Future of Work
Why should You Be Optimistic About the Future of Work?
Why should You Be Optimistic About the Future of Work?
May 2, 2024
The path to a fulfilling life seems increasingly elusive for many. A major concern driving this trend is the limited opportunities for stable, meaningful work, which often favor individuals with specific skills and living in certain regions.

We need a future where everyone has access to a variety of job opportunities, not just a select few.
Why Reskilling Matters: Insights from “Towards a Reskilling Revolution: A Future of Jobs for All”
1. New Job Opportunities Exist
While stepping out of our comfort zone may be challenging, there are tangible opportunities awaiting us. According to WE Forum report, with adequate reskilling, the average US worker can choose from 48 “good-fit” new career paths. Growth is anticipated in various sectors, including IT, infrastructure, health, and education. The future of work is in our hands; we can shape how technology enhances work opportunities rather than diminishes them.
2. The Need for a Reskilling Revolution
One of the primary reasons for concern about the future of work is the lack of robust reskilling mechanisms for adults in many economies. Social mobility through education has traditionally been something established early in life. A reskilling revolution is essential to broaden opportunities for everyone, including the three billion workers in the global labor force.
3. The Returns of the Reskilling Revolution
To realize this vision, leaders and workers must be willing to invest in upskilling and reskilling. The benefits are substantial, with retrained workers potentially seeing an average wage increase of $15,000. Businesses will benefit from a skilled workforce, particularly in roles that would otherwise remain vacant. For governments, closing skills gaps can be a high-return investment for growth and social cohesion.
4. Harnessing Data for Job Transitions
WE Forum report offers a range of job transition maps based on data collaboration, outlining viable retraining options for workers in declining job types. For instance, assembly line workers can explore 59 alternative career pathways, while cashiers displaced by automation can consider roles in food services, becoming baristas or shop managers, or become travel clerks and travel agents.
5. Gender Equality in Reskilling
Currently, men and women facing displacement have significantly different job opportunities. Women have about half the opportunities that men have. By adopting a gender-disaggregated approach to reskilling, we can narrow this opportunity gap, with 74% of at-risk women benefiting from combined reskilling and job transitions, compared to 53% of men.
6. The Coordination Challenge for Job Transitions
By 2026, without retraining, 16% of displaced US workers would face a dead-end, and one in four would have at most three potential job transitions. However, with reskilling, over 95% of displaced workers could transition into growing, usually higher-income jobs. This requires 70% of affected workers to retrain in a new job “family” or career. Addressing this coordination challenge requires concerted efforts from businesses, policymakers, and various stakeholders to rethink workforce planning and collaborate effectively.
We can Shape and Adapt to the Future of Work
The future of work is not set in stone; it’s a landscape we can shape and adapt to.
With the right investments in reskilling and a collaborative approach, we can create a future of jobs for all, bridging the skills gap and fostering social cohesion and growth.

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