Today, mankind is adopting technology and digitization unlike it has done ever before. As a result, the trend has enabled us to attain an evolved lifestyle with specialized job roles. But what is the need for such a level of specialization? Well, a tech-driven future is the only future that our society belongs to. All of us have experienced its advantages and relevance in our ‘new normal’.
However, one of the core attributes of this tech-driven future is that it will also mandate an advanced skill-set to drive it. The need for ultramodern skills will cut across the entire strata of job roles and processes. So, we have to prepare our workforce well beforehand to aptly position ourselves for this future. Ultimately, what is the point in selling oranges when the market only needs apples?
Why Skill Development?
We are today observing large-scale automation of across-the-board processes. While specialized machines and technological systems are making our jobs simpler (much like computers have done for quite some time now), the precision of back-end functions/ancillary processes is being enhanced via emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics.
For comprehensive consideration, even if certain processes get automated, they will naturally create other functions that need to be catered to. Industrialization has previously automated a majority of manual work. However, it has simultaneously created dedicated job roles that require an evolved skill-set. Similarly, in the future, we are going to observe a specialization of another degree, scale, and pace.
Today, a majority of the jobs that we see did not exist a decade or two before. We don’t know how many of the current job roles are going to remain intact by the next decade. Some estimates suggest that this figure can easily exceed the 80%-mark by 2030.
It will make skill-set a unique commodity in our job market – more than it is today. As we observe a superior technological infusion, skill development will also become a perpetual journey that our entire industry will soon embark on. Thankfully, we will have technology at our disposal to optimally learn as well.
Sifting the Sands of Time: A Brief Glimpse into the Future
All of us are aware that predicting the future is easier said than done. But we also know that the future only has room for efficiency. Anything ineffective or unviable gets phased out sooner or later. So, we can have a glimpse into the future by following its said pattern.
For instance, say you love the color ‘red’. Now, you step into a showroom packed with cars of different models, types, and makes. The salesman conducts a demonstration on a white SUV having an elegant design and remarkable features. But you love the color red, don’t you? So, will you be able to make your final purchase decision? It will certainly be hard to make.
Now, as we understand the inefficiency, let us have a look at the solution and how it creates an ‘additional’ skill requirement. What we are going to observe as a dominant trend in the near-future is a strong focus on customer experience. Showrooms may leverage digital technologies to display cars in the near-future run. This way, they will be able to introduce operational efficiencies, superior customer experience, and showcase a larger product portfolio.
And, despite being a showroom-design innovation, this gives rise to specialized job roles as well. Now, we also need technicians and system integrators in addition to salesmen, managers, and janitors in the showroom. In the future, who knows, we might even observe VR technology coming at play in this regard. It will add another layer of specialization to the same substructure.
What’s next: Pre-empting the skill gap before it emerges
Industry stakeholders will have to become innovative while addressing the issue of the skill gap. It will need another level of ingenuity to pre-empt the same before it emerges in trying times like the one we are passing through. Skill shortage needs to be bridged via targeted training programs. Future professionals will have to be engaged with the industry while they might still be pursuing their academic education.
To put it briefly, our job roles are going to become more specialized than they are at present. It will mandate a skill development of another magnitude to prevent skill gaps from seeping into the industry. And, history is proof that ‘early-adopters’ in this regard are well-rewarded vis-à-vis the ‘slow movers’. We need to act fast and be innovative as we prepare the next batch of market veterans to further the cause of innovation in the market.