What professions have good prospects for development?

By Robert Half on 29 May 2024

From a Global Economic Transformation Perspective, What Professions Have Development Prospects in the Future?

The global economy has experienced a sharp decline due to the impact of the pandemic, leading to significant disruptions in the job market and an increase in unemployment rates, particularly in sectors heavily affected by the service and tourism industries. In contrast, the Chinese economy has shown a rapid recovery post-pandemic and has demonstrated a strong growth trajectory. The government has implemented a series of policies and measures to encourage investment, strengthen infrastructure construction, and upgrade industries, thus stimulating consumption. The job market in China is gradually recovering, and according to the World Economic Forum's Future of Jobs Report 2023 (1), China is expected to add $1.9 trillion in economic value and create 88 million new jobs by 2030. 

Driven by economic, environmental, and geopolitical trends, both globally and in China, there is a structural transformation underway in employment dynamics, with technology reshaping how we work, the content of our work, and future job demands. What professions have development prospects in the future? Big data analysis and cutting-edge technology emerge as one of the primary drivers for the most significant growth in future job demand. According to forecasts by the China Daily (2), China's digital economy had  exceeded 50 trillion yuan ($7.15 trillion) for the first time in 2022, the index value of China's digital economy reached 202.3 in the fourth quarter of 2022, 1.8 times more than the same period in 2018. This data serves as a crucial driver for China's sustainable economic development, presenting ample opportunities for professionals in associated industries.

What professions have good future development prospects?

The following five positions are among the top in the list of fastest-growing job demands in the future:

1. Financial BPs and financial analysts

The finance industry, as the core of the modern economy, drives productivity development, technological innovation, and industrial upgrading, covering a wide range of career fields and development opportunities. Financial robots driven by artificial intelligence technology are gradually replacing basic accounting, and under the trend of financial-business integration, financial BPs and financial analysts are becoming emerging positions for the transformation and reform of financial organizations, with job demand becoming increasingly fierce. In the report Digital Transformation of Finance Organizations (3) by the IBM Institute for Business Value, it was mentioned that the most significant challenge enterprises face in advancing digitalization is the lack of professional talent adept in applying digital financial technologies. Finance business partners and financial analysts need to possess specialized financial knowledge and work hand in hand with business units to guide strategic directions in budget management, financial operational analysis, cost optimization, and risk control, making them core positions driving digital business transformation, including operational decision-making.

2. Business analyst

Business analysts serve as the communication bridge between a company's digital and business capabilities. They are responsible for assessing the company's current products, services, business processes, and areas for improvement, collaborating with stakeholders to identify solutions to enhance business operations. Through tasks like data analysis, business process optimization, market analysis, and user experience enhancement, business analysts help drive business decision- making driven by data in the digital economy, enabling success in competitive markets.

3. Data architect

With the advancement of the Digital China initiative, the big data industry in China has experienced rapid development in policies, technologies, and applications. Various sectors have witnessed continuous improvement in data collection and application capabilities. Consequently, there is a growing demand for data architects. According to the 2024 Panorama of China's Big Data Industry (4), the scale of China's big data industry was estimated to reach RMB1.9 trillion in 2023, with a year-on-year growth of 23%. In China’s big data industry, a data architect serves as the overall designer of enterprise data strategies, responsible for establishing data models, devising data management strategies, and monitoring solutions for data quality and environment. They play a crucial role as the core force in driving digital transformation within enterprises and fostering the success of innovation and development in the digital economy.

4. Compliance manager

As enterprises undergo digital transformation, they face increasing challenges in terms of legal regulations and risks, such as data privacy protection, cybersecurity, and management systems. With the continuous strengthening of regulatory measures and the improvement of laws, regulations, and policy guidelines in China, standardizing compliance management and mitigating compliance risks are the cornerstones for Chinese enterprises to achieve high-quality economic development and enhance international competitiveness. The role of Compliance manager emerged as a new profession and was included in the Occupational Classification Directory of the People's Republic of China by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security in 2021. The Ministry referred to it as a "new profession nurtured by the high-quality development of enterprises." Compliance managers are responsible for overseeing compliance in various areas such as legal affairs, finance, auditing, import and export, labor environment, and corporate social responsibility. Their role involves conducting compliance initiatives, managing, and supervising to ensure that the behavior of the enterprise and its internal members complies with laws, regulations, regulatory requirements, industry standards, and ethical norms. Compliance managers will play an active role in regulating corporate investment and business operations, emphasizing environmental protection, fulfilling social responsibilities, and enhancing the competitive soft power of the enterprise.

5. Financial manager

The development of financial markets and the push towards a digital economy are driving the digital transformation of corporate finance, optimizing business models, and strengthening awareness of risk management and regulatory compliance. Enterprises require more data analysis to support decision-making processes. As one of the core positions in corporate financial management, the financial manager is responsible for developing the company's annual financial budget and performance appraisal system, establishing a sound financial accounting system and internal control system, setting up a cost control system, preparing monthly operational analysis reports, enhancing cash flow management, and providing financial decision-making support for major investment and financing activities of the company. 

The transformation of the world economy is shaping future demands for employment and skills and choosing a profession with good development prospects requires careful consideration. Big data analysis and cutting-edge technology have emerged as one of the primary drivers for the most significant growth in future job demand, while roles like Financial BP, business analyst, data architect, compliance manager, and financial manager are emerging as the most promising new professions. If you are actively pursuing your dream career in China and seeking more professional advice on career growth, take a step in the right direction and contact us to help you achieve your dream job!



(1) https://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Future_of_Jobs_2023.pdf 

(2) http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202305/18/WS64659a04a310b6054fad3b66.html 

(3) https://www.ibm.com/downloads/cas/RQGNBGDL 

(4) https://cn.investing.com/news/economy/article-2322531

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