What jobs will graduates be doing in 5 years’ time?

young lady on a tablet

We all know that some jobs will become obsolete – it is hard to imagine that the final humans working at fast food restaurants won’t be replaced by robots as soon as it becomes financially viable. However, it is not just transient, repetitive jobs that are likely to decline. 

Career opportunities for graduates are evolving at a fast pace – in fact, 65% of today’s schoolchildren will eventually be employed in jobs that have yet to be created. It’s not all tech jobs emerging either – as we adapt to humans and robots working together, expect an increase in opportunities for psychologists too.

What jobs will graduates and school leavers be doing in the future?

Out with the old…

Some of the in-demand jobs we are recruiting for currently, such as Data Scientists, are likely to be replaced by robots (even if only the computer kind rather than the R2D2 kind) within years, rather than decades. Increasingly sophisticated AI tools such as Watson from IBM, are billed as ‘data scientists in a box’. Data analysis that would have taken a data scientist weeks or even months can be completed by Watson in seconds. 

Legal work requires judgement but is also highly repetitive, resulting in junior-level lawyers being at risk of automation. DoNotPay, the free chatbot lawyer that has helped overturn hundreds of thousands of parking tickets, is now targeting the divorce law industry.

Finance and payroll managers face high probability with over half the roles in these areas expected to be automated.

In with the new…

  • Virtual Designers
    Finally, virtual reality has become good enough not to make us feel queasy and is even trusted enough to be used in graduate assessment by Lloyds Banking Group. This new virtual world needs to be created and designed, introducing a new profession = virtual habitat designers.

  • Regulation and Policy Professionals
    As industries evolve and adopt and develop emerging technologies, companies will also be looking to hire those familiar with how to navigate the legal aspects. Graduates with an eye for detail will be in high demand.

  • Ethical Advisors
    Despite the press coverage of robots taking over, the reality is likely to be humans and robots working together (the AI pilots we have conducted at Resource Solutions have required an incredible amount of human intervention). However this ‘better together’ approach requires a moral compass, and this is one role which will certainly remain human.

  • Professional Coaches
    Graduates with Psychology degrees are expected to be in demand, as our relationships with people become more important, but also more complex.

What does this mean for graduate recruiters?

The key traits that will be valuable for employers are curiosity and flexibility, as many of the roles graduates undertake now slowly shift in focus, requiring graduates to seamlessly transition from one role function to another. 

The new wave of candidate assessment will change the early careers recruitment process, with skills such as risk propensity, innovation and entrepreneurship replacing more traditional assessments such as numerical reasoning.

Want to know more about emerging trends in the Early Careers space? Download our Next Generation Talent eBook.