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Does the 4th Industrial Revolution impact my job?

BY: Dr Riaan Steenberg|19 January 2019
BLOG| My future career, Evolving world of work

By 2026, the portion of work that algorithms perform in the workplace will rise from today’s 29% to more than 50%. This statistic is courtesy of the exceptional World Economic Forum (WEF) report on the Reskilling Revolution, which offers deep insight into how jobs will change in the next seven to ten years or so.

Going forward, more and more of your interactions with large service providers and government will be delivered by artificial intelligence. Don’t be surprised if you soon receive a call from a bot that talks you through ways that you can improve the schooling of your child, for example. This will be based on an analysis of your bank account transactions, spending patterns and latest tax returns.

Currently, there are about 950 job categories in the world of work. But many of these simply won’t exist ten years from now. How can you make ensure that you either select the right future career or choose the right path in reskilling yourself to remain employable into the future?

To assist, here is a bit more insight from the WEF report.

Six winners

The six industries that will surge ahead as job creators in the next 10 years are:

  • Healthcare
  • Business and financial
  • Food preparation and serving
  • Personal care and service
  • Construction
  • Education

Even though these industries will create jobs, they certainly won’t look exactly like they do today – they will go through massive technological changes. This means that the people that work in them will have different roles. Many of these jobs will be much more technology-orientated. For instance, a doctor will be more likely to be doing robot-assisted surgery on patients. And a construction worker is more likely to be using a plastering machine, or a 3D printer, to build a wall in record time.

Read more about how to upskill and reskill yourself to remain an employable asset

Six changers

The six industries that will change the most and potentially experience the most job loss are expected to be:

  • Office and administrative work
  • Computing
  • Transport
  • Maintenance and security
  • Production
  • Sales

Unfortunately, if you are working in these industries, you have a greater than 20% chance of losing your job or having your responsibilities fundamentally change over the coming years. Larger trucks, more efficient systems and remote technologies will change these industries and effectively eliminate large parts of them.

Here are some examples of how the changes could play out:

1. Secretary

If you are working as a secretary today, you may have to pivot into a role in human resources or supervision. This will be because your boss will start to plug directly into systems that allow him to assess the business, and, which will help guide his decisions. His need for minutes and reports, and even business meetings, will decline to the extent that he may no longer need an assistant.

2. Receptionist

Receptionists will disappear, replaced by intelligent call routing – they could consider moving into roles as logistics coordinators.

3. Security guards

Security guards will be replaced by efficient remote monitoring and access control systems. They could then consider studying for roles as retail and warehouse workers.

4. Computer engineer

If you are a computer engineer or network specialist, you need to upskill to work on self-driving cars as an automotive engineer soon.

Read more about what online courses to study to land one of the four hottest jobs in the world

If you want to have a job in ten years’ time, the WEF report estimates that you will need to retrain yourself for a minimum of two years in the next 10 years and you must make sure that this training involves a strong undertone of understanding the technology that is changing your industry.

The upside is that you will spend less time on mundane tasks because technology is transforming our lives. It will be increasingly important to be able to use technology to achieve every aspect of your success in life.

And just as we are getting our head around the 4th Industrial Revolution, believe it or not, we are already starting to prepare for the 5th Industrial Revolution. How will jobs change when you can control most of what you want personally, directly through neural input to machines that anticipate your needs based on behavioural patterns? Imagine a future where everyone has a basic universal income, you wake up and your personalised supplement for the day puts you in peak performance and you perform specific labour that has been designed by an AI to be both pleasurable and useful for society and the optimum use of your skills and potential.

This is not as far in the future as you may think.


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