Industry and workforce trends for 2022

  •   3 min read
Virginia Workforce

At times 2021 felt like a stop-gap year, a layover on the way to the real destination. We already know that COVID-19 has radically reshaped education, work and leisure. As 2022 begins, it’s clear that we have a long road to walk before reaching a new normal.

But setting the pandemic aside for a moment, what does this year hold? In order to serve our students better, FastForward is constantly keeping an eye out for emerging industries, economic shifts and workplace trends. Here are a few changes that we could see in 2022 that caught our attention.

Artificial intelligence becomes the norm

According to the World Economic Forum, artificial intelligence (AI) and automation are predicted to lead to the creation of 97 million new jobs by 2025. While that is an exciting future to envision, there will be some growing pains. Forbes predicts that workers will have to become accustomed to doing some tasks with the aid of technology or robotics. Luckily, programs such as FastForward can help local workforces adapt smoothly to this ever-evolving environment.

Treating employees with empathy

Resilience will be the name of the game going forward. Creating a workplace with a focus on safety, health and balance will likely become even more imperative in 2022 according to a recent Forbes article. The pandemic has forced many companies and organizations to reassess whether their employees are happy and comfortable at work. Additionally, preparing for staffing shortages and gaps is now essential.

Collaboration

CXC Global expects office environments designed for remote workers to become more common throughout 2022. An example of this is “hot desking” or having employees share a community desk rather than assign them their own. Another possibility is some small companies could rent out coworking spaces or conference rooms for special meetings and other occasions. Regardless, a one-size-fits-all office is becoming a thing of the past. Being able to work with a team and bounce ideas and information off one another will become even more essential this year, as well.

Industries on the rise

According to two reports from CNBC, the energy, healthcare and technology industries will continue to lead growth in the economy during 2022. An article from Business Standard digs deeper on the topic, suggesting that fintech (financial technology), data analytics and cryptocurrency are sectors that could contribute to a tech employment boom. Healthcare isn’t far behind with the demand for skilled nurses and doctors rising. Surprisingly, CNBC notes that although the pandemic is a driving factor, America’s aging population will actually cause the industry to expand in the long run, even after the crisis has ended.

Over in the energy industry, wind turbine service technicians topped CNBC’s list of in-demand careers in the next several years.

“Interest in wind and solar energy has skyrocketed as installation costs drop and more countries prioritize reducing their carbon emissions,” said Michael Wolf, division chief at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

FastForward offers multiple credentials in all three of these burgeoning areas: from cyber security analyst to pharmacy technician to power industry professional.

To learn more about how to earn credentials with FastForward visit www.fastforwardva.org.