65 Percent of Today’s Students Will Be Employed in Jobs That Don’t Exist Yet

We don't struggle with the job market, we define it.

65 Percent of Today’s Students Will Be Employed in Jobs That Don’t Exist Yet

Yes – you read that right. 65 percent of today’s schoolchildren will eventually be employed in jobs that have yet to be created, according to this U.S. Department of Labor report. That also means that many currently employed workers for the first time since the industrial revolution must be thinking about what they will do to make a living 10 to 20 years from now. Rapid technological change is changing the skill requirements for most jobs. Just as manufacturing saw a shift from 80 percent unskilled jobs just 30 years ago to 12 percent today, the next decade will see a shakeout of unskilled jobs in early every industry.

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Technology has already eradicated many jobs. For example, the elevator operator, pinsetter, copy boy, iceman, milkman, switchboard operator, typist, telegraph operator – all jobs that are almost extinct. The list is growing longer day by day.

Both educators and businesses have a daunting task ahead of them: teach students and employees skills to solve problems we’ve never seen before and won’t see for years.

Many other jobs may stick around for a while but expectations and qualifications will evolve. Consider the librarian. Digitization and the Internet require less of a need for a person to be physically present. But research of a vast collection of resources and information is daunting for many people. The librarian of the past was an expert with the Dewey Decimal System. The new librarian will be a digital archivist, savvy with searches, keywords and helpful websites.

Stock brokers and accountants beware too. A stock broker used to be the go-to person to handle all of your investments. Today the order-take stock broker is a dinosaur. The same goes for the tax-preparing accountant. Software and off-shoring has made preparation and filing tax forms easy. Consumers and businesses will retain accountants to offer them business and financial advice, not fill and file forms.

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“America is at the beginning of its third great technological revolution,” writes Ed Gordon in his soon to be released book Future Jobs. He predicts that major breakthroughs will produce new employment opportunities in:

  • Big Data
  • Nanoscience
  • 3-D Printing
  • Advanced Robotics

What jobs in your company will be extinct within the next 10 years? What jobs will be changed so much that current employees won’t qualify to be hired again? How will your business cope?

What are some of the new career possibilities? Here is a list of 8 new jobs people will have in 2025, at least according to a recent article in Fast Company.

The promises of science fiction are quickly becoming workday realities.

Learn more in this FREE ebook “When the SHIFT Hits Your Plan


Comments (4)

  1. Hannah Whitt
    Apr 21, 2017

    Where is the report? Which report is it? Can you link it? I’m not finding it on the DOL.

  2. May 22, 2017

    Hi Ira! Thanks for this sobering article. I can’t find the Department of US Labor official Report which reveals that “65 percent of today’s schoolchildren will eventually be employed in jobs that have yet to be created”.
    Could you please indicate where did you find this data ? Thanks !

  3. Chris Binge
    Nov 24, 2017

    It is well researched that no such report exists. Those who take the pain to cite a particular DOL report lead you to a report that makes no mention of this claim. I am sure Mr Wolfe has seen or heard this statistic in another article or video which purports to claim where it comes from and has not checked the source himself. He cannot have. There is no such report. In fact nobody is capable of tracing the source of this statistic and many have tried.
    The only study I can find that has tried to replicate the statistic comes up with an estimate that is well below half of the 65% claimed. It appears to e complete baloney.
    The claim with out the number seems to have first been made in 1957 about the job market then. See a fascinating article here https://www.jstor.org/stable/1083361?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents’ defer=’defer
    and for an analyisi of the bogus statistc there is a great BBC programme here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p053ln9f

    • Nov 24, 2017

      Chris – thanks for your comment. You might be surprised to know I agree with you – at least that the 65% stat is a bit folklore and Internet meme. But I’d also suggest that the accelerating shift in how work gets done and subsequently the jobs required to do the work is not a complete fabrication either. There is strong evidence to indicate that nearly 4 out of 10 jobs will be eliminated with the next decade (PWC 2017). Carrying far greater impact is that more than 60% of all jobs will be at least 1/3 automated during the same period. (McKinsey 2016) Personally I believe this percentage will be much higher and occur sooner. Even if the job is not eliminated completely and completely new jobs created, most jobs will be radically transformed. They will require more advanced skills, many of which we don’t even understand yet. Even if the job title is the same as the last decade, the job itself may be unrecognizable to one in the not so distant past. So while I’ll agree with your comment about source of the 65%, I believe it would be a huge miscalculation for any current worker or student to expect what they are learning or doing today will be adequate to perform tomorrow’s work.

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