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The Future of Jobs: The Project Manager and the Engineer

Future of Jobs

The year 2020 presented us with the one-in-fifty-year event, some even say one-in-a-hundred year event of experiencing a global pandemic. This “perfect storm” and the combination of the 4th industrial revolution with the socio-economic recessionary changes created by the pandemic, have raised the importance of understanding the future of work.

How will we work in 5 years from now? What jobs will be in demand…and which jobs might likely die within this same period? What skills do you need to be relevant in the future? These, and other, questions form the heart of the World Economic Forum’s “The Future of Jobs Report” as released end of 2020. ProjectPro has taken a keen interest in this publication and briefly shares some of the report’s insights with its readers.

Some of the insights from the WEF report on the future of jobs

Herewith a concise summary of some of the insights pertaining to the field of Project Management and Engineering in particular:

  • The drive for automation will continue and this will have a significant impact on the workforce. Being tech savvy and embracing changes in the ways of work will become more pervasive. Agility and reskilling will become paramount for workers of the future.
  • The engineering field in general will stay in high demand as robotics, automation, information and data-driven technologies become more and more part of everyday work life.
  • As automation and data driven initiatives will increase the dependence on, and increased risk towards, technology will grow. This will increase the demand for Risk Management and Project Management specialists. This is good news for project managers with technical and risk-based experience.
  • The most recent global unemployment data from 2020 indicated that those holding a technical tertiary education experienced the lowest unemployment rates. The future trend of the increase in professional association (or “guildedness”) supports the notion that technical specialisation will be a major asset for tomorrow’s professional.
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving & Self-Management are foreseen as the top skills required by workers of the future.

PWC – Workforce of the future

Another leading publication. the PWC “Workforce of the future”, supports these observations and concludes that you, as the worker of the future, must let go of the notion of “holding a job”, but rather start viewing yourself as possessing a “bundle of specialist skills” which are applicable to a range of application areas. Become comfortable with the idea of being part of a “contingent work force” where retraining and reskilling will be the order of the day.

Top 15 skills for 2025

What does this mean for Project Managers and Engineers?

In conclusion, what does this mean for the ProjectPro readers, Project Managers and Engineers in the marketplace?

Firstly, that you are in the right career and building the right skills for future jobs! Well done!

Secondly, that the core messages which ProjectPro sent out in 2020 are even more relevant today, namely:

  • Do not fear change, but learn to understand and, eventually, embrace it. The only constant going forward will be change!
  • Adopt an “always learning”, growth mindset. Don’t allow yourself to stagnate, even if you don’t have budget! There are a lot of ways to grow without spending a cent! Be ready to serve the need of the future jobs.
  • Don’t fear failure but apply a positive mindset and seek opportunities to learn new hard and soft skills.
  • Learn to embrace stress/tension as a positive force propelling you towards action and application. Lethargy and procrastination are the assets of last month’s unemployed!
  • Familiarise yourself with the pervading technologies in your industry and find ways to expose yourself to them!
  • Adopt a servant leadership attitude in all that you do. The more you give, the more it compounds and comes back to you!

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