These days, most workplaces are facing drastic changes in operation. The recent events in 2020 (COVID-19) especially pushed the switch from traditional business models to a technology-based remote business model. Although this shift seemed sudden, it had already been in progress for the past couple of years in Korea. Currently, there is great uncertainty surrounding the future of work in South Korea. Few know what job demands might look like in the coming months and years. Therefore, it’s imperative to stay up to date with the growing demands to create stability for yourself in the foreseeable future. 

We’ve interpreted from a report published in the World Economic Forum that discusses new trends and growing occupations expected to occur. We have broken it down for you in terms of what it means for the shifting job landscape in South Korea. Here is what you need to know: 

The Future of Work in South Korea

1. High technology adoption rates call for skills in data analytics and software development.

The Future of Work in South KoreaThe interconnectedness of today’s devices calls for the skills and imagination of software developers. They will play a major role in creating unimagined future tools. Some of the most desired skills in South Korean industries include data analysis and web development. Therefore many companies in Korea are looking for talent in these fields. They will be responsible for spearheading the adoption of technology within companies. In addition, education in areas like statistics or computer science might add value to your career in the tech industry, as having the knowledge to build infrastructure is incredibly high in demand.

If you are interested in breaking into tech, learning to use Python is a good starting point of entry into the field. Otherwise, consider a coding Bootcamp in Seoul if you are looking for a fast way to gain highly valued new skills. A few years of Python experience will help you get a job in Korea for many years to come. Therefore it is the preferred coding language to start when looking for work in Korea. 

2. Changing demands will create new jobs.

With the digitization of jobs based on human traits occurring quickly – think of the robot at Incheon in place of a human – many jobs will become a thing of the past. As a result of this job disruption, new jobs will appear as a result of the shifting job landscape. According to a recent survey conducted in South Korea, 89% of companies are looking to automate work as a response to the shifting skill needs. However, 87% plan to hire permanent staff skilled with new technologies. Anticipating this change and re-skilling to get ahead of this change will prove fruitful in the long run! 

Those looking to get started with robotics or electronics might find that getting your feet wet with a Raspberry Pi or Arduino device could be helpful. These basic computers and microcontrollers are great launch pads for you to tinker around with. Also, it will give you the taste to see if robotics or electronics could be the thing for you. The robotics industry should see a huge boom as more and more companies in Korea look to automate their service. A couple of the popular languages to support your coding on these devices would be C++ or Python. 

3. Labour division between humans and machines is changing quickly. 

The Future of Work in KoreaAs of 2018, South Korea had the highest density of robot workers in the world according to an article in the World Economic Forum. An estimated average of 71% of task hours across industries such as healthcare, infrastructure, and professional services are performed by humans. Compare this to 29% performed by machines. In two years this average is expected to shift to 58% task hours being performed by humans, and 42% by machines. No work task has been completely overtaken by machines or algorithms. However, by 2022 an expected 62% of organizations’ jobs will be performed by machines. This expansion will be directly related to decision-making, administrative tasks, and even communicating, coordinating, and managing will be taken on by machines to a lesser degree.   

What are a few examples of sectors observing this rapid handoff from human to machine? Self-driving cars are expected to reach level 5 autonomy in the next few years. Level 5 autonomy means full autonomy (without the need for human attention).

Robots are already outperforming the performance of medical radiologists. This has already thrown entire schools of radiology into disarray. Furthermore, Google’s Contact Center AI is potentially threatening millions of call center jobs around the world. Therefore it is not a matter of if but when. This is why it is vital you understand not only machine learning but are familiar with the software used to build these robots. You’ve been warned!

4. New work tasks demand new skills.

More than half of the current workforce will require re-skilling in some capacity. This is one solution to meet the new demands of the changing work landscape. As early as 2022 is when the skills of the past will have changed significantly. On average, the skills required to perform a job that will remain the same will be over 55%. Therefore, this means the remaining 42% will need to be relearned by current employees in the workplace.  

Workplace competency is not limited to technology design and analytical thinking. Tasks unable to be performed by artificial intelligence termed “human skills” such as creativity, critical thinking, persuasion, and negotiation will increase in value. South Korea for example is a high-context culture that places a heavy value on relationships when doing business. For this reason, emotional intelligence, leadership, and social influence as well as cultural awareness will retain their current importance and possibly even increase. This is why it is not recommended to go all in learning a coding language. It is best to have an overall understanding. The more vital skill will be your networking skills and your ability to communicate and relay your message in an effective manner. 

5. We all need to become lifelong learners.

W_CodingIt is expected that employees will need approximately 101 days of retraining and re-skilling leading up to the year 2022. The skills gap among older and younger generations is increasingly becoming prevalent. The current conventional thinking among senior leadership clashes with the younger generation’s creativity and innovative ways of thinking. Therefore, the longevity of companies and their employees will become reliant on their ability to provide education and training to foster the development of digital dexterity for their workers to succeed. Otherwise, the skills gap will be filled by freelancers or external contractors. In either situation, if you can equip yourself with the skills desired by companies in the future, you will be an asset in any situation. 

The shifting job landscape waits for no one! Therefore, I recommend you never stop learning something new. As technology evolves, there will be new opportunities to learn the latest tech trend. It is vital to find ways to educate yourself on new technologies and new tools. We believe a great way to dive head-in to the future is by learning to code. Once you have a base framework you can work from there and get into the latest technology trends that are in high demand.