There’s One Big Trend Driving The Coming Global Talent War

McKinsey estimated in a recent report that there could be an 18 million person shortage in the supply of high skill, college-educated workers by 2020. And that’s just advanced economies. If you add China, the shortfall could be as high as 35 million.

The reason is quite simple: Technology replaces low skill workers. 

Meanwhile the jobs and industries that have been relatively untouched by outsourcing and automation are those that require extensive human contact, particularly “knowledge jobs” like medicine, engineering, finance, management and education. 

Thus highly skilled workers are becoming more productive and more valuable.

That trend plus huge demographic pressures in Europe, China and Japan, and increasing demand in developing countries will likely lead to a massive shortage in the future.  

Here’s McKinsey’s chart breaking it down:


[credit provider=”McKinsey Quarterly” url=”″]



The industries that are actually growing put a premium on talent and eduction:



McKinsey 2

[credit provider=”McKinsey Quarterly” url=”″]

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