Who is first (and last) in the race to build a workforce fit for the future?

worker

(Claudio Hirschberger, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Emily Glassberg Sands, Senior Director of Data Science, Coursera & Vinod Bakthavachalam, Senior Data Scientist, Coursera


The Fourth Industrial Revolution is transforming the world of work. Technology is advancing faster than humans, disrupting both jobs and the skills needed to compete. Research by McKinsey suggests that globally about half of the jobs performed by humans today will be disrupted by automation, and a survey of business leaders by the World Economic Forum suggests that 42% of the core job skills required today are set to change substantially by 2022.

Amid these disruptions, business leaders ultimately project a potential net-positive outlook for jobs if workers can be reskilled and upskilled into emerging fields such as data science. Finding ways to do so will be essential for governments, companies and individuals looking to succeed in the changing economy.

Drawing on a rich database of over 40 million learners, the Coursera Global Skills Index benchmarked 60 countries and 10 major industries across the essential skills of business, technology and data science. (These three domains are not only significant economic and innovation drivers in the Fourth Industrial Revolution; they also feed into some of the most in-demand careers.)

Key insights on the global rankings:

● The world is falling behind in critical skills. Two-thirds of the world’s population belongs to countries that are behind or close to behind in skill performance in at least one domain. Countries with developing economies and with less to invest in education see larger skill deficiencies, with 90% lagging or emerging.

● GDP and automation risk correlate with a country’s skills proficiency. A country’s rank across business, technology and data science is negatively correlated with per-capita GDP at -0.75 and positively correlated with automation risk at 0.45 (as estimated by the McKinsey Global Institute). This means that more skilled countries show better economic performance and lower risk of labour market disruption from automation.

 How does a country's skill index correlate with its GDP and automation risk?

How does a country’s skill index correlate with its GDP and automation risk?
Image: Mckinsey/World Bank

● Europe is highly proficient in critical skills. Institutional investment in education has led to successful results in Europe, where countries like Finland, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Germany, Belgium, Norway and the Netherlands consistently rank as cutting-edge across all three domains.

Skills performance in data science across Europe is largely cutting-edge

Skills performance in data science across Europe is largely cutting-edge
Image: Coursera’s Global Skills Index

● Some global leaders surprise with mediocre performance. Known as a business leader for innovation, the US hovers around the middle and is not cutting edge in any of the three domains. Within the US, skill proficiency is also distributed non-uniformly; while the country’s west is ahead of other regions in technology and data science, the Midwest shines in business.

● Regional skills inequality is pervasive. Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, and Latin America all see high skill inequality, consistent with the vast economic and cultural diversity that characterizes each region. In Latin America, for example, Argentina’s top ranking in technology is in stark contrast to Mexico’s and Colombia’s lower-tier performance.

Key insights on 10 industries:

The Index ranks 10 industries in key business, technology, and data science skills

The Index ranks 10 industries in key business, technology, and data science skills

● Technology industry professionals are savvy in their core domains but lack strong business skills. Although top-ranked in data science and technology, the industry slips to fifth place in business among the 10 industries in our analysis.

● Manufacturing shows skills resilience in the digital era. Manufacturing is the top-ranked industry for both business and technology, and demonstrates an aptitude for tackling change successfully.

● Telecommunications consistently ranks near the top. Telecommunications is the only industry to rank consistently in the top three across business, technology, and data Science.

● Finance surprises with below-average skills performance. Despite its pursuit of digital transformation, finance ranks second-last in business and data science, and hovers near the middle in technology.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Here’s how to achieve growth in the Middle East and North Africa

UN Security Council condemns Taliban offensive as a blow against ‘sustainable peace’

Facebook and Google to treat Europe as the 51st State of the USA

European Solidarity Corps 2021-2027: First call for proposals to support youth volunteering activities

How music can help children with autism connect

To Bing or Not to Bing? That is the question

Gender equality: an issue much talked about but less acted upon

Terrorism and migrants: the two awful nightmares for Europe and Germany in 2016

Portugal can use its economic recovery to build up resilience

Pharmaceuticals spend millions to push TTIP while consumer groups spend peanuts

The EU Parliament slams Commission on economic governance

An economist explains the pros and cons of globalization

Protecting the front line: the healthcare of health professionals

State aid: Commission approves French scheme deferring payment by airlines of certain taxes to mitigate economic impact of coronavirus outbreak

Low productivity jobs continue to drive employment growth

“Fortress Europe”, “Pegida” and its laughing stocks

New challenge: Not going through “burnout” in times of quarantine

Mental and comportamental health in the pandemic context

An Easter Special: Social protection of migrants in Europe as seen through the eyes of European youth

Pharmaceuticals conceal drug side effects with the EU’s Court blessing

European Citizens’ Initiative: Commission registers ‘Mandatory food labelling Non-Vegetarian / Vegetarian / Vegan’ initiative’

Greenery: the miracle cure for urban living

Italy should boost investment in training for the future of work

Sustainable Finance: Commission welcomes the adoption by the European Parliament of the Taxonomy Regulation

Macro-Financial Assistance: Europe’s way to control Ukraine?

Companies can help build a more inclusive world. Here’s how

Joris in Indonesia

5 steps businesses can take to protect air quality after COVID-19

5 charts that show renewable energy’s latest milestone

Devastating storms like Hurricane Florence ‘unusual this far north’: UN weather agency

Inflammation is the fuel that feeds the cancer flame. So how do we fight back?

Digital democracy: a Swiss view on digital trust

Four in five adolescents failing to exercise for even 60 minutes a day, UN health agency warns

Gaza: deadly violence continues to escalate, top UN officials work to restore calm

This is Germany’s $45 billion, 18-year plan to move away from coal

‘Time is of the essence’ for refugees on Greek islands – UN agency

Huawei answers allegations about its selling prices

Break taboo around menstruation, act to end ‘disempowering’ discrimination, say UN experts

Can the whole world live in peace?

From Russia with love: Brussels and Moscow close to an agreement on Ukraine’s gas supplies

Innovations for Content Professionals at the DCX exhibition 2018 in Berlin, in association with The European Sting

EU prolongs economic sanctions on Russia by six months

Business is a crucial partner in solving the mental health challenge

UN chief welcomes event reuniting families on the Korean Peninsula

Rule of Law: Commission launches infringement procedure to protect the independence of the Polish Supreme Court

Auditors say EU spending delivers limited value for money but the timing of their report poses questions

Ebola Outbreak in Democratic Republic Congo is ‘largely contained’: WHO

Mergers: Commission refers acquisition of newly created joint venture by Telefónica and Liberty Global to the UK competition authority

Brexit: visa-free access to the EU for UK nationals and to the UK for Europeans

Statement following the European Medicines Agency review of the COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca

“Decisions taken in the coming weeks will shape Europe’s experience of the internet”, Joe Mcnamee from EDRi says live from European Business Summit 2015

We must rethink and repurpose cybersecurity for the COVID-19 era

Free and secure access needed in DR Congo conflict zone to tackle Ebola – WHO

Here’s what keeps CEOs awake at night (and why it might be bad news for your next job)

President Ursula von der Leyen welcomes the first official submission of a recovery and resilience plan by Portugal

THE COMMITTEES: ‘All roads lead to the Fifth’

EU summit: step up work for recovery, and update migration and asylum system

The Bavarians threaten Berlin and Brussels with immigration crisis

EU lawmakers vote to reintroduce visas for Americans over “reciprocity principle”

EU helps tackle air pollution in Kosovo with €76.4 million

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s