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Finding your Value in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Updated: Sep 2, 2019

Artificial Intelligence, Big Data Analytics, Cloud Technology and High-speed Internet are words regularly frequented in the modern working world, and those which may in fact significantly impact the world of work as we know it. Research suggests these are going to be the four main drivers of change in the up-coming years. Although many questions seem to arise in the face of change, there seem to be two which are most pertinent to the occupational world:

  • Who and what is going to be affected in terms of job security and employability?

  • And more importantly, what is going to be required of us in order to remain valuable?

Many industries and fields are likely to experience some kind of transformation or change – some more significantly than others. A recent report on the future of jobs suggested that across certain industries 29% of task hours were currently being completed by machines. This was estimated to increase to 42% of total task hours being completed by machines in 2022, a significant decrease in completion by humans. It is suggested that work of a physically demanding or extremely repetitive nature is most likely to be impacted by automation. Specific fields impacted may include production, manufacturing or agricultural industries, whereas industries such as software development or data analytics may still significantly require human input.


Overall, there seems to be an optimistic outlook across industries increasing employment from 16% to 27% as a result of emerging professions. Therefore, human input and performance is still significant across professions, just in a slightly different or transformed way. For example, the aviation industry has become predominantly automated with autopilot, radar and meteorology technology and computerized anti-collision systems, however, human input is still required to control the machinery doing the work.


So, how can you future-proof your own career amidst all of these changes?


  1. Your Value: Think about ‘standing out from the crowd’ and having a ‘flagship’ that epitomises you. What makes you different?

  2. Innately Human Characteristics: Skills such as critical thinking, people management, empathy, emotional intelligence and creativity prove to be more difficult to ‘clone’ or replicate by machines. These qualities are essential in service-related fields such as teaching and health-providers.

  3. Re-skill, Up-skill: Acquire specific technical skills and knowledge necessary for emerging novel professions. Areas likely to be of increasing demand, among others, include Data Analytics, Software and Application Development and Social Media Specialists. 85% of companies are projected to adopt User and Entity Big Data Analytics by 2022.

  4. Growth Mindset: In such a fast and ever-changing world, the ability to be receptive to change and to adapt efficiently may be necessary to prosper. Equipped with a mindset open to learning, and demonstrating intellectual flexibility, better prepares an individual to invest energy in taking initiative, improving, persevering and striving towards success.


The fourth industrial revolution is one for opportunity – find your value to add and capitalise on it.



References:


1. https://www.careerjunction.co.za/blog/the-future-of-jobs/?cid=SEAdvert_Google_Search_EN_DSA-Admin_c_Admin__RL_-_-&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI-tDEmN6E5AIVmK3tCh06OgsiEAAYAyAAEgJI7fD_BwE

2. World Economic Forum: The Future of Jobs Report 2018.

3. https://www.edsurge.com/news/2018-10-06-the-most-important-skills-for-the-4th-industrial-revolution-try-ethics-and-philosophy

4. https://hbr.org/2016/01/what-having-a-growth-mindset-actually-means


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