Header Knowledge Hub for Emotional Motivators Article Zulla Consulting

Will you still have a job in 2020?

Future of jobs and manufacturing – what you´ll need to thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution!

It is undeniable and proved by countless recent studies that disruptive changes we are facing today will have a profound impact on employment and business models over the coming years. With the fourth industrial revolution, the pace of change is set to accelerate even more and we will see not only significant job displacement but also creation.

It has been estimated that 65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don’t yet exist. Therefore, it is crucial to anticipate and prepare for future skills requirements and employment landscape.

Drivers of change

Apart from understanding how our lives and work will change, it is crucial to also understand what factors drive this change. Here is a short list:

  • Extreme longevity: it has been estimated that by 2025, the Americans over 60 will increase by 70%. As we will live longer, it will be important to reconsider our life standards;
  • Smart machines and systems: with automation and digitalization repetitive jobs will no longer exist;
  • Data analytics and computational world: the data will give us the ability to see and analyze our reality on a scale that was not possible before;
  • Globally connected world: decentralized workplaces and global talent sourcing will require major adaptability skills and new business models.

The future of manufacturing

The manufacturing sector is the very core of the fourth industrial evolution, it will see changes not only on the technological level but also on the structural one:

  • most of the consumption will take place in developing economies as a new global consuming class will emerge;
  • fragmented demand in established markets as customers will ask for greater variation and more types of after-sales service;
  • highly detailed understanding of specific emerging markets, as well as the needs of their existing customers;
  • better R&D capabilities, as well as expertise in data analytics and product design.

To adapt to these changes, companies will need to focus on multiple internal areas. When viewed closely, these areas could be divided into areas that require immediate focus and areas of longer term focus:

Immediate focus:

  • Reinventing the HR function
  • Making use of data analytics
  • Talent diversity
  • Leveraging flexible working arrangements and online talent platforms

Longer term focus:

  • Rethinking education systems
  • Incentivizing lifelong learning
  • Cross-industry and public-private collaboration

Impact on employment

Over the period 2015–2020, these disruptive labour market changes could lead to a loss of more than 5.1 million jobs – two thirds of which are concentrated in routine white collar office functions, such as office and administrative roles. As some job roles, will disappear, some others, particularly in manufacturing and production, will be reinvented. Roles in these areas will be upskilled and redesigned through technological breakthroughs.

However, there also will be a total gain of 2 million new jobs in computer and mathematical, architecture and engineering related fields. Here is a preview of what these new job roles might look like:

  • data analysts: because of “data analytics and computational world”, companies will need professionals to derive insights from the torrent of data generated by technological disruptions;
  • specialized sales representatives: personalized and tailor-made offerings to enhance the customer experience but also to connect with them on a deeper level;
  • new type of senior manager: who will successfully steer companies through the upcoming change and disruption.

Not only the companies but also the individuals will have to acquire new skills and make major adjustments to fit into the new world. Some of the most wanted skills will include:

  • Complex problem solving;
  • Critical thinking;
  • People management;
  • Emotional intelligence;
  • Cognitive flexibility.

On average, by 2020, across all industries strong social and collaboration skills will be in higher demand than narrow technical skills, which are very important today.

Zulla Consulting & Partners with its strategic foresight and multiple years of experience will support your company by developing tailor-made solutions based on a wide series of methods and best practices identifying the customer satisfaction drives related to your business, as well as adapting to the needs that the digital era brings with it.

For additional information and an initial consultation, feel free to contact Daniele Zulla at zulla@zulla-consulting.com.


  • World Economic Forum; The Future of Jobs, Employment, Skills and Workforce Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, 2016;
  • The 10 skills you need to thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, on 25/10/2016; https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/01/the-10-skills-you-need-to-thrive-in-the-fourth-industrial-revolution/
  • McKinsey & Company; Manufacturing the future: The next era of global growth and innovation, 2012;

Download this Article


Download as pdf

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *