Richard David Precht, one of Germany’s best-known philosophers, recently said in a Deutschlandfunk interview about the future of work: “We are decorating the deckchairs on the Titanic.” What he means is that we are trying in vain to face the challenges of tomorrow with the To master the tools of yesterday. He refers to estimates that assume that in the coming years around 25 percent of the current jobs will be eliminated.
A scenario that can be worrying at first glance. But it does not have to, because since the beginning of industrialization, a similar fundamental change as the current digitization in all its facets, was created for each job that was lost, at least one new.
Today it is assumed that 65 percent of future jobs do not even exist and we can not imagine the content of future work.
The development of the labor market
Although the loss of jobs, triggered for example by increasing automation, is not yet imminent, a trend in the labor market is already evident today: specialist and expert knowledge in specialized areas is increasingly in demand.
However, well-trained specialists and positions to be filled do not balance each other and the imbalance will be intensified in the future. Especially in IT there are therefore three occupational fields whose job profiles will be of increasing importance in the near future.
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1. Cyber Security
With the increasing digitization and networking, the importance of IT security is also increasing. In order to protect critical data and operating systems, traditional solutions such as firewalls or virus scanners are no longer sufficient.
But the specialists who can provide better protection, looking in vain. Although subject areas such as risk assessment or hazard prognosis are increasingly being included in university curricula, there are still far too few candidates. In Germany, security experts are in absolute short supply, and the situation will continue to worsen over the next few years.
Security experts are particularly in demand, focusing on specialized disciplines such as IT forensics or malware. In addition, entirely new job profiles will emerge, for example Cyber Calamity Forecaster, which will provide forecasts on the threat situation and identify suitable measures. When an attack takes place and needs to be averted, cyber attack agents become active. Or Virtual Identity Defender, which ensures privacy in digital space.
The number of companies that rely on services in the cloud is growing steadily. Even though Germany currently only performs mediocrely when it comes to adapting the cloud, there is a growing realization that companies are not only able to achieve significant cost savings by outsourcing in-house IT and data centers, but can also react more flexibly to market changes.
This not only applies to global corporations, but also small and medium-sized enterprises can benefit from the targeted use of experts. Under the generic terms of the structure and the Orchestrierung of a Cloud architecture fall then tasks such as migration, hybrid environments, IaaS or SaaS or also Application Management. The job creation of cloud experts will be significant and, apart from well-founded expertise, above all will require excellent interface management from the candidates.
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Another byproduct of increasing connectivity is the enormous amount of data that accumulates. For example, experts predict that the total number of devices and sensors connected to the IoT will increase to more than 50 billion over the next three years.
By comparison, in 2018, the number is estimated at only 21 billion. That is why big data experts are gaining more and more importance in order to make the relevant data usable with tailor-made evaluation concepts for companies. In addition to the pure data analysis, the field of data scientists with knowledge of methodological knowledge, mathematics and statistics, the preparation of data by Data Artists or Data Architects plays an increasingly important role. Only if they are visualized quickly and vividly can they be presented to the board, customers or users, for example.
The needle in a haystack
No matter where the job profiles of the future are developing, which departments are becoming increasingly important and which ones will soon no longer be relevant, the younger generations of employees are placing increasing value on responsible corporate behavior. In order to remain competitive in the future, companies in the employee market must strive even more for the right candidates, address them individually and convince the people behind the qualification for themselves.
After all, companies are looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack: so-called T-shaped candidates who, on the one hand, are generalist enough to survive in modern, agile company structures, while at the same time possessing deep expertise in their specific field of expertise.
Nothing remains as it is
So how should companies react now? I am firmly convinced that in more companies the human resources department should become the board department. With Christiane Uhl as Human Resources Director and Managing Director, the Paulaner Brewery Group has shown how to do it.
Because with an increasingly complex labor market, the priority of personnel decisions increases. What is the overall HR strategy? Where do relevant developments take place in the company that can be supported by the right occupation or the creation of new jobs?
Only if these questions are anchored in the future in the corporate strategy and management, companies can pass the test of digital transformation.
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Daniela Conrad is co-founder and executive partner of five14, a recruitment consultancy for executive search in the New Work Era.
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