New-collar jobs refer to workers between blue and white-collar roles. These people have come to recognise that traditionally hard-to-attain jobs requiring years of study and training aren’t necessarily the most fulfilling and long-lived.

Workers are increasingly choosing jobs that are more satisfying in the short term and secure – these roles are traditionally viewed as “menial”, basic, or blue-collar – yet they offer the most fulfilment in everyday life. This approach of finding meaning and value in ‘menial’ tasks is supported by larger industry trends in how we work.

The feelings of workers are reflected in larger industry trends of technology transforming the way we work. Data-entry, bank tellers, and clerk roles are falling away and gobbled up by AI as menial tasks are digitised through technology-enabled businesses as they continue to streamline and evolve their processes. New-collar workers are tech-savvy, often have community college or online education, yet avoid being a cog in large businesses where they feel expendable.

There’s good news on the horizon for workers feeling the same way – new insights delivered by the World Economic Forum on the Future of Jobs report paints a clear picture of the way we work evolving toward this trend of new-collar work. Large-scale job growth is expected in education, agriculture, digital commerce, and trade. Agricultural equipment operators have the strongest outlook for future job creation – around 30% growth is expected in the industry as the world turns toward sustainability and slow economic development.

One of the driving factors behind the rise of new-collar jobs is the increasing emphasis on skills rather than degrees. While formal education will always have its place, many employers are recognising that real-world skills and experience can be just as valuable, if not more so, than a diploma. This is particularly evident in the tech industry, where coding boot camps and online courses have become popular alternatives to traditional computer science degrees.

The changing landscape of work is also being driven by the gig economy and the rise of freelance and remote work. More and more workers are opting for flexible work arrangements that allow them to have greater control over their time and work-life balance. This shift is fuelled by technological advancements that make remote work easier and more accessible than ever before. With the ability to work from anywhere, workers are no longer confined to a particular location or office. This not only opens up more opportunities for new-collar workers but also allows companies to tap into a global talent pool.

Another important aspect of the future of work is the increasing integration of technology into all industries. Automation and AI are already revolutionising many aspects of work, and this trend is expected to continue. While some fear that automation will lead to job losses, it is actually creating new opportunities for new-collar workers. As routine tasks become automated, workers will need to develop new skills to stay relevant in the workforce. For example, jobs in data analysis, cybersecurity, and digital marketing are in high demand and are well-suited for new-collar workers with a tech-savvy background.

In conclusion, the future of work is certainly changing, and new-collar jobs are emerging as a viable and fulfilling option for workers. The shift towards skills-based employment, the rise of the gig economy, and the integration of technology are all contributing to this changing landscape. As more workers seek meaningful and satisfying work, new-collar jobs are becoming an attractive alternative to traditional blue or white-collar roles. With the right skills and mindset, new-collar workers are well-positioned to thrive in the evolving workplace of the future.