Jobs of Tomorrow

PUBLISH DATE 24th March 2018

Change is the new normal. With breakthroughs in digital technology, communication technology ensuring better quality, affordability, reach, and decreasing price trends the way we do business, offer services and produce goods has changed. Such disruption have been brought about by the Internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, analytics, 3D printing and block chain which brings in more automation, precision increasing  productivity, accessibility and transparency  in business planning and operations. 

Today SMAC - Social media, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud is increasingly being adopted by consumers of all ages and is redefining the way businesses operated leading to new business models to deliver products and services which are more personalized and targeted to specific consumer categories. Examples of these include mobility services of the likes of app-based taxi platforms which may in the near future redefine personal car ownership and will be a mammoth disruptive change for automobile companies.

Similarly, increased adoption of cloud will lead to businesses choosing asset light model for their computer systems with much of the business IT needs being met as services through concepts like Software as a Service, Platform as a Service, etc. So, the big question is how these disruptions and changes impact what and how we learn through our education systemin supplying the requisite skill sets and expertise required in this new era. Even a more pertinent  question is do we at present know the expertise and skill sets that will be required say 5 years from now. The answer to this is that our education systems too will need to reinvent and transform to adopt to these disruptions. We will need to change the way we define and design our course curriculum and teaching methodologies.

Going forward, the focus of our education system will be on creating a strong conceptual foundation with our students having to adapt to the concept of lifelong learning. Today, reskilling and upskilling is the norm and we are seeing this in the IT & ITeS sector where the effect of such changes is more prevalent than other sectors.

While occupations within the sector are expected to remain the same, the skill sets required to perform the role is changing rapidly. In manufacturing, with increased trends towards factory automation using artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, 3D printing, etc. which is the basis for Industry 4.0, some roles as we know it will no longer be relevant, but will be replaced or augmented with new capabilities such as virtual/augmented reality and data visualization. It is expected that unfamiliar roles too will emerge, needing one to be agile, adaptive to change to remain relevant. When planning one’s career one needs to keep this aspect in mind.

 Career choices should be based on one’s aptitude, interest and inclination for which the role and using the services of counsellors will be important. Given that lifelong learning will be the norm rather than an option, one will need to ensure that the basic fundamentals and foundation of whatever course one opts for is strong and has conceptual clarity, building on which according to the future requirements should not be a challenge. Organizations too recognize the need for lifelong learning and all forward looking organizations are well equipped with libraries of e-leaning courses for their resources which in most cases are sources through partnership arrangements with leading universities and education content organizations.  

We are headed for interesting times which will see changes at a much faster rate than our history. It is for all for us to reinvent ourselves and adapt through a continuous cycle of learning so that we remain relevant and benefit.  

The author is Partner, Deloitte India 


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