student employability
Mastering student employability with the aid of megatrends. Source: Alex Kotliarskyi/Unsplash

Ready to challenge the future of jobs, this recent Pearson report also questions the future of student employability.

Future of Skills: Jobs in 2030 is forward-looking research that promises to combine the best of human expertise with the power of machine learning to understand the job trends and consider the career choices students will be making before their career surges in 2030.

Understanding that fears of technologically-driven unemployment have arisen throughout the centuries, the report seeks to unravel the megatrends that will motivate employers, employees and students alike.

“The effect of automation is often the focus of predictions about the future of jobs. This, however, results in a narrow view of the future that doesn’t take other factors into account. We wanted to extend this by cataloguing the wider set of trends that will shape the jobs market of 2030.

“We started by assessing the key trends influencing the labour market – everything from globalisation and automation to the urbanisation and ageing of the workforce itself,” Pearson notes.

The reports’ research team then gathered data for each of the seven megatrends they chose to include, granting a clear view of the global trends readers may need to consider when deliberating their career path.

student employability

How could these trends impact student employability? Source: Dylan Nolte/Unsplash

Technological Change

Pearson knows that technology amplifies human performance in some occupations, giving rise to entirely new occupations and sectors.

By opting for courses with tech-based modules or attending a university that embraces high-tech facilities, some students are already embracing technological change and embracing of this career-altering megatrend.


“Over the last three decades global labour markets have become increasingly integrated. There are many benefits of this, for example, advanced manufacturing, and knowledge-intensive services. There are also costs, for example, employment and wage impacts, trade deficits, and legacy manufacturing,” Pearson outlines.

With the growth of globalisation, students are increasingly preparing for multinational roles.

Demographic Change

An ageing population plays a significant role in the future of different industries and occupations.

As the report explains, “More people live longer lives and fertility rates drop, populations age. This has a ripple effect through healthcare, finance, housing, education and recreation as the older generation, who are living much longer post-retirement.”

So, how will this demographic change hinder students’ future careers? Perhaps securing a job amid an ageing population will become increasingly competitive.

Environmental Sustainability

One of the biggest topics to top strategic university plans and student welfare initiatives, environmental sustainability is a megatrend that has motived learners across the world to act and protect the planet from climate change.

A megatrend for many employers and employees, it’s affecting the way we work as well as the way we live.


“Today, over half of the world’s population lives in cities, a number that is expected to grow to 70 percent by 2050. This concentration of humanity illustrates the basic unevenness of economic development – the tendency for places close to large markets to grow more rapidly than places more distant,” says Pearson.

Chasing city jobs or suburban roles, students may have to decide whether they want to join in with the 70 percent incline or remain on the outskirts by working online or in a job that doesn’t demand a city commute.

Increasing Inequality

As highlighted within the report, economic distress and the erosion in opportunities for people with lower access to education creates a complex web of social issues.

The sharp rise in income and wealth inequality has the potential to impact students’ future roles, their current educational opportunities and their outlook on the future of work. Therefore, increasing inequality has made it as a megatrend in the report.

Political Uncertainty

With the power to negatively impact economic activity in government-influenced sectors such as defence, finance, construction, engineering and healthcare, political uncertainty is a megatrend to watch.

“The impacts of this trend are felt most strongly in sectors like defence, finance, construction, engineering and healthcare which require extensive investment commitments and/or are exposed to uncertain government programmes,” says Pearson.

As such, it would be wise for students to increase their understanding of what political uncertainty really means in terms of the future of work.

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