There has been a lot written about the potential job losses due to the advent of automation. Some of our previous blog posts covered this topic as well. We know that the landscape of professions is going to change : the number of workers required in our factories, warehouses, call centres, retail outlets, cash counters, bill desks, customer service desks, secretary desks is going down; a number of robots, chat bots, RFID tags, smart phones and apps are going to rule the roost. How should one deal with these changes?
Study Mathematics and Technology, right from Pre-school
Most of the professions in the future are going to revolve around computing, IT infrastructure – hardware as well as software and electronic gadgets. Either one will be using them to do her job or maintaining them as a part of the job or designing them as a passion. At the core of all this is programming, micro-electronics and a penchant for technology. Even if one composes music, creates a piece of art, cooks a dish, grows crops, teaches history or does social work, nobody can afford to not collaborate with the others in their respective field of work, showcase one’s work to the others and connect with the customers. So, technology is going to be a part and parcel of everyone’s work life. One’s understanding of numbers and the power of internet will become crucial for one’s success. Right at the level of an elementary school, one has to learn internet, smart phones, apps, artificial intelligence, multimedia, social networks, mathematics, e-commerce and the cloud.
Work , Study, Work!
Very rarely do we find working men and women going to classrooms after they pick up a job. We know that the concept of lifetime employment is not relevant any more. Many people think that jobs in government, banks, schools, colleges and a few such places are secured for life. In today’s world, it is not always true! Our environment and context have been so volatile and uncertain that the employees need to always at the cutting-edge. So, staying skilled is essential. A few decades ago, computers found their way to organizations and hence, employees were trained how to use them. That kind of situation might not get repeated today considering the speed of doing business. Every employer looks for ready-made talent who will be productive right from the word ‘go’. So, employees have to find ways and means of upgrading their skill levels alongside their work and most importantly, stay alert about the changes happening around them so that they take the actions at the right time.
Resilience and Endurance are the virtues!
We have pushed generations to be ambitious, competitive, aspirational, tough and go-getters. Organizations typically reward individual excellence rather than team’s excellence. In the last two decades, the concept of ‘welfare state’ is not talked about as much as capitalism and economic progress; sacrifice and tolerance are not celebrated as much as economic progress. Humility is often misunderstood as softness and spinelessness.
Given the amount of social transition facing us, it is extremely crucial that our children in the schools learn how to be resilient and face all odds with calmness rather than being impatient and inflexible. The social changes are likely to upset the apple cart for a long time and the youth will have to endure the change! Howsoever soft these changes might sound, these could be the toughest of them all unless the society is able to withstand the shocks.
Automation will surely take away many jobs and create many in return. But, this change will create social and economic pressures on our youth, families and organizations. We need to prepare our kids of today and tomorrow well!