1 Jobs and Ca­reers

Un­der pres­sure, but not aim­less: Young peo­ple are con­cerned about a chang­ing job mar­ket. Switzer­land is an out­lier.

Bulletin - - Credit Suisse Youth Barometer -

The 2018 Credit Suisse Youth Barom­e­ter be­gins with a dis­mal find­ing: A stun­ning per­cent­age of young peo­ple in the United States (79 per­cent), Brazil (74 per­cent) and Sin­ga­pore (76 per­cent) worry that “my job will not be needed in the fu­ture” → Fig­ure 1.1. In these three very dif­fer­ent economies, a large ma­jor­ity of 16- to 25-year-olds feel anx­ious. They ex­pect tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances to fun­da­men­tally change the la­bor mar­ket, and they are not con­fi­dent that they will still have or be able to find a job in this new world.

In Switzer­land, “only” 34 per­cent are wor­ried that their jobs will dis­ap­pear. There are two pos­si­ble ex­pla­na­tions for the Swiss re­sults. It may be that Switzer­land lags be­hind in­ter­na­tional la­bor mar­ket trends, and that the shock is yet to come. Or per­haps Switzer­land is bet­ter pre­pared to meet the chal­lenges posed by dig­i­ti­za­tion, au­to­ma­tion and ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence. “So­cially, eco­nom­i­cally and po­lit­i­cally, we are well pre­pared to deal with change,” says Boris Zürcher → p. 63, head of SECO’S Labour Direc­torate, ar­gu­ing in fa­vor of the sec­ond ex­pla­na­tion.

Re­sponses to the next question con­firm that in their per­cep­tions of the dig­i­tal rev­o­lu­tion, young peo­ple in Switzer­land dif­fer from their peers in Asia as well

as North and South Amer­ica → Fig­ure 1.2: Re­spon­dents in the United States (60 per­cent), Brazil (62 per­cent) and Sin­ga­pore (68 per­cent) agree that in­di­vid­u­als have bet­ter job prospects if they have a pro­fes­sional on­line net­work and are ac­tive on so­cial me­dia. In Switzer­land, only a mi­nor­ity hold that view (42 per­cent).

The new work en­vi­ron­ment is also re­flected in the kinds of jobs re­spon­dents would like to have

→ Fig­ure 1.3. They would pre­fer to work in the It/tech sec­tor. While this in­dus­try is per­ceived as ex­tremely at­trac­tive in the United States (75 per­cent), Brazil (72 per­cent) and Sin­ga­pore (75 per­cent), only 43 per­cent of Swiss re­spon­dents are drawn to such oc­cu­pa­tions. It’s no won­der that we hear fre­quent com­plaints about a lack of tech work­ers in Switzer­land.

Young peo­ple reg­u­larly list tourism as one of the sec­tors they would most like to work in; this year it ranks sec­ond on their wish list. It is fol­lowed by the me­dia – which may seem sur­pris­ing at first, given that me­dia con­sump­tion is on the de­cline among the young → Sec­tion 3, p. 65. Pre­sum­ably they are in­clud­ing so­cial me­dia in this cat­e­gory as well as new types of jobs, such as in­flu­encer and blog­ger. Govern­ment-re­lated ca­reers, which are par­tic­u­larly pop­u­lar in Switzer­land, rank fourth (ed­u­ca­tion), fifth (ad­min­is­tra­tion) and sev­enth (health care). Among tra­di­tional em­ploy­ers in the busi­ness sec­tor, banks, com­mer­cial busi­nesses and the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­dus­try are in sixth, eighth and twelfth place, re­spec­tively.

To­day’s young peo­ple may be some­what anx­ious, but they can­not be ac­cused of be­ing aim­less → Fig­ure 1.4. Seventy-five per­cent of re­spon­dents in all four coun­tries have clear plans for their lives and try to achieve their goals, even in the face of ad­ver­sity. They can eas­ily imag­ine start­ing their own busi­ness (half of all re­spon­dents, but only 39 per­cent in Switzer­land) and they are pre­pared to take risks. Young peo­ple in all of the coun­tries be­lieve that con­tin­u­ing ed­u­ca­tion is im­por­tant. Be­tween 83 per­cent and 93 per­cent agree with the state­ment that “You have to con­tinue learn­ing your whole life long” → Fig­ure 1.2.

The de­ter­mi­na­tion they ex­press prob­a­bly has some­thing to do with a chal­leng­ing eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion. Seventy-three per­cent of re­spon­dents would be happy if their lives were as good as those of their par­ents. In the 20th cen­tury that would have been per­ceived as a very mod­est goal. Young peo­ple seem to be look­ing for new ways to deal with the chal­leng­ing sit­u­a­tion in which they find them­selves; one ex­am­ple is the ex­tremely pop­u­lar shar­ing econ­omy → Sec­tion 2. An­other pos­i­tive find­ing is that nearly half of re­spon­dents want to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for so­ci­ety → Fig­ure 1.4.

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