What kind of careers will emerge post COVID-19
“People empowered with automation will bring us out of this crisis!” So, what does this mean for emerging careers? Vandana Mahajan, Director, Futures abroad, writes.
COVID-19 has halted economic activity globally. The COVID-19 pandemic is reshaping the global business environment with the UN anticipating that the crisis will result in a $1 trillion hit to the world economy this year. For digital leaders this means company priorities shifting by the hour and a dramatic seesawing of fortunes between sectors, travel, and transport are in crisis whereas supermarkets are experiencing rapid growth.
Question is, will the automated workforce alleviate the economic damage?
The unintended consequences of the COVID-19 Corona virus will be epic. But we are about to enter the most innovative period in the history of mankind. When people have time to think and reflect, they also have time to innovate. Millions of new businesses will be created, millions of new products will be launched, millions of new services will see a dramatic transformation.
We are entering a golden age of opportunity. This may become a turning point in everyone’s lives. Dawn of a new era begins. COVID-19 will accelerate our digital lives, so we should begin to think in terms of unlimited possibilities. It’s offering us time to seriously reinvent every aspect of modern living. Going sector-wise, we will see amplified opportunities in the below sectors:
- Food: Fresh groceries, meat, cold storage, high-quality foreign food and beverage, cooking appliances.
- Entertainment: Gaming industry, new ways of disseminating content and promoting small businesses, online cooking classes, and virtual visits to landmarks.
- Education, sports, and well-being: Virtual classrooms, online fitness classes.
- Service industry: Contact-less systems, enhanced delivery services, remote banking services.
- Healthcare and health technology: Pharmaceuticals, supplements, medical devices, personal protective equipment (PPE), telemedicine, smart hospitals and online consultations, digital medical assistants, apps and mini-apps, self-diagnosing medical kits and devices.
- Electrical appliances: Dishwashers and washing machines, sterilization machines, sweeping robots.
- Office cost reduction opportunities: Office rent is expensive. Therefore, flexible work arrangements are yet to be explored in their full functional scope. This will open up opportunities across multiple and linked sectors, such as office space redesign, building remote work systems, software platforms, and cloud-based services, all of which will likely to see significant gains once the world economy goes into post-COVID-19 recovery mode and employers keep their office space costs in check in case their staff will need to work from other locations.
- Emerging technologies are being deployed all across Asia to help fight the coronavirus outbreak.
- China is using robots to disinfect hospitals and deliver medical supplies.
- In Singapore, government data has enabled detailed mapping of the outbreak and in South Korea, authorities are tracking potential carriers using cell phone satellite technology.
- Disinfecting drones, talking robots, artificial intelligence can scan thousands of medical images in a flash.
Here are four areas of tech that we believe will thrive post epidemic:
Data-enabled healthcare initiatives will increase
As consumers focus much more on their health, Health check-ups and testing are the order of the day, whether its COVID-19 tests mandated by healthcare departments and organizations or consumers opting to use private companies to test themselves for different medical conditions.
Scalable digital business models will start to replace product-focused operations
As COVID-19 pressurizes the economy, the global supply chains of companies such as Best Buy, Wayfair, Nike, and Gap, will increasingly start to build resilience in their businesses by complementing product-focused models with scalable and stable digital alternatives. This might include service businesses diversifying from their core offer to sell data and AI assets to third parties.
E-commerce will experience a renaissance
Due to self-isolation, consumers who normally visit physical stores are increasingly shopping online with the result that e-commerce is booming especially when it comes to tinned goods, pasta, health, and sanitary products.The upliftment in e-commerce may well become permanent if people remain wary of mingling in real life, and increasingly replace shop visits with online purchases.
Digital collaboration and entertainment tools to see an upsurge in valuation
As companies rapidly, and in some cases also permanently, move towards remote working, the market for digital collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts and Zoom is likely to grow quickly. Zoom has already experienced a 50% increase in its share price since the start of the year 2020.
What’s more, as staying in the home becomes the new going out, instead of visits to concerts, museums and events, consumers are seeking equivalent AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) experiences, which can be enjoyed safely while sitting on the sofa. Hand-in-hand with this, we are already seeing growing demand for digital media and entertainment including social media, gaming, news, video streaming and books as people seek to relieve boredom and fill the time previously taken up with traveling and socializing face-to-face.
Pandemic job insecurity comes with a silver lining: It’s better to see the opportunities now rather than later, at least in certain industries. Here’s where to look:
- Shipping and delivery companies: Amazon is hiring 100,000 workers, mostly for fulfillment and delivery, and some UPS hubs are hiring as well.
- Online learning companies: Now that over 30 million children are out of school, it’s boom time for online schools, which are swiftly expanding capacity.
- Grocery stores and delivery services: Major chains are hiring in-store shelf stockers and delivery staff. Grocery delivery services and apps such as Instacart, Amazon are also hiring.
- Remote meetings and communication companies: Zoom is hiring, as are Slack and Microsoft Teams.
- Working families: Many working parents are now forced to hire, for many months, childcare services, now that countries have announced that schools likely won’t open before fall.
- Psychological counseling: With the trail of scratches left behind COVID-19, there will be an increased need for psychological counseling both for children as well as adults.
- Think broadly: There is no shame in a paying job of any kind, especially during a pandemic. And remember this is an excellent time to skill up. Want to learn to code? Or take a crack at the GRE? Or pick up an online credential? This is the season.
The author Vandana Mahajan is the Director of Futures Abroad. The company is considered as one of the Top education consultants in Asia. Futures Abroad has successfully guided over 13,000 students in finding their career path. You may contact the author or check their website www.futuresabroad.com. Futures Abroad hopes and promises to continue helping students to pursue their dreams and aspirations for higher studies. Virtual Education fairs for countries such as Canada, Europe, UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, and the Caribbean are being organized at Futures abroad, where you can meet the University Representatives online. For more information please click on the link https://futuresabroad.com/virtual-event-summer-2020-canada/. Stay home, stay safe and do not let your dream slip away. Futures Abroad is always there for you.