TALENT, RESEARCH

The Hybrid Job Economy

How New Skills are Rewriting the DNA of the Job Market
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Business and Technology Skills Are Merging to Create High-Opportunity Jobs

Millions of jobs will be created or destroyed by technological change over the next decade. Yet the most profound — and underappreciated — trend in today’s labor market is how technology is mutating jobs into new, unexpected hybrid jobs.

More and more jobs combine skill sets that never used to be found in the same job, such as marketing and statistical analysis, or design and programming. Certain skills are acting as hybridizing forces, spreading across different roles. Fully one-quarter of all occupations in the U.S. economy show strong signs of hybridization, and they are almost universally the fastest-growing and highest-paying – and also the most resistant to automation. Some of these jobs are new, some are new versions of existing jobs, but all of them pose much different challenges for workers, students, employers, and educators.

This trend could worsen a divide in the workforce, with some workers gaining ground in the future economy, and others – those who fail to keep up with changing skill requirements – at risk of being left behind. But, as jobs get reshaped by new skills and new technologies, there are also clear opportunities: for employers to upskill existing workers and develop more effective talent pipelines; for workers to make themselves more competitive by acquiring new skills ahead of the market; and for education institutions to deliver learning to the broader community of workers who will increasingly need to acquire new skills.

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