Artificial Intelligence Could Change the Highly Skilled Job Market

There's a lot of talk (and some fear, too) about how artificial intelligence will change the future of work. Whose jobs will be the most affected by the bots? The answer, according to a new study by the Brookings Institute, might surprise you (think white-collar). And it's all the more reason to focus on upskilling your workforce with verifiable skills.

First, the dread many people feel about the bots coming for jobs is a bit overblown. The influx of AI into the workforce feels futuristic and even sinister, but technology has been changing the way we work, and changing or even eliminating jobs, since the Industrial Revolution. Until now, much of that change came from automating unskilled jobs. Assembly jobs in the manufacturing industry have been streamlined with robotics, for example. But now, according to this new Brookings study, AI is poised to impact nearly 95 percent of all jobs, blue and white-collar alike. But it is highly skilled work, jobs that require intelligence and decision-making, that will be most affected.

The study, developed by a doctoral student at Stanford, actually used AI to study AI and identified "exposure scores" that measure the potential impact of AI on different types of jobs. It found that jobs performed by college graduates and people with more advanced degrees will be the most affected, including professional, scientific, and technical careers, and industries like medicine, finance, and insurance.

So, what does all of it mean in relation to your workforce?

Skills-based hiring. The focus on skills will continue to rise in importance. Because we don't know the extent to which jobs are going to change, hiring for the skills it takes to make your company continue to hum along profitably now and in the future will be the paramount concern. Rather than hiring simply on the basis of education and experience, it means digging deeper into what, exactly, candidates have learned from that experience. What skills did they acquire along the way? How can you be sure? (Hint: digital credentials).

Internal career development. Predicting the future of work when your organization doesn't have a crystal ball is a problem that organizations around the globe are currently battling. Because of AI, it's more difficult to see what we may be facing in our workplaces five or 10 years down the road. But what's certain is the need for skilled workers. Ensuring that your workforce is as skilled as possible is the best way to position your company to pivot on a dime when technology changes the way jobs are done. This includes emotional skills as well as technical skills.

Employee engagement. By offering a digital badging program, you will give your employees the opportunity to become more engaged and motivated to increase their skills. It's a win-win for your organization — engaged employees and a highly skilled workforce. Digital credentials also give hiring managers insight into which employees are ready for promotion, saving time and resources on hiring external candidates.

Credly is trusted by Oracle, Adobe, IBM, Dell, and other tech giants, the very industries that AI is poised to disrupt. Contact us today to find out how digital credentials can help your company thrive in this new Industrial Revolution.

By Patricia Diaz