The much-discussed report of the World Economic Forum on the Future of Jobs is liable to bring shivers down many a spine. While it does predict that around 5 million jobs will be lost before 2020 as artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology and other socio-economic factors replace the need for human workers; it also verifies that those same technological advances will also create more than 2million new jobs.
The key therefore is to train for the future- as one of the protagonists in the recent Oscar nominated movie ‘Hidden Figures’ did!However, what complicates things for this generation, who are part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, is the sheer magnitude and velocity of this change. Either you ride this wave or accept that you have trained to be a Dinosaur.
For students planning their careers now, the distinction between areas that are already seeing the impact and those which are poised to break out is very crucial. IT and Big Data are already morphing at breakneck speeds. Mobile Internet, Cloud Technology, App creation- all are areas where saturation is already seeping in. With advances in computing power and our increasing adeptness with programming, many areas are seeing confluence like never before- IT and Mechanical engineering is gearing up now for AI and Wearable Tech, Robotics, Nanotech, Space exploration; IT and Biology combinations are giving a fillip to Biotech Research, Biomedical Engineering and advances in Pharma. Combine this with the huge data we have already collected over the past few decades and Data Analysis, naturally, becomes the next big thing. Be it in Marketing, Genome Sequencing, AI, Risk Management, Communication, Fintech- Big Data is the big daddy of scope right now. The other side of the same coin is Data Hosting, Cyber Law, Cyber Security & Forensics- all critical areas which we are just getting into and will see severe shortage of trained talent.
Environment change is the next area- Green Collar Jobs, if you will, are great areas to gear up towards. Alternate Energy Sources, Green Architecture, Automated Transportation, Carbon Credit trading and Disaster Management are areas that may see huge demand, along with Social Work. Given the changes we are seeing in the make-up of demographics right now, there are areas of potential students could gear up towards on two fronts- Education, Entertainment and Lifestyle related careers for the youth in one part of the world; and Geriatric Care, Medical Advances, Therapy, Reskilling and Leisure based careers for the aging in the other part of the world.
Of course, some careers will never be out of fashion like, well, Fashion -and Entertainment. Technology has been a game changer for Entertainment, Design and Leisure- careers in interactive gaming, virtual reality travel – these are within our reach already. As our understanding of the brain evolves, so will Psychologists’ roles and those of Social Scientists. Mentoring and Training will be more relevant as ever, with longer career lives and multi-roles being the call of the day. Finance, Risk Assessment,Logistics and Operations will continue to be relevant to both make and deploy money efficiently for businesses worldwide.
This article is contributed by Richa Saklani, Managing Director of Stoodnt, India and Ms. Monica Kapur, Head of Counselling and Operations of Stoodnt.