Future-Proofing Your Paycheck

Jan 12, 2017

“Global growth continues, but at an increasingly disappointing pace that leaves the world economy more exposed to negative risks,”

- Maurice Obstfeld, Chief Economist, IMF

January 12, 2017 -Regular sectoral setbacks in almost major world economy ever since the Great Recession has hindered job creation at par with the number of aspirants entering the workforce every year- and the results are there for all to see. The Sustained Economic Global growth outlook by AT Kearney’s Global Business Policy Council in 2016 introduces the term “Renewed Normal” for the post-recession era, where risks abound, especially in terms of conventional jobs that are increasingly being made redundant due to automation and offshoring of the services sector, which in itself is nothing new in the flat world. Volatile geo-politics, however, have seen a polarization of job categories and prospects for the young workforce, the likes of which have never been seen before.

A Storm Coming?
The World Economic Forum’s overall employment outlook between 2015-2020 shows 4 million+ job cuts in the office and administrative sector, followed by 1.5 million+ in manufacturing and production, the highest among conventional job families. These are followed by Construction, Arts, Legal and Facilities/Maintenance. The impact of the World Economic Forum’s research into more than 15 major economies show a massive 7.1 million jobs with a total disruption among these economies

It is time for the naysayers of disruptive technology adoption to sit up and take notice. “The Renewed Normal”, will see governments throughout the developed world and emerging economies grapple with policy making, reduced fiscal stimulus and structural reforms, even as they come to terms with the renewed normal geo-political and socio economic circumstances.

Employer Frugality?
The first casualty, as it usually is, will be the private sector. With reduced consumer spend and global business fragmentation that the new sharing economy has caused, employers are looking for the maximum bang for their buck in potential hires. Selection process and screening at the micro level have become more thorough and demanding than ever seen in the past two decades of unbridled growth. Companies across the world are slimming down, incinerating the excesses they have accumulated. Some of the largest companies across sectors, ranging from Exxon Mobil and Conoco Philips in Oil and Gas who are in the process of selling off assets and laying off workers, to HP, which is in the midst of a massive restructuring exercise and has already separated itself into two corporate entities, having laid off 80, 000 workers in its efforts to becoming a lean corporation for the proverbial “new world”.

The Silver Lining
All is not gloom and doom, however. The AT Kearney Global Economic Outlook report states that the Global Economy is transitioning from a recessive period to that of a sustained growth. This is primarily led on by the emergence of the new technologies and systems, the skill-demand for which has been aptly labelled by McKinsey as “the war for talent”. From Big Data Analytics to the Industrial Internet of Things and even the consumer driven Wearable Devices markets, the demand for skilled and capable professionals is beyond doubt or argument. Emerging economies are gaining on the share of the pie, with reports stating a 53% increase in global economic output as opposed to 47% by the developed world by 2020. This means millions of jobs being created in the areas of Artificial Intelligence, Big Data Analytics, mobile technologies, which together comprise more than 40% of the present global technology market- and the demand for skilled professionals with capability credentials is soaring higher with each passing day.

Shock and Awe
The contrast in compensation on offer is stark. Across the world. Big Data Professionals earn 30% more than their other IT counterparts, closely followed by cloud computing and Systems Architecture. Newer, more agile startups are offering up to 40% more in terms of net compensation to win the talent war over their bigger, archaic counterparts. An awe inspiring $ 124,000 was the median advertised salary level for Big Data Scientists in 2016, while it was an average of $ 116,000 for cloud computing professionals – a 6.1% YoY growth rate over the previous year – and we’re talking median, here. Not the upper variances.

Here’s the shocker – salaries for administrative functions fell by more than 32% in the same time period and the average salaries for other professions-including sectors such as finance, media, retail and manufacturing are also expected to fall as much as 9% over the next eight years.

Future Proofing
Get skilled in the areas that matter, and get a validation that will stand you apart from the herd. Global trends, as noted in almost every multinational’s hiring patterns over the past three years, have seen rapidly increasing emphasis on professional credentials and job-skill certification and less in run-of-the-mill academic qualifications. Getting a certification in emerging high-demand areas is the best insurance you can take on your CV. Be the chosen one. Get your credential.

Source: AT Kearney, World Economic Forum. Glassdoor.com, Forbes.com.

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