The changing labour market – high school graduates take heed

With 2017 around the corner, school leavers and the newly graduated are looking to enter the job market, while others have to decide on what their further studies will centre on.
The changing labour market – high school graduates take heed
© Kurhan –
Technology is advancing rapidly, changing society and the way in which computing, artificial intelligence and genomics are changing industries and our daily lives.

Technology created a new set of rules and jobseekers and students need to take note. What can we expect?

Digitisation and your job

Machines and robots are taking over the work of humans. International companies like Amazon rely on robots to do most of its warehouse work. Supermarkets are leaning towards self-service at tills, automated medical diagnoses are in the making. New jobs will emerge all the time, some of which we cannot imagine today.

All of this means that the labour market is changing, with the World Economic Forum reporting in its The Future of Jobs noting that despite the changes and the predicted job losses, there will be certain occupations that will be more in demand.

Job categories expected to see growth or a decline

Across the major economies office and administrative jobs; manufacturing and production; construction and extraction; arts, design, entertainment, sports and media; and legal and installation and maintenance will see a decline.

However, growth is expected in job categories including business and financial operations; management; computer and mathematics; architecture and engineering; sales and related jobs; and education and training.

To be more specific, the following jobs will become more in demand or remain stable over the next five years, mainly because they require a creative, human element:

Data analysts – to help make sense of all the data generated.
Computer programmers, software developers, information security analysts.
Architects and engineers (specifically engineers qualified in biochemical, nanotechnology, robotics and materials).
Specialised sales people who not only know their products but also understand the ins and outs of the business environment in which they are working.
Experienced managers to lead companies through periods of transformation and disruption due to changes in the labour market.
Product design is expected to be a top skill in demand by 2020.
Human resources and organisational development specialists to help reskill workers.
Regulatory and government relations experts to navigate the legal side of the changes in the market.

With 27.1% of South Africa’s population without jobs, according to Statistics South Africa, prospective students would do well to take heed of these changes.