By | Addison Jenning | HR Manager | Job Descriptions Wiki
The world is changing faster than it ever did; people are more globally connected, life expectancy is rising and ground-breaking technologies are emerging. Technologies such as quantum computing, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, the internet of things and robotics are already beginning to influence the job market. Indeed a 2016 report by the World Economic Forum predicts that by 2020, five million jobs will have been lost to automation. Experts have also noted that 35% of essential job skills to succeed in the workplace will be totally different five years from now.
The fourth industrial revolution
It is apparent that we are on the crest of a technological revolution. The gears have been set in motion and there is no denial that things will not remain constant for long. If you look back, a few years ago, you will realise how much the job place has changed. Jobs such as typists and office clerks, switchboard operators, and many factory floor jobs have already become redundant. That is not all. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that most jobs in the postal service and machine operation will be extinct in the next few years.
While the first industrial revolution was built on water and steam power, the fourth industrial revolution is building on a fusion of technologies. Electronics, information technology and the digital revolution are the main drivers of this revolution. By 2020 this industrial revolution will have brought forward autonomous transport, machine learning, biotechnologies and artificial intelligence among other impactful applications of advanced technology. By this time there will advanced computing power, availability of vast amounts of data, and unlimited access to knowledge.
How will the fourth industrial revolution affect you?
- Some job skills will be redundant
In the next few years, innovations and technology will change job requirements and many essential job skills today will no longer be required. The future of jobs Report predicts that admin personnel, manufacturing, and office workers will be among the hardest hit. Even in business things will change; the skills and required abilities for being a successful event planner, for example, will be different than they are now.
- New jobs will emerge
In 1990, nobody would have imagined that a new industry called search engine optimization would emerge. The industry is now worth$65 billion and has provided employment to a large part of the global population. In the next few years, new jobs will emerge and certain skills will be required.
- There will be new opportunities and threats for businesses
Machines will be more efficient and production costs might be lower. New channels of communication will emerge and transport costs will be lower. However, there will be increased competition and consumers will have a higher bargaining power and more access to information.
- Impact on the government
Citizens will have more access to information and will engage the government more freely and effectively. The multiple platforms will allow people to easily voice opinions. It will also be easier to circumvent supervision. On the other hand, the government will have more powerful technology to control populations.
Which job skills will you need in order to be successful?
- Adaptability and entrepreneurship
In the next few years you will be expected to learn new things, adopt new ways of thinking and be comfortable with new cultures and languages. Even though adaptability is not something you can learn in the class you will be expected to be more comfortable with change and new ways of doing things. Globalisation has affected many businesses and its effects are going to be even more profound. With such changes coming, you must change your mindset and train yourself to move with new waves. Employees will also be expected to have the business acumen to understand how business operates. You will have to see things from the perspective of the owner and make decisions based on that perspective.
- Lifelong learning
In the next few years, you will be called for to apply knowledge that you never learned in school. As a matter of fact, no school will be able to impact you with the knowledge that you will require to be successful in the workplace. You will, therefore, have to rely on dynamic resources and to commit yourself to lifelong learning. Learning will shift to highly compacted small chunks of information that you will be expected to process understand and apply.
- Soft skills
No amount of artificial intelligence or automation will replace human traits. You will be required to have great communication skills, resilience and a positive attitude for jobs such as sales, customer service and for many leadership positions. Even though robots can receive payments and give change in a coffee shop, customers will still crave human attention. Soft skills such as friendliness, empathy and problem-solving abilities are going to be in high demand. Such skills can only be acquired through practice and adopting the right attitude.
- Computational thinking
There is no doubt that advanced machines will dominate most operations at the workplace. As a result, data literacy and mathematical skills will be in great demand. Data is a major driving force of the fourth industrial revolution. As a result, a vast amount of information will be collected and analysed. There will be a demand for data management and analytical skills. If you can spot patterns and interpret trends, you will be valuable at any workplace. Indeed, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics has predicted that jobs such as computer systems analyst and Market research analyst will grow by 20.9% and 18.6 % by 2024.
- Virtual collaboration
Already large populations of Americans are working from home or from remote destinations. Virtual collaboration is the ability to work in a team without physical presence. Advancements in communication and the Internet are making it easier for companies to hire people from any corner of the globe and even operate without an office. In a few years, managers without the ability to produce results from virtual teams will find themselves pushed out of the workplace.
Specialisations will no longer be beneficial. As an employee, you will be required to understand many concepts across various disciplines.
Things are changing fast and no person or job is safe. If you want to be successful in the job place in the future, you must possess essential job skills that will be in demand in the years to come.
About the Author
Addison Jenning is an HR Manager and a productivity-driven employer. She never gets tired of emphasizing how important is the culture of a company and she always tries to find new ways of improving the one she works in. Also, she writes and edits articles for JobDescriptionsWiki, hoping that her work will help individuals find the right career path.