Secure a spot in the future job market by becoming a specialist your field

By Zodidi Dano Time of article published Aug 25, 2021

Share this article:

Working for one employer on a 9 to 5pm basis will soon be the thing of the past as the Gig economy and specialisation is soaring and could be the future of the job market.

The pandemic, which has forced many to work remotely, has seen the rise in the gig economy. The economy is made up of professionals who don’t necessarily get employed full-time at a company but sell their time and expertise to multiple clients as consultants.

More and more young people are looking for flexibility in the workplace. This trend was picked up even before the pandemic by the World Economic Forum in its Future of Jobs Report of 2018.

This is becoming firmly entrenched as the career path of choice for those who excel at what they do and are able to work productively, independently and at a standard that means their skills are sought-after by companies outsourcing work to independent contractors.

Academic Development and Support at The Independent Institute of Education Dr Gillian Mooney said in the gig economy, specialisation is key, and generalist skills are non-negotiable.

“You have to be very clear about what it is that you offer, and you have to ensure that you are the very best you can be in that field, combined with a healthy dose of being able to run the logistics of your consulting business,” she said.

Professional fields specialists that will be in high demand in coming years, for example, anything in Artificial Intelligence, big data, robotics and encryption-related. The creative industry is also a major field in which outsourcing will continue to grow.

She advised postgraduate students to continue in their studies to reach specialist levels.

“So, what you need to do when deciding what to study now, is to match your interests to these future growth fields, and then see what options are available at various higher education institutions, because the offering varies widely in terms of curriculum content and quality, and there are constantly new programmes being developed that may not have existed a year or two ago.

“Doing an additional year of specialisation in your field, or investing in a few short courses to broaden your skills, is a great addition not only to your portfolio in a crowded market but also to the development of your transferrable skills and industry contacts which are essential in the gig economy,” said Mooney.

Share this article: