40% of workers will have to reskill in the next three years due to AI, says IBM study

Learn how to use AI or you'll be replaced by someone who does.
Written by Sabrina Ortiz, Editor
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Generative AI models like ChatGPT can do many technical tasks, such as writing and coding, well -- so well that many people fear that the technology will replace their jobs. A new IBM study shows that people shouldn't fear the technology, but rather leverage it for their own gain. 

The IBM report analyzes how the emergence of AI is affecting company business models, especially in how they leverage AI to carry out their operations and how it affects job roles. 

Also: 4 ways to increase the usability of AI, according to industry experts 

To find answers to these questions, IBM pulled data from two prior studies, one survey of 3,000 C-level executives across 28 countries and another of 21,000 workers in 22 nations. The results showed that AI will undoubtedly cause change in the workforce and businesses, but not necessarily for the worse. 

The executives surveyed estimated that 40% of their workforce will have to reskill in the next three years due to AI implementation, totaling up to a whopping 1.4 billion of the 3.4 billion people in the global workforce, according to World Bank statistics. 

However, 87% of those executives expect generative AI to augment roles rather than replace them. 

According to IBM IBV research, tech adopters who successfully reskill to adapt "technology-driven job changes report a revenue growth rate premium of 15% on average" and those who focus on AI "see a 36% higher revenue growth rate than their peers."

"AI won't replace people—but people who use AI will replace people who don't," said IBM in the report. 

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The new skill paradigm shifts technical skills that were typically prioritized, such as proficiency in STEM, which was the most critical skill in 2016, to the least priority in 2023. The reason is that now tools like ChatGPT allow workers to do more with less knowledge, as noted by the report. 

Most critical skills required of the workforce

Now there is a bigger emphasis on people skills such as team management, the ability to work effectively in team environments, the ability to communicate effectively, and the willingness to be adaptable to change, which all shifted to top the most critical skills required of the workforce in 2023. 

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