Do you remember all the meetings that you are supposed to attend this week? If your phone got switched off how many people can you call from someone else’s phone? Can you live without Google? How many spelling errors will there be on your mails and reports without spell-check? Digital Personal Assistants have become indispensable in the western world! We do not visit banks, provision stores, ticket booking counters and bill payment booths any more. Auto-Pay instructions, Schedulers and online ordering has changed our lives. Many more changes are in the offing! Are we prepared as businesses, families, students and governments?
Unknowingly, we have been dependent on bots, websites, phones, apps and of corse, the internet! As the last decade has shown either jobless growth or marginal growth in jobs across the world, the next decade is not going to be very different. Many clerical jobs are going to vanish and the dreams of getting into an officer’s job after a decade or so in clerical cadre are going to remain illusory.
New Skills and New Paths!
Families, schools and young students need to think of ways to adapt to these developments. Governments around the world are thinking surely.
Our students and their influencers need to visualize how the new work environment will look like and what roles are likely to be there. Let us consider the example of e-commerce way of buying groceries and vegetables in the cities. Though the share of ecommerce in the overall pie is still a distant minority, we know for sure, the share of this channel is going to increase. So, the number of people involved in retail sales and the small businesses who were involved in daily provisions is going to reduce. Accordingly, there is an impact on the demand of physical retail space, the logistics ecosystem catering to these small traders and so on. At the same time, there is an increase in demand for digital marketing, buyers, IT professionals to maintain the online shop, sales of smartphones, internet connectivity and a different kind of logistics ecosystem catering to the new method of shopping.
Needless to mention that there is emergence of new skill-sets and hence, new kinds of career paths that people need to craft.
There will be disruptions. We need to prepare well in time!
We can see that there is a disruption in the age-old practices. This impacts people, their families and so on. It calls for preparing the kids well for the future which is different from the past. They need to know about the possible career options, the challenges and the opportunities.
Governments have to think of social security for the citizens and facilitate the transition from old methods of livelihood to new methods.
Schools, colleges and educationists need to think of ways in which teachers understand this transition and advise their students appropriately. The course contents and the methods of teaching have to change in pace with the changes happening around us. When people rely on internet and various automatic tools so greatly, there is no need for students to memorize loads of information. Rather they should be encouraged to build a robot, learn how to make it work and understand the implications of depending upon the internet and the automation-world.
There is bound to be many social changes as a natural consequence of the changing times, its state of being and the practices. Again, our families, schools and society need to take these into cognizance and prepare our kids well for the future!
No need to resist the change. Adapt them well!
A common reaction to a change is to resist it. History has proved time and again that the best way to deal with a change is to adapt.
All changes might not be positive. Hence, it is important that one examines them mindfully and judge for oneself if it is worth adopting or staying away from it or worth opposing it. These decisions are likely to determine the future of an individual, a family or a society.
For sure, the changes taking place due to automation are real and here to stay. Robots are already in use on the shop floor to help in manufacturing, in the hotels and restaurants to do repetitive tasks. We see use of robotics in military, hazardous environments, also in farming and mining. The University of California has introduced robotic pharmacists to dispense medicines.
So, the jobs of cleaning staff, farm hands, pharmacists, blue-collar work in many sectors are going to reduce. Many new jobs in IT, Telecom and Engineering will come up to design new tools and applications, maintain the new assets and tools of automation. Let’s read the writing on the wall and prepare!