In Focus: Upgrading Skills Imperative to Filling Jobs of Today, Future

By Kathy Gurchiek Apr 6, 2017

Work is changing, causing a gap between job seekers and job vacancies, according to Aparna Mathur, a Resident Scholar with the American Enterprise Institute.

She was among experts speaking before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, during an examination of the abilities of U.S. workforce and what jobs may be in demand in the future.

There are a lot of skill-intensive jobs being created in America, but they require "upgrading the skills of the existing workforce so they can more easily match" with these jobs, Mathur said in an EEOC news release.  She also discussed the impact of technology, and removing barriers for people with disabilities as areas where policymakers could have a positive impact on strengthening the nation's workforce.

Others speaking before the commissioners cited the so-called skills gap and discussed the benefits of apprenticeship programs as a driver of training for the skills employers need.  

Kenneth Rigmaiden, president of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, praised apprenticeship programs and joint labor-management structures that ensure that the training of workers is directly connected to market needs. Because these programs are funded by local employers, individuals are only trained if the employers have job vacancies.  

"This market-oriented approach ensures that our programs are designed to fill the jobs of today, tomorrow and five years from now," he said in a news release.  

What Will the Jobs of the Future Look Like?

A lot of new jobs are actually evolutions of existing jobs or professions, one executive tells the BBC in this video.

The Best of the Best U.S. Jobs Are Tech, Tech and Tech, Again

Jobs that require a range of STEM skills (science, technology, engineering and math) claimed 14 spots in Glassdoor's new "50 Best Jobs in America" survey. That includes the top-seeded position: Data scientist, a job in which you employ considerable math and computer programming skills to wrestle huge amounts of raw data into intelligible and useful data sets.
(USA Today

[SHRM members-only toolkit: Staffing in Special Markets: Technology Professionals]

Best Jo
bs in America

CNNMoney/PayScale lists the top 100 careers with big growth, great pay and satisfying work. 

U.S. Workers Face Higher Risk of Being Replaced by Robots. Here's Why.

Thirty-eight percent of jobs in the U.S. are at high risk of being replaced by robots and artificial intelligence over the next 15 years, according to a new report by PwC. The changing workforce will create more jobs in the future, but they'll likely go to higher skilled workers, according to John Hawksworth, PwC's chief economist in the U.K.  

11 Really Cool Jobs That Don't Exist Today, but Will Soon

The World Economic Forum reported that humanity would be out 7 million jobs by 2020 due to automation—with admin and office jobs taking the brunt of the blow. But there's an upside: The study also reports 2 million jobs will be created through technological advances.

These Will be the Top Jobs in 2020 (And the Skills You'll Need to Get Them)

Here are six skill areas that the experts recommend, as well some of the strongest job-growth categories, as defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other sources–that relate to them. 
(Fast Company)  

8 Jobs Every Company Will Be Hiring For by 2020

The report "The Future of Jobs" looks at some of the job categories that are expected to see growth. The findings are based on a survey of executives from more than 350 employers across nine industries in 15 of the world's largest economies. Here's a look at some of the job categories that are expected to see growth.
(World Economic Forum)

Was this article useful? SHRM offers thousands of tools, templates and other exclusive member benefits, including compliance updates, sample policies, HR expert advice, education discounts, a growing online member community and much more. Join/Renew Now and let SHRM help you work smarter.


Job Finder

Find an HR Job Near You
Post a Job

HR Professional Development Education in a City Near You

SHRM Seminars are coming to cities across the US this fall.

Find a Seminar


Find the Right Vendor for Your HR Needs

SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 10,000 companies

Search & Connect