The rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology and the Internet-of-Things (IoT) is giving rise to a fourth industrial revolution which is already having a fundamental impact on the nature of work and the supply & demand in labor markets; the trend is set to accelerate in the coming years. Indeed, according to the World Economic Forum’s "Future or Work Report 2020" , 67% of current work tasks are done by humans and 33% are automated through machines and algorithms. By 2025, the rate of automation of current work tasks will grow to 47% i.e., almost half of all work tasks. According to the same report, by 2025, 85 million jobs globally may be displaced, while 97 million new roles may emerge as a result of a new division of labor between humans, machines and algorithms. This means the overall rate of job creation is predicted to be positive, but larger numbers of current workers will need to be reskilled for new jobs.
For hundreds of years, most people remained in the same employment throughout their working life. Driven by technological advances and globalization in the past few decades, most people are now expected to change jobs several times during their working life (see Figure 1). This change can either happen with the same employer and/or across multiple employers. This career path is often referred to as a set of “tours of duty” . During a tour of duty (lasting several years on average) a worker produces tangible achievements in a particular line of business before pivoting to the next tour of duty either within the same organization or outside. Such approach allows individuals to build a portfolio of competencies over time.
Note that this shift is giving rise to horizontal market employment whereby a worker’s value serves multiple vertical markets, which potentially gives employees a greater degree of employability and flexibility either as part of a horizontally focused company/institution (e.g., a cloud service provider) or through freelancing and independent contracting. It also gives employers great flexibility and access to a potentially wider pool of talent, although compliance issues e.g., to do with employment rights and taxation across jurisdictions, and export controls, need to be looked at carefully.
Nonetheless, the COVID-19 crisis and ensuing acceleration of remote working will probably grow this type of employment further in the future.
Figure 1. (a) Traditional employment (b) Modern employment
Addressing the above shift requires the proper education and skilling of new entrants to the job market (to meet the right jobs of the future) as well as reskilling existing workforce away from destructed jobs into newly created ones. Higher and further education institutions, alongside industry, policy makers and the third sector, have a pivotal role to play in this regard. In particular, the future proofing of the world of education and training is an economic imperative.
To do that, the community needs to build competency models for job roles . Such competency models include the set of knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors required from workers to perform at an expected level. For instance, the aforementioned future of jobs survey  revealed the following top skills (/attitudes/behaviors) for 2025.
Analytical thinking and innovation
Active learning and learning strategies
Critical thinking and analysis
Creativity, originality and initiative
Leadership and social influence
Technology use, monitoring and control
Technology design and programming
Resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility
Reasoning, problem-solving and ideation
Troubleshooting and user experience
Systems analysis and evaluation
Persuasion and negotiation
Table 1. Top 15 skills (/attitudes/behaviors) for 2025 
The same survey revealed the following job clusters as growth areas for employment in the future.
Figure 2. Job clusters of the future 
Such requirement gathering should be performed regularly (by policy makers, industry, the third sector, educational and training organizations) and fed back to talent development units within companies as many new roles can be filled by reskilling existing workforce, especially those whose job roles have been destructed by the evolving nature of work. The same requirements should be fed back openly to educational and training organizations as they prepare new entrants or re-entrants to the job market. This cycle needs to be accelerated considerably if we are to plug the growing mismatch between demand and supply in the modern job market.
Below are some open questions that the community needs to answer, collectively:
Let us know what you think in the comments section below, or by emailing us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
 World Economic Forum, “The Future of Jobs Report”, 2000, Web: https://www.weforum.org/reports/the-future-of-jobs-report-2020
 R. Hoffman, Ben. Casnocha, C. Yeh, “Tours of Duty: The New Employer-Employee Compact”, 2013, Harvard Business Review, Human Resource Management.
 K. Benkrid, “Talent Multiplication: The Holy Grail Of Modern Organizations”, 2020, Web: https://community.arm.com/education-hub/b/khaled-benkrid/posts/talent-multiplication-the-holy-grail-of-modern-organizations
Completely agree Nick, a structured and well funded framework for lifelong learning is necessary. There is no shortage of ideas there but a lack of long term stability, attention to detail and execution focus have meant that we're still struggling with this problem. Your last point about agree discrimination is poignant - I think the lack of rigorous competency models means that wider knowledge, behaviours and attitudes (which people develop with experience) are often neglected when it comes to recruitment, staff appraisals and remuneration.
A thought provoking article. Many economic and societal challenges exist alongside this. As an academic in Higher Education, it's apparent how challenging it is for a mature student (mid career or change) to take time out to become a student. Loaded with financial responsibility, full-time studies is often not viable for many. There are Masters programmes and CPD courses, but I wonder if even this is always viable given the time commitment. I love the idea of lifelong learning, but funding this is a challenge. Maybe the new online model is the opportunity here? Employers may also play a key role here. For Universities to invest, they need to understand what is in demand to make courses viable. I think we know some of this. I would embrace a tighter relationship between academia and industry, so that we can support each other. For example, I like the idea of taking regular sabbaticals so that I am exposed to industry, but I suggest for most academics all over the world, work commitments and workload make this very difficult. A final point is one of age discrimination. Older people tend to be more expensive as they come with family commitments. One would hope that the value of experience is recognised, but I've observed how this is a real concern for mature students.