. On a positive note, most employers are still convinced in the importance of people within a workplace!

Skills of the Future

Skills of the future will be a mix of personal (soft) and practical (hard) skills. The skills will be ‘transferable’ from one job sector to another. Professional skills can also be added to the mix over time with training and study. The more of these skills you can gain – the more employable you will become, the more you will be able to embrace change and therefore improve your future job prospects.

  • Working with people – work within a team, communication, tolerance, leadership, social influence.
  • Problem-solving – critical thinking and analysis, innovation, reasoning.
  • Creativity – originality, being able to work on your own initiative.
  • Self-management – resilience, stress, motivation and flexibility.
  • Technology – technology use and development.

Matching those skills to a Job

It is important to identify what skills you already have – it will help you to match your skills with those that a potential employer has highlighted as necessary to do a particular job (usually listed in the job advert, so read carefully!). Getting familiar with your skills will also help you to see any gaps in your training and qualifications.

CV’s and applications are screened to see if the person has the skills that the job requires. The more closely you match your skills on your CV or application form to the job description, the better chance you have of getting to the next stage of selection or interview. 

Knowing your skills can also help you in an interview.  This can be especially helpful if you do not have the exact requirements at that time.  You could say: ‘I am adaptable, enjoy a challenge, like learning new things and I’m open to further training’ etc.

Read our article on Getting that Job for more job-hunting tips

Read our article on Survivor’s Guide to the Working World

Tools that can help you identify and express your skills:

Skills Summary is an easy to use online tool that measures the skills young people gain by participating in youth work and volunteering opportunities, building their confidence, so that they can better communicate the value of these essential skills to future employers

Accenture’s Skills to Succeed Academy is a free, highly interactive online training program that helps you to build the skills and confidence needed to make smart career choices and find and succeed in employment.


Careers Sectors of the Future

Digital Technologies

Even before the Covid-19, technology such as artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics and cloud computing had been growing rapidly over the years. But now they have become essential in everyday life. Demand has grown for people with the skills and knowledge that meet the needs of digitally transformed industries and sectors. Careers include; data scientist, cloud engineer, UX designer, Robotics engineer.

Digital marketing

Digital marketing is growing and changing rapidly. There is an increasing need for people with the skills and knowledge to be able to respond to the demand. There are a wide range of digital marketing jobs out there meaning there are a huge variety of career options. Careers include: video/audio production, mobile marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), social media, e-commerce, e-mail marketing.

Pharmaceuticals

Pharmaceuticals is another growing sector and the work will still be relevant in 20 years time. With global health care being so relevant in 2021,  there will be an urgent need for new technologies, goods and services within the pharmaceutical industry. Interestingly, 9 of the world’s top 10 pharmaceutical firms are based in Ireland. Careers include: biomedical research, medical technology and pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Health

Healthcare is always a good solid career choice for job opportunities.  Providing health services and care-giving is becoming an increasingly important skill in an ageing society. Careers include: doctor, nurse, medical technician, Physical therapist, workplace ergonomics.

Finance

According to the Wall Street Journal, labour-intensive tasks like budgeting and forecasting will increasingly be automated, which will free up time and energy for financial advisors to provide meaningful, data-driven insights to their clients. Careers include: management analysts, accountants, auditors, financial advisors.

Education

Education and training jobs will play a key role as the need for continuous up-skilling and life-long learning increases. Careers include; teachers, education professionals, training specialists, learning & development experts.

Environmental

Addressing climate change and environmental challenges will lead to a whole infrastructure of jobs and career choices. Careers include: agriculture, environmental research, energy renewals, sectors that contribute to preserving or restoring environmental quality.

Based on information from: The Future of Jobs Report 2020 | World Economic Forum (weforum.org)