Following on from their automation report back in January, McKinsey has released a new report on the future of work this week. This holds weighty predictions for how technology, particularly automation, will shape the workforce of tomorrow.

We might soon be facing a change on the scale of the past revolutions in agriculture and manufacturing or so they say. A significant number of new jobs will be created and will replace many older activities taken over by automation. In January, McKinsey suggested 1/3 of activities in 60% of occupations could be automated. This would make for a significant transformation in working lives. We could well imagine certain roles being combined as automated tasks take up far less time. It’s unclear though how quickly automation will be adopted, with multiple factors including the benefits and costs associated with development and deployment of these new solutions, labour-market dynamics, regulatory and social acceptance coming into play.

So which roles are to disappear and which are to be pulled out of the future’s top hat?

The big new prediction was that as many as 375 million workers around the world might need to switch occupation and learn new skills. Certain physical tasks, collecting and processing data and back office admin can already be done far more efficiently by machines. This leaves us humans to devote our time to people management, building and applying expertise and to effective communication.  Social and emotional skills, logical reasoning and creativity are where we can excel.

Under automation, occupations requiring a weaker educational background may well decline, with instead a rise in the number of jobs requiring university education or higher. Technology and IT Services, Healthcare, Education, Construction and Creative industries have the highest percentage job growth net of automation. The boost to productivity and economic growth delivered by Automation and AI will be good news in general, and in emerging economies the increase in global consumption will make them more profitable markets.

Spending on technology will predictably keep rising, so the IT and Technology industry remains a great place to be a marketer. The faster pace of change is also less likely to daunt marketers, whose profession has been massively transformed in the last few decades. The push to constantly update skillsets and adapt to new tech is one you all know well. In recent years, many marketers have fully integrated marketing automation software into their strategy and have been pulling important insights from big data. Some marketers are even grappling with the likes of VR/AR, chatbots and AI & machine learning. Indeed we’re seeing more clients seeking for such technical expertise, and even a couple of roles where an understanding of the Internet of Things was fundamental! The future calls for technology marketers to take a futurist mind set, to develop a fearless adaptability and openness to change and to hone their technical expertise.

If you’re a forward-thinking technology marketer looking for a new challenging role, or a client looking to future-proof your business with new marketing talent from within the technology sector, contact us on 01932 253 352 or email Melvin on

With expertise in both permanent and contract marketing recruitment at all levels from marketing executive through to CMO, a worldwide remit and a dedicated focus on the technology sector, we’re an excellent strategic choice of recruitment partner.

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