The jobs of the future: Which are the new digital professions?

80% of young people between 20 and 30 years old who find employment in the near future will have professions that are newborn or still in their infancy

📸 Ketut Subiyanto I Pexels

Reading time: 7 min

Rapid technological advances require professional profiles capable of adapting to new market demands. As jobs have changed, so have the skills required.

A few years ago, at the World Economic Forum, a striking issue was being raised: 65% of children in the early stages of their school life will have jobs that do not yet exist.

This is so, they stressed, because while many jobs are ceasing to exist, others are emerging and growing along with new technologies, 5G or Artificial Intelligence.

In the same vein, the Observatory for Employment in the Digital Age pointed out that “80% of young Spaniards between 20 and 30 years old who find employment in the near future will have professions that are newborn or still in their infancy.”

The digitalisation and robotisation of countless jobs has been an unstoppable trend for years and it is transforming our labour ecosystem, leading to the extinction of many activities and, what is more relevant, giving birth to new professional profiles and testing our skills and ability to adapt to changing spaces.

The Covid-19 pandemic has only accelerated this trend and exacerbated employment disruption. Digitalisation and automation have undoubtedly accelerated as a result of the coronavirus and it is difficult to know how far this irrevocable technological future may go. 

From science fiction to reality

Just 30 years ago no one outside the fictional literature realm could have suspected that computers would be made so small they would fit into a small smartphone or wristwatch.

The design, programming, manufacture or repair of these devices, which are now used by virtually everyone, requires personnel specialised in professions that did not exist a few decades ago.

No pilots of flying devices called drones that could transport goods, monitor crops or take pictures of a volcano eruption aftermath existed either. Much less did anyone realise that, thanks to 5G robotic technology, we could be operated on by a doctor thousands of kilometres away. And what about autonomous cars and smart homes!

These are just a few examples of scenarios and jobs that have emerged in step with technology, but there are many more, some that are beginning to spread, others that are in their early stages and others that we can’t even dream of yet. 

The most demanded profiles

The demand for technology-related skills is growing steadily – the European Commission estimates an annual increase of 4% – and the supply is clearly insufficient, as shown by the fact that last year the European market suffered a deficit of 756,000 ICT experts.

According to the talent and technology consultancy Experis, the demand for IT-related profiles in Spain doubles every two years.

Based on Experis’ 2021 Tech Cities report, data analysts and data scientists are among the most sought-after professional profiles today, with demand increasing sevenfold in four years and reaching over 38,000 available positions in 2021.

However, the software engineer is the professional who is the most sought-after by companies, with up to 128,000 of them in demand this year. There is also strong growth in demand for cyber security specialists and system administrators and, to a lesser extent, DevOps experts.

The employment map

A very simple, visual and effective way of finding out about the most in-demand digital professions is to consult the Employment Map, developed by Telefónica Foundation. This interactive tool uses Big Data technology to analyse the labour supply in Spain and shows the professions on the rise as well as the skills most in demand for their performance.  

Using the job offers published in Infojobs, and as its source, the Employment Map is able to detect the 23 digital profiles with the highest demand for employment in Spain in real time, sorted by province. 

Software Developer is by far the most in-demand technology profession in virtually all regions, followed by System Administrator, Web and Multimedia Developer, Digital Project Manager, ICT Consultant, Full Stack Developer, Frontend Developer, Cybersecurity Specialist, Digital Marketing Specialist and Data/BI Analyst, among others.

New skills and competences

In terms of the skills required to work in these positions, JAVA is demanded the most. It is followed by JavaScript, Cloud computing, HTML, Git, Angular, CSS, Spring Framework, SAP Business Suite and Microsoft Azure.

In addition, the Employment Map offers users the opportunity to connect with the Virtual Career Advisor, a tool that provides personalised help and recommendations on how to prepare for working in these new professions

The platform is complemented by Conecta Empleo‘s offer of free online and face-to-face courses. There are courses on Web Design with HTML5, WordPress, Javascript programming, video game design, Growth Hacking to make a digital product successful and Web Analytics, among others. 

The platform “collects information on job offers; detects which ones are repeated the most and are therefore the most demanded; identifies which are the most common technical skills in the offers for each of these professions and indicates which courses–more than 30,000–both free and paid, are necessary to train in these skills. This forces us to redesign the way we teach,” explains Luis Miguel Olivas, Director of Employability at Telefónica Foundation, with regard to how it works.


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