Most predictions about the job landscape in the next few years involve automation, artificial intelligence (AI) and increasingly-redundant humans. Yes, layoffs are inevitable going forward, but what much of the chatter ignores is that the future will also see employment creation, including jobs that are as yet unheard of.
Take the recent 'Future of Jobs in India' study, commissioned jointly by FICCI and Nasscom with EY. The report looks at the impact of advanced technologies on 5 key manufacturing and services sectors in India-IT/ITeS, retail, financial services, textile & apparel and auto-that create the bulk of jobs. A key finding was that 9% of India's 600 million estimated workforce would be deployed in new jobs that do not exist today, while 37% would be in jobs that have radically changed skill sets.
"The report attempts to present a 2022 picture, a time when no one can afford to 'rest on one's laurels' but needs a continuous learning culture. Another important fact being seen is that non-tech firms are increasingly emerging as the source of information technology roles," said Nasscom president, R Chandrasekhar. Think companies in verticals such as BFSI, telecom, retail, healthcare and more.
According to the report, the future of jobs in 2022 would be determined by the country's response to 12 megatrends captured by the EY framework. This includes demographic changes like a rising middle class, business innovations, adoption of exponential technologies, creation of highly-optimised supply chains and globalisation-linked factors like overseas job market for Indians as well as the level of FDI flows and Indian exports.
Based on this, employment in the organised manufacturing and service sector is expected to increase from the current 38 million to 46-48 million by 2022. More significantly, all the new forms of employment are expected to add a further 20-25% to the workforce. In the global arena, research firm Gartner has predicted that AI will create 2.3 million new jobs while eliminating only 1.8 million jobs in 2020.
"Unfortunately, most calamitous warnings of job losses confuse AI with automation. That overshadows the greatest AI benefit- AI augmentation-a combination of human and artificial intelligence, where both complement each other," said Svetlana Sicular, research vice president at Gartner, in a company statement. AI augmentation is expected to generate $2.9 trillion in business value and recover 6.2 billion hours of worker productivity in 2021.
Want to know what kind of new job titles will exist in the future? A recent Cognizant whitepaper proposes 21 such jobs that will emerge over the next 10 years and create mass employment. Here are five of the most interesting ones to watch out for:
Man-Machine Teaming Manager
According to Cognizant, the future of work will be based on how well companies blend and extend the abilities of humans and machines by making them collaborative. So this role involves combining the strengths of robots/AI software (accuracy, endurance, computation, speed, etc.) with the strengths of humans (cognition, judgment, empathy, versatility, etc.) to create augmented hybrid teams that generate better business outcomes.
AI Business Development Manager
There is still one thing that AI cannot do, and won't be able to do for the foreseeable future: Sell itself. That's where AI business development professionals come in. The role involves working closely with sales & marketing teams to position AI services for customers and partners, and providing guidance on the value proposition and benefits achievable with AI services, platforms, frameworks and infrastructure.
The job will entail generating meaningful business answers and recommendations from studying date generated by Internet of Things end points, devices, sensors, biometric monitors, traditional computing infrastructure, next-gen fog, mesh, edge, neural capabilities, etc. Currently, much of the data collected in these areas goes unexamined.
Bring Your Own IT Facilitator (BYOITF)
While the role involves creating a work environment that exploits digital trends and encourages shadow-IT innovation, the goal of a good BYOITF would be to provide business users with the flexibility to compile their own mobile and collaborative environments. Imagine creating an automated self-service platform that lets users select the desired applications as well as build virtual assistants to help employees work better and smarter without compromising data control, security, governance and compliance.
AI-Assisted Healthcare Technician
In the future, healthcare, supercharged by AI technology, will be available at scale and on-demand to all. In-depth patient care and diagnosis will no longer remain the preserve of doctors with several years of qualifications. That's when AI-assisted healthcare technicians will mushroom, showing up at patients' doorsteps to examine, diagnose and administer appropriate treatment, aided by cutting-edge technology and remotely accessible doctors. With the help of AI, even those with a nursing degree will be able to perform certain surgeries.