Nepal is one of the world’s developing countries with a severe shortage of skilled workforce and a high unemployment rate.
Do you think we and our government are prepared for the future job market?
Although agriculture makes up only about 28 percent of Nepal’s GDP, it employs more than two-thirds of the workforce. Millions of men work as unskilled laborers in foreign countries, leaving the household, agriculture, and raising of children to women alone. Most of the working-age women are employed in the agricultural sector. Millions of unskilled laborers work abroad, primarily in the Gulf countries and Malaysia, contributing around 28 percent of the country’s total GDP. The skilled and well-educated workforce immigrates to developed countries like Australia, Canada, America, and Europe on the other hand.
According to a survey, 25% of technical graduates and 10-15% of general college graduates in Nepal are suitable for employment in the offshore IT and BPR industries, respectively. This is due to a gap between students’ innate abilities and interest and what they pursue as their career choice.
Students and their stake have an obsession with professions like engineering, medicine, IT, and Chartered Accountancy while neglecting social sciences and humanities.
While much policy attention has focused on hard skills such as the knowledge and requisite training needed to perform a particular job, soft skills such as how well the employee can manage and work with people, trustworthiness, motivation, and organizational fit are also potentially important determinants of productivity.
The change in visa rules for employment has also impact on the labor market. Changes in visa rules in the Middle East, Canada, the UK, the US, Australia, and Singapore resulted in a drop in employment.
The world is going through a rapid workplace revolution. It is predicted that by 2025 more than half of all current workplace tasks will be performed by machines, and we could lose over five million jobs to automation, AI, robotics, and other forms of smart automation that will significantly affect jobs in different sectors.
However, the impact of automation is already being felt in the information technology sector—a digital leader—and in financial services and capital- and knowledge-intensive manufacturing areas such as automotive and oil and gas. Artificial intelligence and machine learning have been increasingly used to execute tasks such as planning, scheduling, and optimization, and some low- and medium-skill jobs have already been affected. Jobs in the IT sector have been growing at 6 to 6.5 percent per year since 2012, and revenue has grown faster than jobs (at 9 percent per year). This is a natural phenomenon as automation boosts worker efficiency, and coders move to higher value-added work.
There are four possibilities in the job landscape for each sector in the year 2022.
1. New jobs are being created, e.g., Business innovations, E-commerce sector, Quantum computing, AI, AR, Virtual Reality, IoT, Machine learning, Robotics and automation, blockchain technology, Solar energy sectors, Fintech sectors, health-tech sectors, agri-tech sectors, and Edu-tech sectors, etc.
2. Jobs are threatened, e.g., low-skilled jobs, factory and domestic workers, and work relating to fax machines, telephone, and telex operations are on a threat, as so many communication tasks are now fulfilled via the PC.
3. Jobs are changing concerning skill sets, e.g., Database administrator to service analyst, Software developers/designers to UI/UX designer, Freelancing in this gig economy, Data mining/warehousing to a data analyst, and Marketing professional to digital media/marketing, etc.
4. Unchanged Jobs, e.g., Apparel & leather sector, nurse, physician, Environment specialist, dental hygienist, or hairstylist, etc.
Now, let’s check into the present and future job or demanded occupations:
Top Online Career Fields:
Software development and technology, creative and multimedia, Content writing & translations, Clerical & data entry, Sales & marketing support, and professional services.
Solar energy sector, Wind power sector, etc.
These innovations are contributing significantly to present and future employment. e.g., Amazon, Daraz, Esewa, Pathao, Tootle, Foodmandu, Uber, Coursera, Edx, Oyo, Airbnb, Booking.com, TripAdvisor, and many more. The government should motivate this type of startups in Nepal.
List of new and Future Jobs:
VFX artist, Computer vision engineer, Wireless network specialist, Data scientist, AI, ML, VR, AR specialist, RPA developer, 3D designer and modeling engineer, Quantum computing, Business analyst, App developer, Digital marketing, and many more.
How to prepare for the future job market?
Government and the stakeholders should focus on creating organized jobs by decreasing unorganized jobs. We should prepare ourselves and our generation for the future job market.
In the future, the demand for humans is going to be for the skills that machines aren’t good at doing: that is social and emotional skills, creativity, and applying high levels of cognitive function and expertise.
This is possible only if we are prepared from the base. And the base for this is a revolutionary change in the country’s education policy.
The government, educationists, teachers, and counselors, should implement, encourage, and advocate the education system focusing on developing creativity, leadership skills, interpersonal communication skill, analytical thinking, and decision-making skills in students.
Subjects like artificial intelligence and machine learning, blockchain, big data, virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality, data science, UI-UX design, software engineers, quantum computing, and other tech subjects should be made familiar to the students. This will make them easy to become informed and future-ready decision-makers.
Subjects like social sciences, humanities, and liberal studies should be taken more positively by all the stakeholders because the professionals like career consultants, counselors, psychiatrists, team leaders, highly skilled political leaders, economists, actuaries, managers, CXOs, environmentalists, and social workers will be in high demand.
As a parent, teacher, and the stakeholder, we should make our students and clients realize that the labor market is changing and jobs like data scientists, software developers, UI/UX designers, data analysts, and digital media/marketing managers, and freelancers in this gig economy, are demanding.
We should also encourage our working and job hunting clients to focus on up skilling themself and be future-ready for the job market.
Moreover, vocational education and training should be made compulsory to the industrial worker to be familiar with advanced technology, robotics and automation .
Furthermore, MOOCs (Coursera, edX, Future Learn) should be made available and familiar to all the country’s population, either students or working professionals, so that they keep themselves updated and ready for the present and future job market.