A report entitled The Future of Jobs by the World Economic Forum concluded this week that up to 7.1 million jobs are at risk of being lost by 2020, as a result of developments in technology and major demographic shifts. White-collar jobs are expected to take the biggest hit as the labour market adjusts over the next four years.

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Growth can be expected, however, in specific sectors as the job market evolves with new technology and demand for innovation. Here’s a prediction of the jobs that will be in high demand by 2020.

IT and mathematics

It is all but guaranteed that jobs that fall under the IT and mathematics bracket – including software developers, computer programmers and security analysts – will continue to be a focus of growth over the next few years, as overall demand for systems and applications increases. CareerCast’s 2015 Jobs Rated Report claims that these jobs are set to experience a growth rate of at least 20% by 2022.

Data analysts

Radical changes in technology are expected to fuel the demand for data analysts across all industries to interpret new data. As the world becomes more and more data driven, with companies collecting vast databases that are virtually unreadable, analysts will be in demand to turn that information into profit for businesses.

Product designers

Commercial and industrial designers will fare well as the job market changes over the next few years. Consumer demand for new product styles and high-technology products will drive the creation of more computer-aided design jobs. Creativity continues to be one of the most desirable skills in the development of products such as cars and gadgets.

Architects and engineers

Skilled workers in the fields of architecture and engineering will continue to be in demand as infrastructure and technology evolve. According to the WEF’s report, the sectors that should expect to see the most growth by 2020 are: robotics, nanotechnology, materials and biochemicals.


As industries continue to be disrupted by innovation in technology and communication, specialised sales jobs will be need to be created to bridge the gap between the production of the technology and its consumers. This new sales style will involve the ability to sell to different types of clients, and will require employees to demonstrate in-depth knowledge of a specific service, such as content marketing or mobile advertising.

Human resources

The shift in the employment landscape will necessarily result in the need to re-train workers to take on new skill sets. Human resources and development specialists will be integral to that change, both for hiring in a newly competitive market and for ‘re-skilling’ employees that businesses wish to retain.

Senior managers

The WEF report states that a new type of senior manager will emerge as businesses try to work their way through a time of disruptive change. These managers will have to consider overarching goals and concerns, as well as create effective organisational processes, and will be primarily required across industries including information, media and entertainment.

Regulators and government relationship experts

As businesses begin to work with previously unseen technologies, it will be essential that they are protected from a legal standpoint. Regulators and government relationship experts will be invaluable to navigating the lawful and moral implementation of new technology.

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