What is the future of the Jobs requiring Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Project skills industry and what are experts saying it will look like in 10 years?

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What is the future of the Jobs requiring Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Project skills industry and what are experts saying it will look like in 10 years?

Hello! Thanks for your question about the future of jobs requiring Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Project skills. The most useful sources I found to answer your question are 1] the IDC study "Keys to the Future" and 2] the Fast Company article "These Will Be the Top Jobs of 2025." The short answer is Microsoft Office skills will remain highly desirable in the next decade with between 12% and 20% of high-opportunity jobs calling for these skills. Robust data is not available on a global scale, but evidence generally indicates that there will be similar labor trends worldwide, with similar skills required. Below you will find a deep dive of my findings, along with a spreadsheet that tabulates the importance of MS Office, specifically within the most dynamic job categories in the United States..

The World Economic Forum in their The Future of Jobs Report predicts that 5 million jobs will be lost to automation by 2020. The sector that will be affected the most is that of office workers and administrative personnel, manufacturing, and law. Devin Fidler, research director at the Institute for the Future says that the nature of work is changing and there will be demand for new skills and strategies in order succeed.

However, Anthony Salcito, vice president of Worldwide Education says, "Communication skills including proficiency in Microsoft Office and PowerPoint remain vitally important for success in the workplace." Microsoft Office skills rank 4th of the top 20 required across all occupations and PowerPoint on its own ranks 16th. IDC considers Microsoft Office proficiency a CIP-related skill (Communication, Integration, Presentation) and deems it critical in many occupational environments. Microsoft Office is explicitly required in 10% of high-opportunity positions (HO) and is the only software package that is used across the board among the top 20 skills in all occupations.

To identify HO positions, IDC employed U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data for 748 Standard Occupational Classifications (SOCs). Experts identified the strongest job-growth categories based on the following criteria:
1) Size – should have at least 100,000 in 2015
2) Growth – the occupation should grow by at least 100,000 jobs in the next decade or exhibit growth of 15% from its 2015 level
3) Wages – the occupation needed to have an average wage above the median U.S. wage.

Based on their analysis, three fields dominated the job market: medical – 20%; management – 20% and computer programming/operations – 18%.

Fast Company's projection, also based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics, has a similar breakdown of the strongest job-growth categories namely:
1) Technology and computational thinking: software developer, computer systems analyst, market analyst, marketing specialist
2) Caregiving: medical technician, physical therapist, workplace ergonomic expert, veterinarian, medical secretary, medical assistant, home health aide
3)Social intelligence and new media literacy: retail and sales representatives, marketing specialist, customer service representative
4) Lifelong learning: teacher, trainer
Adaptability and business acumen : management analyst, accountant, auditor

I consulted the BLS and noted Microsoft Office-related tasks that each occupation performs and entered the information in the attached spreadsheet. I totaled the number of MS Office-related tasks for each occupation and sorted them by job growth. The findings show that while the job with the greatest growth involves the least use of MS Office, but, as the IDC statistics indicated, some level of Office-type skills will be required in all positions. Please see the spreadsheet below (Top Trending Jobs Using Microsoft Office) for a detailed breakdown of my findings.

To wrap up, data from the U.S. indicates that, despite rising requirements for other skills, a solid grounding in Microsoft Office remains a baseline demand for the jobs of the future. While hard data is not available globally, qualitative information indicates that the future employment prospects are similar to those in the U.S., and that they will also require at least a working knowledge of this suite of products.

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