Can we now think of life without a mobile phone? Let us take a trip back in time when we had no internet, no iPhones, or times when we had no Uber cabs, or Harry Potter, ordering food online or groceries. Our lives right now is inundated with technology, however the most useful tools that we cannot do without today did not exist even 15 years ago. The world is changing and so is the work of the world. We need to think and act on how to future proof the youth for the dynamically changing world of work. In this new work world previously valued skills are fast losing their ground, becoming obsolete. We are almost at the beginning of the Fourth Industrial revolution. With the technological advances, the changes in the socio-economic and demographic developments, we need to incorporate changes in many facets of our lives.
The most important change that is the need of the hour is change in the education system. Our schools and colleges need work on new teaching strategies to meet the challenge of developing new skills that the future will demand from the students who will pass out of these institutions. This also means that the future jobs will be vastly different by the time the students graduate out of the colleges. The days of manual dexterity, precision and endurance is fast declining. Gone are the time of factory workers and physical production, those will be handled by the machines. It is very difficult to predict what kind of technology might come up in the next 5 years. This is an era when we need to have mental elasticity and the ability to think analytically and innovatively. The future will bring in new challenges that we have never seen or heard about before and we need to be creative and analytical at the same time to combat those challenges. Critical thinking is one aspect of the future job scenario. One needs to have excellent critical thinking skills. The future is of automation, but we need to constantly analyze various situations, look at the multiple solutions that are there and the best one to pick and choose through logic and reasoning.
One other facet that has been affected by the ever changing technology is Memory, verbal, auditory, and spatial abilities. We are completely dependent on technology even for the most simplest of things that happens. This has affected our ability to retain memory, our speech, and our auditory abilities. We need to change our learning strategies and be more active to learning. This also will have a great impact on how we conduct ourselves socially. With machines and technology taking over we need to pay more attention to our people skills and in turn pay more attention to our visual, auditory and speech skills in order for humans to stick together. We need to learn how to manage working amongst the crowd of robots as well as people, which mean getting in touch with our emotions, listening and having empathy for each other.
We are trying to change the education system and we constantly hear about STEM or Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, however, we need to further do this with social, mobile analytics and cloud. A good understanding and learning of these skills and platform will enhance our chances of standing out in the future job market. We also need to focus more on interdisciplinary knowledge. Future career will require more information to be pulled out of various fields in order to come up with creative solutions for the future problems.
Future will definitely be for people who think out of the box, take for example Trash Engineering. Today the world produces 2.6 billion pounds of trash annually. We need to find a way to deal with these trashes. We need to be creative and come out with solutions to combat these problems that will need attention for sustaining human life on this only planet that we call home. This also calls for emotional intelligence, to be aware of the things that are happening around us and make ourselves handle situations judiciously and empathetically. The future will be about complex problem solving.
There are certain skills that are fast declining and we need to work on those, like management of financial and material resources. We need to work on Personnel management, quality control and safety awareness. Most importantly we need to be disciplined and learn time management. On the positive side there has been growing leadership in the youth and they are able to reach out to a vast audience thus influencing the society as a whole.
These are the key areas that we need to work on immediately. Skills up gradation are the need of the hour. Just being an engineer does not work anymore as the jobs are no longer static. Every aspect of job has become dynamic and is constantly evolving. Companies have to constantly train their work force to meet the demands of the changing job patterns and to keep the wheels running. There is a huge gap between the demand and supply of skilled and highly skilled segment. There always is a surplus of the semi-skilled work force and as such it is the companies who are training these semi-skilled work forces on a routine basis to keep up with the demand of the job. This process impacts the business specially those of small and medium entrepreneurs. However, with the changes in technologies and the dynamics of the future jobs, skilling, up skilling and reskilling will be a lifelong process. The educational institutes have to be focused on aligning themselves to this ever-changing need and re-design the courses that are on offer, have trained faculty and facilities for the students in the institutes so that the students are job ready once out of the institute premises.
One major social change that is the need the hour is to change the gender stereotyping that is still prevalent in the society. Engineering is yet considered a male domain. This is also one of the reasons why there is a gap between demand and supply of skilled professionals especially in the research and development, automated manufacturing, different engineering service sectors. Gone are the days where women were probably kept away from factories as the working conditions were not conducive. Now with automation being the main backbone of manufacturing industries it has become conducive for recruitment of the women forces. Apart from these aspects factories today greatly focus on environmental awareness, health and safety of the workers.
It is time for women to come out and take up engineering as a career option. It has changed specially in the IT, ITES, Telecom sectors. There is a growing women workforce that is known for their skills and dependability. This growing women work for will also help in balancing the gender diversity.
The possibilities of future jobs are endless, provided one understands the requirements and skills himself/herself with the right knowledge. However, it is also important to understand what the areas of interest are and not limit oneself, who knows what innovative thought might create the next billion dollars idea.
By: Madhuchanda Saxena
Content and Image Source: Future of Jobs Report 2018, World Economic Forum
Posted By - Assistant Editor