Cognizant debuts new work index: Jobs of the future grew 37% in a year

The Cognizant Center for the Future of Work announced Wednesday it has debuted a new index which provides insights into what jobs of the future will be and how they will evolve.

The Cognizant Jobs of the Future Index measures the changes in demand of 50 occupations (45 actual jobs and five proxy jobs) by examining the volume and velocity of new work that emerges “as artificial intelligence, automation and other next generation digital technologies take a greater foothold in the workplace.”

Cognizant partnered with ESI ThoughtLab, an economic research firm, to create the index.

“When talking about the future of work, especially as it relates to AI and automation, it’s not uncommon for people to worry that their jobs will disappear or they’ll be replaced by a robot,” Ben Pring, vice president and director of Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work, said.

“The reality is companies are rethinking traditional roles through a digital lens while technological innovation is also creating new ones – something that has historically happened in the industrial age.  Cognizant’s Jobs of the Future Index highlights how we’ll work in a world of AI, automation, algorithms, bots and big data, ultimately providing an understanding of what is going on in the employment market and how employees or employers can remain relevant and enable their businesses to be competitive.”

In its first edition, the index for the fourth quarter of this year showed jobs of the future grew 37 percent over the last year and 7 percent since last quarter.

The index also tracks trends in eight families of jobs of the future, including:

  • Algorithms, Automation, and AI;
  • Customer Experience;
  • Environment;
  • Fitness and Wellness;
  • Healthcare;
  • Legal and Financial Services;
  • Transport;
  • Work Culture.

The fastest-growing job family over the past year was Fitness and Wellness, which was up 61 percent over the last year and 24 percent over the last quarter. This rapid rise, Cognizant said, is due to an increase of digitization in the fitness and wellness industry.

Work Culture, which includes training and development specialists, career counselors and industrial organizational physiologist, was second best, growing by 51 percent over the last year. Cognizant said people in this industry are using technology to do a better job and helping employees do the same.

Other standouts include:

  • Customer Experience grew by 50 percent compared to last year;
  • Algorithms, Automation and AI grew 37 percent over last year.

The only job category to fall in the last year was Healthcare, which slipped 5 percent from last year. Cognizant said the downturn is reflecting rising financial pressures in the industry and uncertainty around health care policies in the United States.

Over the last year, the fastest growing jobs in the index were:

  • Personal care aide: +295 percent;
  • Genetic counselor: +222 percent;
  • Transportation supervisor: +204 percent;
  • Fashion designer: +148 percent;
  • Video game designer: +102 percent.

The jobs that fell short were:

  • Solar energy installer: -55 percent;
  • Alternative energy manager: -48 percent;
  • Home health aide: -37 percent;
  • Registered nurse: -31 percent;
  • Aerospace engineer: -4 percent.

To view the index’s methodology, click here.