The World Economic Forum (WEF) released their 'Global Challenge Insight Report' document that dealt with the future of jobs in the world and how jobs would be changing from present day to 2022. The report was named The Future of Jobs: Employment, Skills and Workforce Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

"Today, we are at the beginning of a Fourth Industrial Revolution. Developments in genetics, artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology, 3D printing, and biotechnology, to name just a few...While the impending change holds great promise, the patterns of consumption, production and employment created by it also pose major challenges requiring proactive adaptation by corporations, governments, and individuals," said the Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab. 

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Credit: World Economic Forum

As a result, it is the World Economic Forum's opinion that by 2020, employment opportunities in several industries will no longer exist. Their research concluded that in the next 4 years, being a creative thinker, despite the industry you work in, will get you hired. Currently, being creative is 10th on the list of desirable traits in workers in several industries as defined by the WEF. The World Economic Forum believes it will be number 3 by 2020. Complex problem solving will be the number 1 skill wanted when doing a job in 2020. Hey, engineers, that's you. 

Which degrees should you be studying to ensure that you are going to stay relevant in the fourth industrial revolution where so many repetitive tasks are being done by automated means? A study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) in the United States cleared up which degrees might survive the test of time, or at least until 2022. They delivered questionnaires to college placement agencies and asked for feedback in terms of which degrees were getting the most hired in Bachelor's, Master's and Doctorate levels. Here is what they got back: 

Top Degrees in Demand (Bachelor's Degree Level):

  1. Accounting 
  2. Computer Science
  3. Finance
  4. Business Administration/Mgmt.
  5. Mechanical Engineering
  6. Information Sciences & Systems
  7. Electrical Engineering 
  8. Logistics/Supply Chain
  9. Economics
  10. Marketing

Top Degrees in Demand (Master's Level Degree Level):

  1. Computer Science
  2. Electrical Engineering 
  3. Mechanical Engineering 
  4. Information Sciences & Systems 
  5. M.B.A
  6. Accounting 
  7. Finance
  8. Software Applications
  9. Computer Engineering 
  10. Management Information Systems

Top Degrees in Demand (Doctorate Degree Level)

  1. Electrical Engineering 
  2. Computer Science 
  3. Software Engineering 
  4. Computer Engineering 
  5. Mechanical Engineering 
  6. Chemical Engineering 
  7. Maths/Statistics 
  8. Systems Engineering 
  9. Industrial/Manufacturing Engineering
  10. Physics 

So, budding engineers. Probably a good idea to get your doctorate in electrical, computer, software, computer, mechanical, chemical, systems or industrial engineering, eh? The results show a pretty good picture in terms of degrees that are currently involved in industries where the fourth industrial revolution is actively infiltrating. You want to be the one working directly inside the fourth industrial revolution and not being one of the victims it replaces.