The Future Jobs

As 2017 is rounding up, it is undoubtedly unexplained that we cannot stop the hands of time. Unemployment and job cuts are real, so real that it is on the rise the world over. Technology cum automation and robots are taking over jobs of humans. Young people are adversely affected by this take over and may seemingly be disturbed that job opportunities are closing up. Job close up can force young people into migration, whereas young people are more technologically savvy thereby giving room for questions between technology and jobs? The summary is, manual jobs are disappearing for digital and the opportunity is in the energy to translate any manual job into digital job.

As said, technology is opening virgin jobs opportunities for young people to tap from, from music to sport, fashion to photography etc, only that those untapped opportunities requires new sets of skills for young people all over the world. It is glaring that if you don’t understand this future present tense in the job shift, you may likely be shifted out of jobs without knowing, hence its becomes common sense that we are ready for technological revolution in the coming year 2018 and ahead.

Expanding opportunities

Digital technologies can improve overall welfare and reduce poverty, but without complementary investments, they can also worsen inequality. In Africa alone for instance, 11 million youth are expected to enter the labor market every year for the next decade. The internet comes with exciting opportunities that young people can leverage and create digital jobs for themselves. Mobile phones are windows, and I have seen how farmers use mobile phones to get price information and technical advice. I have also seen women facing barriers to work outside their homes work online for a better balance work and family. And many have found earning opportunities through online work and the on-demand economy. But these new opportunities come hand in hand with fundamental and rapid changes in the world of work, as digital technologies increase the demand for advanced skills, and many skills quickly become obsolete. Therefore in 2018, people must begin to learn how to take their ideas into the internet unlimited market space to stay in their game.

From a technological standpoint, fewer than half of today’s schoolchildren in China, Croatia, or Thailand can expect to find a job in an occupation that exists today. But more than jobs disappearing, they will be transformed. The challenge for policy makers is to ensure that all current and future workers can seize the growing economic opportunities that accompany the spread of digital technologies. The risk is that rapid technological change will end up increasing inequality and leaving many behind—blunting the digital dividends.

The potential gains from technological progress for workers and consumers in developing countries are indeed large. Digital technologies can create jobs and increase earnings in the small information and communication technology (ICT) sector—and much more in the sectors that use ICT. They also increase worker productivity by augmenting human capital and—especially critical for the poor—connecting people to work and markets. And they can benefit consumers by lowering prices and expanding the variety of goods and services available, thus producing consumer surplus.

But not everyone stands to benefit automatically. Only by improving internet access and basic literacy and updating skill and training systems will the benefits be realized and broadly shared. For the world’s poor, the key is to leverage digital technologies to improve the productivity of household enterprises, subsistence family farmers, and the informal sector. Yet for every person connected to the internet in developing countries, almost three are not; among the poor, more than six are not; and many also lack access to such complementary infrastructure as electricity or roads. Even if connected, many cannot read or use the information the internet provides. For workers in more organized labor markets, conditions are changing rapidly. New jobs require different skills from old jobs, and many new jobs are informal or nonwage, without benefits or worker protections.

Greater computer power and internet connectivity make some skills obsolete by substituting for work that is codifiable and routine, and thus can be automated. The remaining tasks require complex skills that complement technology, such as creativity, critical thinking, and problem solving. These skills remain hard for technology to emulate, but also for education and training systems to provide, leaving many workers unprepared for the modern world of work.

The poor, with no access to technology and lacking skills, see few of the direct downsides from technological adoption but also only partial benefits. Machine operators and clerical support workers, for example, perform many “routine” tasks that are easily automated. Since 1995, the share of routine employment in total employment has fallen by 8 and 12 percentage points in developing and developed countries respectively. Such medium-skilled jobs, critical to the growth of the middle class and held disproportionately by the bottom 40 percent of the welfare distribution, give way either to high-skilled jobs that only a small share of workers qualify for, or to low-skilled jobs that face increasing competition and most likely declining wages.

So the race is on between skills and technology, and the outcome will determine whether the dividends from digital technologies are realized and the benefits widely shared. It is important to bridge the digital divides both in access and in capabilities. This second divide separates the digitally savvy, who can make productive use of digital technologies and have skills that complement them—and the digitally poor, who remain unconnected and unskilled. Providing current and future workers with the cognitive, technical, and socioemotional skills that are augmented by technology—and not replaced by it—is a priority.

Connected People The world is more connected than ever. On average, 8 in 10 people in the developing world own a mobile phone. Digital technologies, often low-end phones, connect the more than 60 percent of the world’s people who did not have a landline phone as late as 2000. More people have access to a mobile phone than to secondary schooling, clean water, or sanitation. Internet adoption lags behind mobile phone access, but has tripled since 2005. In developing countries today, 28 percent of the population reports access to the internet at home, and in advanced economies, 80 percent.

Mobile phones are driving this interconnectedness, especially among the poor. All regions are converging in mobile phone use, but South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa lag far behind in internet access. A technology diffuses rapidly when it is low in cost, easy to use, has high potential benefits, and fits well with the local context. Low-cost mobile phones—which can be shared, prepaid, billed in prices per second, and do not require much literacy or numeracy for basic use—fits this description, and are the technology of choice among the poor. In Cameroon, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda, more than four in five mobile phone owners have simple phones, not capable of browsing the internet. Personal computers and the internet, by contrast, require literacy and often foreign language (especially English) skills. Computers with internet capabilities in the Warana sub-district in Maharashtra, India, for instance, went largely unused except for transmitting market information to farmers—a function later substituted by mobile phones, which were cheaper and easier to use.

Communications, entertainment, and searching for information are the most common uses for mobile phones and the internet. In African countries, social networking, sending and receiving e-mails, instant messaging, and checking facts and definitions are the most common uses of the internet . This is similar in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, and the European Union countries, especially with social networking (between 50 and 80 percent of all internet users).

The use of digital technologies  for work, education, and health is more limited but increasing. Across the European Union, around 60 percent of internet users search for health information, and 13 percent make appointments with health practitioners online. In Brazil, 60 percent of internet users use it for educational purposes, and in Mexico, 35 percent. One in four individuals who use the internet in African countries reports doing so to get health and education information. Uses vary across population groups. In Brazil and Mexico, women, rural, and poorer

populations are less likely to use the internet for financial transactions or dealing with public authorities, but in both countries these same groups are equally or more likely to use it for educational purposes than men, urban, and richer populations..Across countries, children and youth are most likely to use the internet for education.

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