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Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Strength through diversity: The case for hybridization

Want to protect your kid from the robot apocalypse? Ask yourself how they can mix creative and technical skills in new jobs. As markets evolve and competition for jobs increases, so must professionals diversify their skill sets to span the divide between what is technical and what is creative. This is the central premise of a Wall Street Journal piece citing a newly-published report from labor market analytics firm Burning Glass Technologies, which has coined the term “hybrid jobs” to describe positions that combine skills not usually found together — seen as increasingly desirable by employers.

Flexibility is the name of the game: Jobs requiring broad skill sets — such as an engineer with sales skills — grow at around double the rate of overall job growth between 2018 and 2028, and the people holding these positions will command a significantly higher earning power than those in more traditional structures. This process of hybridization is an opportunity, and “people in hybrid jobs are also less likely to become professionally obsolete. Highly hybridized jobs have only 12% risk of being automated, compared with a 42% risk for jobs overall,” Lauren Weber writes.

Throwing down the education gauntlet: With the increase in precarious employment felt across the board, in many ways we are living through a time of real professional anxiety — a reality that the piece implicitly acknowledges. We need to figure out effective ways of fostering these diverse skill sets, meaning a focus on continuous learning is key for individuals and a move away from vertical teaching structures is essential for institutions.

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