Telenor Group has released the results of a pilot online survey across six nations in Asia, including India, assessing millennials’ attitudes about their future career, technology’s impact and the skills they need to be best prepared for the jobs of tomorrow. The results indicate that the nation’s young adults see the importance of technology in their vocational paths, yet believe that career success requires both technical and human skills, even if results show that 100% of respondents think robots in the workplace will be a part of our future.
“With the second highest number of Internet users in the world, India is fast emerging as a digital powerhouse of the world. This survey gives us an interesting perspective on how technology is impacting our youth in their careers and jobs. As a brand that resonates well with the young population of the country, Telenor is committed to participate to make the proliferation of Internet more inclusive and beneficial for the masses, and meaningfully contribute to ensure that we are the preferred partner in the digital life of our customers as they explore tech driven future job prospects,” says Sharad Mehrotra, Chief Executive Officer, Telenor India Communications.
The multi-market ‘Jobs of the Future’ survey obtained 4,200 respondents aged between 15 to 25, in India, Bangladesh, Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar and Pakistan. It was conducted via targeting through the Telenor Group Facebook with a sample size of 700 secondary school, or university students per market used in the results analysis.
“Our Facebook channel reaches an active, young – and largely Asian – following, so we felt that this would be a great place to pilot such a survey,” said Sheena Lim, Director of Social Media, Telenor Group. “We thought this would combine the fun, engaging side of social media surveys with potentially interesting insights into Asian youth attitudes on technology and their future careers.”
India’s youth: Digital technology key to future careers
In India, 66% of millennials said they were ‘excited’ about future opportunities in the internet and digital sectors, with the largest majority (34%) saying they were ‘extremely excited.’ Also, 57% of Indian youth also said that mobile/internet technology will be ‘important’ in their career by 2020, mirroring the average of 63% of youth aggregated in all six nations. Indicating just how significant youth in India think it is, only three percent said that technology is ‘not really important’ for their future.
Build human skills
The surveyed youth in all but one of the countries agreed that non-technical skills will also be important for jobs of the future. The highest numbers of Indian (36%), Bangladeshi (34%) and Pakistani (37%) youth maintained that the most significant skills for a great future job will be the ‘ability to inspire others, and leadership capability.’ More than one in four of the surveyed Singaporean youth regard ‘people management and emotional intelligence’ (27%). Nearly one in three Myanmar youth leaned towards ‘creativity, cognitive flexibility’ (29%). The standout in this category was Malaysia, where 24% of the surveyed stated that tech-related ‘mobile and web development, and super coding skills,’ were the most important. The skills that Indian millennials rated as the least important future job skills are: data analysis, research and interpretation (12%).
Robots will replace humans in many future professions
All of the Indian youth surveyed agreed that robots will replace humans in many future professions, as did all the participating countries. On which jobs robots would most likely replace humans in, 38% of Indian respondents predicted that the manufacturing and engineering industries would see the most machine takeovers.
Fascinatingly, 22% of locals say that the proliferation of robots will not affect them much and 9% would like to be the ones that design these robots. The other surveyed nations were united with this sentiment that robots will replace humans, with Malaysia and Bangladesh (both 44%), forty-one percent of surveyed in Myanmar agreed, followed by 38% in Singapore and 34% in Pakistan.
What Asia’s youth think they bring to the career table?
When youth were asked to describe the qualities that best encapsulate themselves as young thinkers and students, the most in India (24%) and Myanmar (30%) stated they were ‘highly creative, intuitive thinkers.’ Whereas the youth in Bangladesh (26%), Singapore (32%) and Malaysia (24%) chose to say they were ‘compassionate with a sense of justice and a desire to protect.’ The largest group in Pakistan (24%) described themselves as armed with ‘strategic vision and big-picture mindsets. ’ On the contrary, Indian respondents (14%) were least likely to say they were equipped with ‘mathematical prowess and advanced analytical skills,’ as were those in Myanmar (13%) and Bangladesh (14%).
Hungry for technology and human connections
India’s millennials also appeared enthusiastic for a technology-driven future. Youth in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Myanmar all agreed with the statement: ‘It’s important to understand all kinds of technology – I want to know as much as I can!,’ with Myanmar topping the scale at 34% of respondents, and India at 32%. Singapore and Malaysia admire the human aspects of technology; with 31% of Singaporeans and 28% of Malaysians saying that the best thing about the internet is that it ‘connects us to all kinds of people and ideas.’
“It’s fascinating to see that young adults not only revere technology and the opportunities it presents them, but also see themselves as ‘compassionate’, and ‘highly creative’. The fact they are aligned in not only believing that technology and the internet are crucial for their careers, but that they are excited about this, is very motivating to us. They reflect the way Telenor Group views Asia—as a vibrant region with talented and promising youth who look to make meaningful contributions in their jobs of the future,” said Yasu Sato, Head of Digital Capabilities, People Development, Telenor Group.