Reshaping Careers In Wake Of Fourth Industrial Revolution

Reshaping Careers In Wake Of Fourth Industrial Revolution

The sweeping changes being brought about by the 4th industrial revolution necessitate that individuals prepare well for emerging careers, factors that guide the employment market and skills required for future careers

We are at the beginning stages of a new industrial revolution that will not only profoundly transform the majority of enterprises and industries but will also have far-reaching implications for our professional trajectories. This industrial revolution will bring about change and innovation at a rate that has never been seen before. 

The convergence of digital, physical and biological systems

The 4th industrial revolution that is building up gradually is ushering a paradigm shift in the way we live, work and interact with each other, driven by the rapid advancement of new-age technologies. It is powered by artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, the internet of things and many more smart technologies. These technologies have the potential to transform a majority of industries and enterprises by increasing their efficiency and productivity. It marks the beginning of an age in which machines can communicate and interact with one another, creating a network of smart devices that can make decisions, analyse data and solve problems without human intervention. A recent report from Deloitte UK found that while over 800,000 jobs have been lost to automation over the past fifteen years, 3.5 million have been created as a direct result of the same. As machines become more intelligent and capable, many routine and repetitive tasks are being automated due to which, new skills such as data analysis, coding, and digital literacy will be in high demand in the times to come. To thrive in this new world of work, employees need to develop new skills and be willing to embrace change, while employers need to provide training and support to help their employees succeed in their jobs.

The great reshuffle led by immersive technologies 

A significant catalyst in the convergence of the physical and digital worlds are immersive technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality. While VR and AR have been around for a while, they are expected to take a huge leap forward in Industry 4.0, creating an impact on several industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, education and more. For instance, VR offers an array of applications in the healthcare industry including but not limited to pain management, skill training for doctors, abilities, physical therapy and phobia treatment. Another way industries are leveraging the potential of AR & VR in the age of Industry 4.0 is by using it in areas like product R&D, workplace design and layout, inventory management, remote maintenance and servicing of equipment, workers’ safety and real-time employee training. This clearly indicates an unprecedented spurt in jobs in these fields. A report by Statista forecasts that more than 23 million jobs will be enhanced by VR and AR globally by 2030, a significant increase from the 800 thousand jobs that were enhanced by VR and AR in 2019. 

The huge impact of big data 

Big data is a technology that is hastening the fusion of the physical and digital worlds. The rapid expansion of big data and increasing reliance on analytics are creating new job opportunities beyond analysts and data scientists. Big data is playing and will continue to play a huge role in predictive analysis, IT, agriculture, healthcare, banking and securities, media and entertainment, education, manufacturing and natural resources, insurance, retail and wholesale trade. These roles will require specialised skills in data management and architecture, in addition to technical expertise. As the industry continues to grow, there will be a need for talented professionals who can apply this technology in real-time and take it to new heights. Many companies are likely to invest in retraining their staff to ensure they are equipped for the future. In the years to come, we can expect the creation of new jobs and the emergence of fresh talent to be among the top trends in the big data landscape.

Skills of the future

The future of work is expected to be largely led by skills. Workplaces of the future will lay great emphasis on cross-functionality, and the ability to transition seamlessly from one role to the other. Though technical skills will continue to drive Industry 4.0, the accelerated pace of development calls for new skill sets to be cultivated.  It is anticipated that higher-order thinking skills, creativity and design thinking skills will be in high demand across industries and departments. With machines and technologies taking over the employment market, workers will have to augment their capabilities to survive and thrive. 

Nurturing the ‘CEO’ mindset

The fourth industrial revolution is transforming the job market and individuals need to be prepared for the reshaping of careers that will occur as a result. By upskilling and reskilling, embracing lifelong learning, developing soft skills and considering entrepreneurship, individuals can position themselves for success in this new job market. According to a survey published by LinkedIn, it is anticipated that the younger generation will have held twice as many jobs by the time they reach the age of 30 as against their peers who are 10 years older. As a result of this transition, individuals need to treat their professions more like a business in which they are CEOs. This is true regardless of whether they are independent contractors or work full-time for an organisation. Those professionals who conduct themselves in the same manner as an efficient CEO and who plan, organise and train themselves to be in a position to provide the expertise and resources that clients and companies require will be in the driver’s seat of their own professional futures. The idea of treating your profession as a business essentially suggests that a worker should take a more proactive approach to managing their career. Thinking strategically about their professional goals, developing a plan to achieve those goals, and continually assessing and refining their approach are stepping stones to career success. 

Benjamin Franklin rightly said, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”  The sweeping changes being brought about by the 4th industrial revolution necessitate that individuals prepare well for emerging careers, factors that guide the employment market and skills required for future careers. It is imperative that youngsters look ahead to see what new opportunities may present themselves in the future. The right guidance at an early age is an important differentiator between those who are well prepared for the future and those who struggle to find their feet. Schools and educators must emphasise on facilitating career guidance during school years to help learners prepare for career success in the evolving careers landscape. 

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