Muscat: Youth in Oman are ready to take on the jobs of the future, say economists and tech experts in the country, as global advances will influence the nature of work in the future, and the way they do it.
Jobs in the near future will span at least 10 sectors, said the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation (MOHERI), citing international reports that featured projections of how the digital economy is expected to impact lives.
“The Sultanate of Oman is ready for what is to come,” said Khalfan Al Toqi, an economist in the country. “There are programmes that some parties are currently carrying out and others that need to be worked on. There needs to be cooperation to review current plans to enrich the objectives of what they must do, especially when it comes to technology and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
What needs to be done
“Initiatives need to be developed and agreements signed with other countries in the areas of joint cooperation, while enriching the content of school curricula,” he explained. “This development must not stop, but rather multiply and remain in the minds and in the aspirations of our young generations, as they are the future, whether inside or outside Oman.”
Skilled people who can take up jobs in programming, information security, data analysis, alternative energy, international law, 3D printing, distance education, marketing, personal consultancy and financial planning, will be valued in future, said the ministry, in its report published in Scientific Insights, its monthly magazine.
“There are several social, economic and technological factors that will contribute to changing the future of jobs in the short term, and the importance of each of these factors has been determined, as they have varying degrees of impact,” said Dr Zahra Al Rawahi, the CEO of Artificial Intelligence Academy. “Forty-four percent of change is due to evolving work environment, 23 percent is related to the rise of the middle class in emerging economies, 23 percent due to climate change and the lack of natural resources and 21 percent due to geopolitical changes.”
In this context, Al Toqi added: “The quality of a typical job will shift or disappear faster than we expect, and these roles will fade away. Reflecting over the past ten years and seeing the qualitative shift in the way we have been working, we notice the transformation was gradual, but the transformation of future jobs will be quicker.
“This is evident when dealing with the current generation, whose thinking processes are completely different due to their exposure to various technical developments,” he added.
“In the past, people dreamed of being employed as an engineer, pilot or doctor, but now those aspirations are being replaced with being a YouTuber or a blogger.”
Al Rawahi said the future of humans will be very different from the world we know today, revealing that by 2025, 10 percent of the clothes that people wear would be connected to the Internet of Things, and the robot would be an active member of the boards of directors of institutions. It is expected that livers made from 3D printers will be transplanted into patients requiring them.
Global digital platforms
The world will also witness the emergence of global digital platforms and new models in production, as platforms are connecting people more quickly than ever before: This provides economic opportunities for millions of people, regardless of where they live. Future jobs will require more investment in building qualified human capabilities, capable of creativity and innovation and able to adapt to the changing nature of business.
“Companies and organisations must boost innovation and make it their top priority to handle such matters,’’ said Al Rawahi. “As revealed in ‘The Future of Jobs’ report released by the World Economic Forum, 85 percent of future jobs and businesses are unknown today. A group of social, demographic and economic factors will come together in the coming years to impact the labour market leading to the growth of new professions and decline in some current jobs.”
Furthermore, Khalid Al Huraibi, a writer and entrepreneur in the country, added that companies need to understand the value of investing in selection, training, hiring, developing and retaining skilled teams of workers in today’s competitive world.
He said: “Current generations will be able to exchange knowledge to build an infrastructure for a data-driven economy that enables the Omani society to continue their historical mission of adding value to the globe as they did in the past, for example, by inventing methods and implements that enabled them to adapt to the rich nature of Oman.”
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