According to the World Economic Forum, 29% of total task-hours are completed by machines. And it is no surprise, considering how robotics, mechatronics, and data science courses have risen in demand from industries, and accordingly gained popularity among students.
Machine learning and data science have particularly skyrocketed in popularity, with online learning platforms seeing a massive surge in enrolments during the lockdown period. With data itself fast becoming the most profitable asset in the digital age, the veritable boom in the field of data analytics and data science is not just understandable but downright expected.
When an algorithm consisting of a handful of lines of code can accomplish in a day what a multi-person team would achieve over a week, one begins to question the concept of job stability and security in this age of automation.
If you find yourself worried over the state of the workforce in the coming years, you are not alone. The robots are smarter than ever, the machines are learning, and your social media seems to know you better than you know yourself. About 37% of working people are concerned for their jobs because of technological advancements, according to research by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
However, there is hope.
The very same research found that 73% of workers believe that technology could never replace the human mind.
No matter how accurate the customer service chatbots, no matter how well drafted the automated email replies, no matter how clever or funny your choice of digital assistant, there is nothing that compares to the simple and effortless joy of human connection.
After all, we have all, at one point or another, been led astray to the middle of nowhere by the nice voice in our GPS. Never has the tea-stall owner on the side of the road ever given incorrect directions.
Coming to the anxiety of the workforce regarding their job security, it would be ignorant to claim that their fears are unfounded. Automation will, undoubtedly, eliminate a large number of jobs in the years to come.
However, automation will create far more jobs than it erases. The World Economic Forum expects 12 million jobs to be added to the global market by 2025, all thanks to the growth of automation.
It must be noted that retaining jobs, as well as acquiring the newly created jobs, will not be easy. In fact, all employees, current and prospective, must be prepared to constantly upskill and reskill themselves.
Continuously upgrading our skills is the need of the hour. To stay in step with the world as it grows and gets smarter, it is beyond imperative that the employees utilize all of the resources available to them to keep themselves updated. From highly educational free tutorials from experts on YouTube, to entire certified courses from eminent institutions from e-learning platforms such as Coursera, EdX, UpGrad and more, there are plenty of avenues available for employees to invest their time and effort, so as to enhance their knowledge. Staying market-ready, and more than that, staying market-relevant has never been more important.
Further, the approach to work has to be realigned. Especially as organizations adapt and tune themselves for a covid and post-covid world, the new approach has to be invariably customer-first.
In the age of smart and smarter devices, customer expect services to be available on touch of a button, approach towards providing solution should be revised from this perspective.
Knowing external environment and its impact on our work / business is important than ever now. Hence keeping updated with changes outside is so very important.
While automation will help in moving certain old tasks from manual to automated, still new opportunities will keep on coming.
Changing landscapes supports the smarter people to shine brighter than ever.