Throughout the evolution of automation and its involvement in industry across the globe, the prevailing question has always been: “What jobs will be left for us lowly humans?”

But ironically enough the question we should be asking ourselves is: “Who will fill all the new jobs that are created?”

Shane Wall, the chief technology officer of HP Inc., recently posed this question in their 2019 Megatrends report.

As machines begin to take over more menial and repetitive tasks, the need for high-skilled workers increases drastically. That need for highly skilled workers quite likely will not be met by the existing workforce, therefore handicapping business as a whole across the planet as we attempt to catch up.

According to research by the Korn Ferry Insitute, by the year 2030 there will be a global shortage of around 85 million high-skilled workers. To put that into a more digestible perspective, they presented their most extreme example: the outlook for Singapore. Their research shows that they will have a deficit of 1.1 million by 2030, which is only out of a total of 4 million in their workforce.

Building a large enough workforce of high-skilled workers is just the tip of the iceberg; keeping that workforce up to date as the technology in their field continues to change will be the bigger challenge. For example, in the IT-sector, up to half of the high-skilled workers will require retraining by 2022 just to remain effective in their position.

Within that growing need for re-education, Wall sees an opportunity for technology to once again jump in to gap the divide. More specifically, Wall believes we can close that gap through the creation and implementation of more easily accessible opportunities for our high-skilled workers to continuously upgrade their skills through gamified education platforms, VR-based training and similar endeavors.

All of this should be reassuring for those of you who have worried about how job opportunities will keep pace with automation. Instead you should start worrying about how the workforce will keep pace with the amount of opportunities that are bound to pop up in the future.

 

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