FuTure of Work
"Prepare yourself for jobs that don’t yet exist using technologies that haven’t yet been invented to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet".
U. S. Secretary of Education,
Richard W. Riley
The First Industrial Revolution used water and steam power to mechanize production.
The Second used electric power to create mass production.
The Third used electronics and information technology to automate production.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is the current and developing environment in which disruptive technologies and trends such as the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, virtual reality (VR), artificial intelligence (AI), Big Data and data analytics are changing the way we live and work.
A brief history of
The 4th Industrial Revolution
The speed of current breakthroughs has no historical precedent
When compared with previous industrial revolutions, the Fourth is evolving at an exponential rather than a linear pace. Moreover, it is disrupting almost every industry in every country. And the breadth and depth of these changes herald the transformation of entire systems of production, management, and governance.
Read more about it on Weforum.
And Covid-19 could well be accelerating the digital transformation.
Automation and AI will lift productivity and economic growth, but millions of people worldwide may need to switch occupations or upgrade skills
A 2020 report from the World Economic Forum finds that by 2022, much job growth will come from seven professional areas:
care economy e.g. physiotherapists, fitness trainers
data and AI e.g. data scientist
engineering and cloud computing e.g. cloud engineer, python developer
sales marketing and content e.g. social media coordinator
human resource e.g. recruiter
product development e.g. quality assurance engineer
green industry e.g. sustainability officer, wastewater engineer
What about Singapore?
A study showed that 20.6% of Singapore’s workforce could be displaced by 2028 due to Artificial Intelligence. This is due to the exceptional enabling environment in Singapore for innovation and digital transformation, which means businesses here can readily take advantage of new innovations as they become available. However, as a result, many jobs will also be created. The diagram below shows the combined impact of technology on both displacement and income effect in ASEAN. While some sectors will experience a net loss of jobs by 2028 like Agriculture, most sectors will experience a net increase like Wholesale & Retail.
It is well-known that there is an acute demand for IT skills, not just in IT industries but across all sectors. In the study, it is shown that 41% of redundant workers are lacking in IT skills. This does not mean that half of the workforce should become data scientists.
It means that
In Industry 4.0, Data Literacy is no longer optional
despite the disruption being technology-based in nature, the workforce’s most significant challenge is to upgrade its softer, foundational and interactive skillset.
Most important skills in the workforce today (article)
Willingness to be flexible, agile and adaptable to change
Time management skills and ability to prioritize
Ability to work effectively in team environments
Ability to communicate effectively in business context
Analytics skills and business acumen
Technical core capabilities for STEM
Capacity for innovation and creativity
Basic computer and software/application skills
Ethics and integrity
Foreign language proficiency
Fundamental core capabilities around reading, writing and arithmetic
Industry- or occupation-specific skills
“Reskilling for technical skills is typically driven by structured education with a defined objective with a clear start and end, building behavioral skills takes more time and is more complex.”
Amy Wright, IBM Managing Director
The rise of the gig economy
The gig economy consists of companies who engaged contract workers for a temporary period or project-based jobs, instead of hiring them for permanent positions.
According to Forbes, more than one third of U.S. workers are in the gig economy, and they are dominated by millennials who are attracted to the flexibility to try new things, acquire new skills and meet new people.
Technology is a big enabler of this mode of freelance work – with a smartphone and one of those ubiquitous unlimited data plans (or a good Starbucks or indie café with fast wifi and a power outlet) – you can work from just about anywhere.