How COVID-19 is changing the future job market and the skills required in different industries


Where will be the job opportunities post COVID-19? What are the skills that you need to learn and incorporate them in your professional life? Which job roles will be in-demand and which sectors will continue to grow? With all these questions in mind, the entire nation is going through the most uncertain times of the century. The changes that are happening in the midst of this crisis have created some major questions regarding the future jobs and the skills that will be in-demand. 

In this guest article, B. V. Sudharshan, Deputy Managing Director, Nettur Technical Training Foundation (NTTF) shares his views on the post COVID-19 impact on future jobs and the in-demand skills. 

Major factors that are disrupting the future job scenario

The unprecedented outbreak of COVID-19 is changing the nature of jobs to a great extent. 75 percent of India’s total population is under the working age. Before COVID-19, 40.4 crore Indians were employed. Two months into lockdown and about 12 crore people lost their jobs. There are lots of demographic, socio-economic and technological factors that are influencing the future jobs and skills. The three primary factors that are revolutionizing the future job scenario are:

  • Reverse globalization
  • Demographic changes
  • Adoption of exponential technologies by Indian industries

The job requirements will be redefined in the post COVID-19 scenario. The rate of change is so fast that the present jobs will demolish and new jobs will emerge. 

Industry 4.0 and required skills

With industry 4.0, the world is moving in the direction of major technological changes. The adoption of the latest technology like Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Robotics and Automation, and other tools and technologies have become inevitable. These technological advancements have contributed to making Smart Factories and work-places. It enables people to operate machines and continue most of the manufacturing process through an app, without being physically present at the Unit. Interdisciplinary collaboration, the linking of information and manufacturing technologies, and IT know-how will become increasingly important. The idea is that by utilizing data in a thoughtful manner driven by specific business goals, businesses will be able to gain new insights into their workflows and potentially add value. The technical skills that should be learned for the quick adaptation of Industry 4.0 are

  • Big Data
  • Augmented Reality
  • Additive Manufacturing
  • Autonomous Robots Simulation 
  • System Integration
  • IoT
  • Cybersecurity
  • Cloud

COVID-19Post COVID-19 job scenario

The wide acceptance of exponential technologies are creating humongous employment opportunities in various sectors. If these disruptive technologies are nurtured and supported, they have the potential to transform the job landscape in the country. The focus on automation is going to be extremely high as an after effect of COVID-19. 

While some sectors will be hard hit by the impact of this crisis, there are some major industries which will sustain the crisis and will grow even more in the post COVID-19 scenario. New job opportunities will be created in those sectors and some major job roles will be in demand.

Skills for future

Apart from technical skills, the future also needs cognitive skills. Soft skills will become really crucial for the future of work. Here are top 10 skills which will be required in the workplace:

  • Complex problem solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Creativity
  • People Management
  • Coordinating with others
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Judgement and decision making
  • Service orientation
  • Negotiation
  • Cognitive flexibility

The future is uncertain amid the crisis. The changes that are happening during the COVID-19 situation are going to be permanent. However, the human race has a tendency to fight and overcome any crisis. With our continuous effort, the COVID-19 will also get over. Till then we just need to learn and adapt to the major technological changes that are happening around us. The skills should be learned and consciously practiced. Learning is a continuous process and as Mahatma Gandhi has rightly said, “live as if you were to die tomorrow and learn as if you were to live forever”. 

Also read: Industry-Institute collaboration: The key to build Skilled India

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