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The Future of Work for Veterans - Part 2

In this four-part series, we will continue to look at the future of work through 2030, and how today’s active duty military and veterans can prepare to be global-workplace ready. 

Education is king and queen in the future workforce 

Just as how useful content is the king on the Internet, education will be the king and queen in the workforce by 2030.

Forbes magazine contributor—Jeffrey Dorfman in his article—Dispelling the Myth of Underemployed College Graduates, he crunched the numbers for us. It turns out that our anecdotal impressions and even some news reports that perpetuate the “useless college degree,” myth is partly urban-legend and a bit of fake news.

In a 2017 bureau of labor statistics report reflecting data from 2016, it turns out that only one in 40 college graduates are unemployed, with a 2.5% unemployment rate.

Now that you have the facts on the current unemployment rate for college graduates you will not kill the messenger when I say this.

Being prepared for the 2030 workforce may mean that you will have to go to college or go back to college to acquire new technical skills.

According to a June 2018, executive brief put out by the McKinsey Global Institute, “…Our new research estimates that between almost zero and 30 percent of the hours worked globally could be automated by 2030, depending on the speed of adoption.”

Using an automation adoption model there is the potential that 38.6Million full-time employees in America could be displaced by automation as soon as 2030.

The possibility of increased automation in the workplace varies by sector, country, and occupation—although the focus of this article is on the U.S. workforce. The kind of work that is most susceptible to automation is:

Physical work performed in predictable environments:

  • Assembly work.
  • Food preparation.
  • Machine operations.

Collecting and processing data, such as in loan origination.

Automation in these sectors could mean that workers will be used to perform other tasks, rather than being displaced by automation altogether.

What this should signal for you is not panic, but a need for preparation.

You should be looking for the disruptive trends within your organization and your career field. Use the trend data to determine what new skill, certification, and or degree you should be pursuing now to remain relevant in the workforce of the future.

The future impact of automation on the workforce 

Occupations that currently do not require a college degree will decline in numbers as automation is further implemented.

Jobs that currently require a college degree will grow. And, in some cases, the need for an undergraduate degree will be replaced by the requirement for an advanced degree.

At work, people will spend less time on physical and repetitive tasks and processing data. More of a person’s work hours will be spent on logical reasoning, communication, human interaction, management activities, and creativity related tasks.

Emotional intelligence skills will be in high demand as these are areas where machines currently do not excel.

Preparing for the jobs of the future in three easy steps

Preparing for the future workforce does not necessarily mean that you have to leave your industry or the organization that you currently work for.

Here are three steps that you can take today to prepare for the workforce in 2030.

  1. Do I love what I do to make money? Ask yourself if you are doing the work that you love. If the answer is no, find out what your passion is. Usually, your passions are in your hobbies and volunteer work—if not in your day job.
  2. What kind of work and at which organization? What job would you do that would not feel like work?
  3. Take advantage of disruptive trends today. Plan to take advantage of disruptive trends in your current or future industry. What AI, automation or big data trend do you foresee in your job? How will it change the way that you work? What skill or coursework could you take today to prepare you for the future changes in your industry?

You can learn more veteran-centered, life hacks and get a free eBook at https://www.antoinettetoscano.com/new-normal-big-life.

In our next installment, we will discuss the benefits of artificial intelligence and automation to users and businesses.

Visit our job board regularly to find companies that have positions available offering veterans jobs, and follow our blog and social media profiles to get news of job fairs in your area.     

About the Author: Antoinette Lee Toscano proudly served in the United States Army during the Gulf War era, for eleven years as a database administrator, dental clinic manager, Army recruiter, dental assistant, dental hygienist and an air assault qualified, expert field medic throughout her military career.