Future of Work

LinkedIn’s Top 10 emerging jobs around the globe may (not) surprise you

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When you look at LinkedIn’s 2020 Emerging Jobs Report, you may say to yourself, “Maybe we should just drop the IT from information technology jobs.” Jobs, increasingly, have an IT component, and that trend is likely to increase in the age of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA).

The LinkedIn Emerging Jobs analysis is based on their members with a public profile who have held full-time positions during the past five years. They calculated the share of hiring and Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) for each occupation between 2015 and 2019 to identify the roles with the largest growth.


Three trends you should know about

Three trends emerged this year, two based on technology, one based on lifestyle:

1. AI is big, as you suspected. New jobs have risen up as a result of AI in fields like cybersecurity and data. AI is now pervasive, so many roles may demand more knowledge of AI than you may think.

2. Soft skills are in the job descriptions. Customer Success Specialists are in demand all over the world. As work becomes automated, employers are looking for employees who have distinctly human skills that are impossible to automate, like communication, creativity and collaboration.

3. Professionals are on the move. Factors like housing costs, politics, regulation and the desire for more flexibility are changing work dynamics. A full 40% of Millennials do not want to work in the office; they are looking for remote work opportunities. New cities are emerging as strong job markets because they may offer a better quality of life.


New Collar Revolution?

Ginni Rometty, former chair, president, and CEO of IBM, coined the term “New Collar” to define a new category of skills-based careers. New Collar jobs are roles in some of the technology industry’s faster growing fields – from cybersecurity and cloud computing to cognitive business and digital design – that do not always require a traditional degree. What they do require is the right mix of in-demand skill sets.

When you look at the emerging jobs report, you will see many roles that IBM and others see as new collar, not necessarily requiring a college degree — even though many hiring managers still list that as a requirement. As we seek to broaden opportunities and look to new talent pools to fill skills shortages, companies like IBM are leading the way democratizing the labor market by focusing on skills instead of golden pedigrees.


Top Ten Roles in the United States

LinkedIn’s report provided substantial data in all geographies and additional data for the United States. Here are the Top 10 in the United States. IBM has skills programs for many of these roles.


1. Artificial Intelligence Specialist

Annual growth rate: 74%
Skills unique to the job: Machine learning, deep learning, TensorFlow, Python, natural language processing
Where the jobs are: San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Boston, Seattle, Los Angeles


2. Robotics Engineer

Annual growth rate: 40%
Where the jobs are: San Francisco Bay Area, Atlanta, New York City, Washington DC, Boston
Top industries hiring this talent: Information technology and services, industrial automation, computer software, financial services, automotive


3. Data Scientist

Annual growth rate: 37%
Skills unique to the job: Machine learning, data science, Python, R, Apache Spark
Where the jobs are: San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, Washington DC, Seattle, Boston


4. Full Stack Engineer

Annual growth rate: 35%
Skills unique to the job: React.js, Node.js, JavaScript, AngularJS, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
Where the jobs are: San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, Los Angeles, Boston, Washington DC


5. Site Reliability Engineer

Annual growth rate: 34%
Skills unique to the job: Amazon Web Services, Ansible, Kubernetes, Docker products, Terraform
Where the jobs are: San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Seattle, Boston, Washington DC


6. Customer Success Specialist

Annual growth rate: 34%
Skills unique to the job: SaaS, Salesforce, customer relationship management, account management, customer retention
Where the jobs are: San Francisco, New York, Boston, Chicago, Washington DC


7. Sales Development Representative

Annual growth rate: 34%
Skills unique to the job: Salesforce, Software as a Service (SaaS), lead generation, sales
Where the jobs are: San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Boston, Chicago, Austin


8. Data Engineer

Annual growth rate: 33%
Skills unique to the job: Apache Spark, Hadoop, Python, Extract/Transform/Load (ETL), Amazon Web Services
Where the jobs are: San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Seattle, Boston, Chicago


9. Behavioral Health Technician

Annual growth rate: 33%
Skills unique to the job: Applied behavior analysis, Autism spectrum disorders, behavioral health, mental health
Where the jobs are: Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, San Francisco Bay Area, Phoenix, Seattle


10. Cybersecurity Specialist

Annual growth rate: 30%
Skills unique to the job: Cybersecurity, information security, network security, vulnerability assessment, information assurance
Where the jobs are: Washington DC, New York, San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, Denver

Here’s a rundown of the top 15 emerging jobs in the United States:


Top Ten Roles in the Americas

Many of the roles in the Americas are similar by country, but some countries still show distinctly manual jobs, like the demand for drivers in Brazil.


Top Ten Roles in Europe

Data Protection Officer rises higher than AI Specialist in some countries, no doubt because of new laws protecting data privacy.


Top Ten Roles in Asia Pacific

Thailand is the only country that shows UX Designer in the top ten, which may seem surprising in an era where user experience can make or break an organization.


IBM is democratizing IT with its skills programs

By focusing on skills over degrees and geography, IBM wants to shift mindsets in the IT industry and make tech more diverse and inclusive. We want to bring in people with non-traditional backgrounds who build skills through coding camps, community colleges or modern career education programs like our P-TECH model or apprenticeship program. We want to attract people re-entering the workforce or relaunching their careers, and we want to create more jobs for people in parts of the world where tech jobs are scarce. This is about creating tech career opportunities outside the traditional areas. The big picture: IBM has a program for anyone seeking a role in IT.

IBM has developed a broad strategy to rapidly build skills through multiple channels:

  • IBM Skills Gateway: Hosts one of the largest IT training programs in the world and a network of Global Training Providers who provide skills development programs at every level.
  • IBM Skills: Thousands of online courses, free training programs and custom enterprise offerings.
  • SkillsBuild: Provides jobseekers, including those with long-term unemployment, refugees, asylum seekers and veterans, with assessments, training, personalized coaching and the experiential learning they need to re-enter the workforce.
  • Coursera: Certificate Programs, like the IBM Customer Engagement Program, develop skills fast to land a good-paying job.
  • P-TECH: Extends the typical four-year high school to create a seamless six-year academic experience to earn an industry-recognized, two-year post-secondary degree, as well as a high school diploma.
  • IBM Skills Academy: Provides IT training through a network of higher education institutions.
  • IBM Apprenticeships: Allows candidates to develop skills and make real-world contributions – all while earning a paycheck.

David Leaser is the senior executive of strategic growth initiatives for IBM’s Training & Skills program. Leaser developed IBM’s first cloud-based embedded learning solution and is the founder of the IBM Digital Badge program. He is a Fellow at Northeastern University and a member of the IMS Global Consortium Board advisory group for digital credentials. David has provided guidance to the US Department of Labor and the US Department of Education as an employer subject matter expert. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Pepperdine University and a Master’s Degree from USC’s Annenberg School. Connect with David on LinkedIn and on Twitter.  The views expressed here are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of IBM.


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