A recently released World Economic Forum (WEF) report, in collaboration with Chulalongkorn Business School, highlighting the impending disappearance of traditional clerical positions due to technological disruptions highlights the need to train specialised individuals to drive future business growth.
According to the Future of Jobs Report 2023, the nature of job opportunities in the next five years will no longer be focused on operational tasks, resulting in an estimated 83 million job losses. Instead, employers are seeking individuals with a holistic approach to learning, combining strategic and creative thinking with innovation and technology to achieve exceptional business outcomes.
The report, conducted in collaboration with Chulalongkorn Business School, surveyed CEOs and Human Resources directors from 80 prominent companies in Thailand's merchandise, service, manufacturing, and agriculture sectors.
Prof. Wilert Puriwat, the Dean of Chulalongkorn Business School at Chulalongkorn University, explained that the faculty is the sole academic institution in the country working in partnership with the prestigious World Economic Forum. Their collaboration involves contributing to numerous global economic reports such as the Global Competitiveness Report 2019, Travel and Tourism Development Index 2021, and Markets of Tomorrow Report 2023.
Prof. Wilert Puriwat
Regarding the latest report, Prof. Wilert noted that the global survey revealed a growing emphasis on strong cognitive skills by employers, underscoring the increasing importance of complex problem-solving in the workplace. Analytical and creative thinking are identified as the most crucial skills for workers in 2023, expected to remain in demand over the next five years. Furthermore, technological literacy, particularly in areas like AI and big data, will become increasingly vital, leading companies to prioritise these skills in their talent strategies.
The report indicates that the most rapidly expanding roles are driven by technology and digitalisation. Big data stands out as the technology expected to create the most jobs, with 65% of global survey respondents anticipating job growth in related fields. Employment opportunities for data analysts and scientists, big data specialists, AI machine learning specialists, and cybersecurity professionals are projected to grow by an average of 30% by 2027. Additionally, there is a rising demand for sustainable specialists due to concerns about global warming. Conversely, job roles related to operational tasks, such as data entry clerks, administrative and executive secretaries, accounting and bookkeeping clerks, and security guards, are expected to decline at a rapid pace.
The Future of Jobs Survey consolidates insights from 803 global companies, representing over 11.3 million workers across 27 industry clusters and 45 economies worldwide. The survey predicts a 23% shift in job roles by 2027, resulting in the creation of 69 million new jobs and the elimination of 83 million positions, representing a 2% decline from the current 673 million jobs.
The report also reveals that jobs related to sustainability are projected to create over one million positions, representing a 33% increase. This is followed by four million jobs in the smart farming technology sector, indicating a 30% growth, and three million jobs in the education sector, indicating a 10% increase by the year 2027.
Prof. Wilert emphasised that the future job trend signifies a significant turning point for the education system in the country, necessitating a transformative approach. He highlighted that the role of education in providing knowledge and skills is being disrupted by global changes, noting that knowledge can now be found anywhere on the internet. Therefore, educational institutions should go beyond being mere demonstrators and become talent incubators, skill enhancers, and developers of insights for students.
He further suggested that educational institutions should modify existing subjects or introduce new courses to prepare students for meeting the in-depth requirements of future jobs. He mentioned that Chulalongkorn University has taken a step forward in becoming an educational incubator by sharing experiences and expertise gained through research collaborations with leading international agencies.
"In the future, what we need are individuals who possess holistic learning abilities and can exercise critical and creative thinking effectively," he stated. "These individuals should be capable of generating winning solutions based on a well-rounded understanding of all relevant sciences. Educational institutes should play a key role in incubating students to meet the demands of future jobs."
Prof. Wilert also emphasised the importance of positive motivation from the government in creating an environment conducive to transforming education. He noted that regardless of the governing party, the government should prioritise the country's overall benefit and develop a winning strategy for all Thai people, rather than focusing on the interests of a single political party.
Chulalongkorn Business School recently launched the Future of Jobs Report 2023 during the "Future of Jobs, Future Skills for Thai Education" event. The report aims to inform the public about the changing job opportunities in the future and emphasises the need for students to upgrade their skills to become specialists in a world where traditional careers are disrupted by AI and technology.