For many, the term ‘fourth industrial revolution’ can sound like a modern phrase with little meaning. However, this revolution, dubbed ‘Industry 4.0’ by some, has not only started. It has been taking place for some time. Indeed, it has changed the work world dramatically. For professionals wondering what these changes mean for their future, it is important to understand the impact the revolution could have on job security.
This revolution, unlike others, mostly involves the move into a more cyber-physical approach to work. The approach includes the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Internet of Systems (IoS). The IoT is a network of smart devices that allow devices to interact with each other in a way that they could not in the past. The IoS is a range of business systems that can use IoT data to make more informed decisions about future business.
The revolution will almost certainly lead to two issues that could impact job security in the future: redundancy and automation. The future painted is a world without opportunities and a human race built on boredom and inertia. There are valid concerns about what this could mean for the job market in years to come.
What can workers do? Professionals should be looking to find ways they can expand and adapt their skills base. Sticking to just one skill or one profession could mean that automation can replace many in the future. At the same time, professionals need to be more adapted to remote work as companies reduce investment in estate workers.
Will Job Security Fears Become a Consequence of Automation?
In the past, those who worked in professions such as marketing were essential to business growth. Their unique understanding of figures and analytical data meant they could create marketing plans based on figures only they understood. Today, though, automation use and the rise of big data analytics means that even the most skilled marketer would struggle to keep pace.
Job security will become a major issue as professionals need to be ready to face off against automated machinery that is never offline, cannot get sick and does not need rest. Indeed, a report suggests that by 2030 some 800 million jobs will be replaced by robots alone.
Many who work in jobs that automation could replace might need to look for new roles. Tasks considered ‘mundane’ will most likely be done using automated machinery and software. Therefore, people in these roles will need to apply other techniques to boost productivity and efficiency. In short, automation will replace their roles in time. The secret will be to look for other avenues to advance their careers in the future.
A large number of human-handled jobs will, within the next decade, be replaced by automation. Those whose employment today revolves around repetitive tasks will likely have to diversify into more specialist skills. Given that nearly half of all jobs could be vulnerable to automation, job security will become a threat to many people.
How to Survive the Fourth Industrial Revolution
While it is unlikely we will reach an age where all jobs can be automated in the following decades, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is the beginning of this process. Therefore, those in vulnerable positions should learn skills that cannot be automated. Social understandings, cognitive functions and creativity are things that will take many decades to automate well. The same goes for complex reasonings and tasks that involve an understanding of human perception and emotion. Here are other tips on how to keep a job while technology continues to advance.
Indeed, diversifying skill sets is the key to surviving the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Being able to provide skills that no machine can will be the next challenge for the coming generation of workers and doers.