The trajectory of the job market hinges on automation, and the presence of automated systems in the workplaces is already well documented.
There are currently over 260,000 robots working in U.S factories today where robotic systems handle repetitive tasks seamlessly, ensuring a perfect process. This is just one example, so if your job requires repetition and consumes unnecessary time, you need to seriously consider learning new skills, because you stand at risk of losing your job to robots in the next couple of years.
Humans can’t compete with robots and automated systems. The best way to prepare for the future is not to become better at skills that are prone to automation. You should learn skills that cannot be automated, or ones that are required to assist machines.
There is already automated software systems for specialty jobs like marketing, project management, information technology, AP professionals, and a laundry list of industrial jobs. If you want to stick around in this job market, it’s time to start working toward skills that can’t be replaced. Here’s some things to consider:
Specialize on Emotional Intelligence
Robots and artificial intelligence are many things, but they are not empathic. Machines do not have emotional intelligence.
But humans do.
Emotional intelligence is an important skill to develop to stay relevant in the next couple of years of the technological and information revolution. Interestingly, emotional intelligence is relevant in virtually every activity. It requires high empathy, responsiveness, self-awareness, listening and so forth.
Interpersonal interaction is enhanced by emotional intelligence. Any discipline that focuses on emotional intelligence would be relevant even in the face of the upcoming industrial revolution. Furthermore, emotional intelligence is a skill that can be learned. The skill is already in high demand today but it is likely to be in a greater demand in the future as some of the more trivial tasks are replaced by robots and automation.
College Degree and the Automated Future
The value of a college degree will not be completely invalidated by the next industrial revolution but it will be affected. Interestingly, some jobs that are still safe from automation require college degree and some interpersonal skills. However, there may be a greater need for technical skills obtained through vocational training.
In November, 2016, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty wrote an open letter to President Donald Trump. In the letter, she introduced the idea of “new collar jobs”. According to Rometty, “new collar jobs” are jobs that stand in the middle between professional careers and trade.
Such jobs merge industry knowledge and technical skills. They include a large part of data science, AI and cyber security and mostly include the jobs of database managers, server technicians and several other IT related jobs.
The Need for Adaptability
One of the most important skills that would be relevant in the future of jobs is adaptability. Adaptability is the ability to change or be changed in order to work better in a particular condition or for some certain purpose. Knowledge and skills used to be the most important things in the workplace, but times are seriously changing and it appears that they would not likely be very relevant in the future. Adaptability in this sense calls for the need to work alongside with robots and in different working conditions seamlessly.
Moreover, adaptability requires the ability to easily fit into new jobs when the current job has been replaced by robots. It is likely that companies would want to hire people who are willing to shift roles and work under different circumstances in the near future.
It is important to reinstate that most forms of artificial intelligence are not meant to replace people or put people off work, but rather to eliminate human errors and free up employees, enabling them to take on more creative and serious roles. It is necessary for companies to train their employees to adjust and adapt along with software in order to be relevant in the future workplace.
Creative Intelligence Skills
Humans have an innate crave and ability to create. Such creation may not be perfect, but the ability to create and fashion out new things that do not already exist make humans unique and irreplaceable.
Machines are not creative, at least for now. With artificial intelligence, it is likely that robots will develop creative skills but there is no doubt that humans will still man those creative processes and be in charge.
Thus, an important skill to develop in order to stay relevant in the future is creativity. Creativity involves problem solving and solution providing ability. It involve coming up with a better, out-of-the-box way of doing things different from the norm and usual methods. Such skills are indispensable today and will still remain relevant tomorrow.
Author: Susan Ranford