Fourth Industrial Revolution – Two key elements that are pushing everybody toward a workforce crisis are Rapidly advancing technology which is bringing fundamental change while workers with the skills required for future’s businesses are becoming increasingly rare. These factors are widening the skills gap.
The growing skills gap is most noticeable in roles that relate directly to the future’s major technologies, including AI, IoT, and mobile applications that are the driving force behind heightened customer expectations.
The world is on the verge of the Fourth Industrial Revolution “that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before.”
“The future is not preordained by machines. It’s created by humans.”
Predicting the future :
In the future up to 47% of jobs may be automated away, while other predictions are more cautious, suggesting a figure of only 9%.
The future and even the present is bright with possibility. The machine learning revolution has really kicked in. For the first time, machines can now see better than humans can, read street signs, and even diagnose cancer.
Erik Brynjolfsson director at the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy sees real potential in the continuing development of cognitive computing technologies, such as deep learning and deep neural networks.
The digital dawning of computer intelligence will bring better healthcare, and create billions of dollars in the value of industries utilizing the new technologies, potentially even trillions.
The thinking moves on from what may happen in the future, to how one should prepare for it. It is about ensuring young people have the correct skills to prosper whatever may come.
Fourth Industrial Revolution :
The phrase Fourth Industrial Revolution was first introduced by Klaus Schwab, the executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, in a 2015 article in Foreign Affairs.
“Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution” was the theme of the World Economic Forum Annual meeting 2016 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. On October 10, 2016, the Forum announced the opening of its Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in San Francisco
The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is the fourth major industrial era since the initial Industrial Revolution of the 18th century. It is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres, collectively referred to as cyber-physical systems.
Industrial Revolution history :
The most known example of the technological revolution was the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, the scientific-technical revolution about 1950–1960, the Neolithic revolution and the Digital Revolution and so on.
The notion of “technological revolution” is frequently overused, therefore it is not easy to define which technological revolutions having occurred during world history were really crucial and influenced not only one segment of human activity, but had a universal impact. One universal technological revolution should be composed of several sectoral technological revolutions (in science, industry, transport and the like).
One can identify several universal technological revolutions which occurred during the modern era in Western culture.
- 1. Financial-agricultural revolution (1600–1740)
- 2. Industrial revolution (1780–1840)
- 3. Technical revolution of the Second Industrial Revolution (1870–1920)
- 4. Scientific-technical revolution (1940–1970)
- 5. Information and telecommunications revolution, also known as the Digital Revolution or Third Industrial Revolution (1975–present)
Impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution :
The World Economic Forum report on FIR concludes that the fourth industrial revolution will have an undeniable impact on job scenarios across the world – disrupting erstwhile, well-established businesses, bringing sweeping changes to labour markets, and changing business models on the foundation of emerging economic theories.
It states that casualties in administration, office, manufacturing, production and construction activities will be of significance.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution will affect most industries. Some will cease to exist; many will transform, riding the wave and reinventing suit market dynamics. And that’s the only way for companies to stay relevant.
The coming together of India – Fourth Industrial Revolution :
India’s place in the world is unique. India should benefit from it and there will be a spurt in job creation. According to industrialist Baba Kalyani, “India is in a very unique position to take advantage of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and do some amazing things that it had missed out on in the past.”
When India changed its focus from cheap labour to a skilled workforce, technology and capital-intensive sectors, it became more competitive.
Apprehension about revolution :
The revolution is likely to increase inequality in the world as the spread of machines increases markets and disrupts labour markets. More than 65% of India’s workforce lives in rural areas, with relatively inadequate access to basic amenities. Water is scarce, sanitation is rudimentary, daily life is led through primitive means.
Skill India :
The answer lies in establishing well-rounded foundations and skilling. According to Subramanian Ramadorai, Chairman of the National Skill Development Agency, “It’s the ‘Indian Difference’ that will be at play during the Fourth Industrial Revolution,”.
There is the size of India providing potentially huge market access. Secondly, there is a very appealing demographic dividend with youth representing approximately 20% of the global workforce by 2020. Thirdly, there is a rising middle class, the next big spenders.
India is expected to become the fifth-largest consumer market in two decades. Within this context, any form of consumption, entrepreneurship, startup or industry, can be viewed as a scaling opportunity.
Private and public sector: tackling the challenge :
It’s important to understand how the evolution of technology creates opportunities and implications on how industry and markets operate and evolve. Higher education institutions need to think ahead and establish purpose-driven collaborative partnership opportunities with industry in order to share challenges, ideas and co-create solutions to real-world challenges.
The Skills Gap :
As the need for the future skills economy evolves to become more interdisciplinary with critical soft skills becoming essential, organizations will need to adopt a new approach to learning. The public sector needs to consider how to better prepare students for future work-integration based on skills-of-the-future today.
Higher education and organizations both need to prepare the next generation for the mindset of lifelong learning. Lifelong learning can take many forms including attending events such as conferences, team workshops, innovation challenges, as well as taking skills courses and certifications.
This shift also needs to take into account how one assess a prospective employee’s qualifications. No longer is a degree sufficient, now the future employer will recognize the individual’s portfolio of work, which may include startup pitches, code projects or creative designs that can take on many forms from data visualizations to illustrations.
The future of the jobs :
What is certain is that the new generation will become increasingly diverse and analytical in their way of thinking. They will continuously adopt new skills and be more adaptable to frequent changes in the workplace and in their roles, as new job roles start to open up and certain skills become obsolete.
According to a World Economic Forum report, ‘The future of the Jobs’ here are the 10 skills you will need for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
- Complex Problem Solving
- Critical Thinking
- People Management
- Coordinating with Others
- Emotional Intelligence
- Judgement and Decision Making
- Service Orientation
- Cognitive Flexibility
India is a population of 1.2 billion people and its resources are stretched, to say the least. It is still left wanting for basic amenities like clean drinking water, 24-hour electricity, means of livelihood, education and food for all and quality primary and secondary healthcare.
In such an atmosphere, driving growth and managing expectations of the populace mean central and state government certainly has their work cut out for them.
Parity between rich and poor with considerable focus on income creation will be the order of the day. However, India has to rework the way it has historically dealt with issues. The world around it is changing; businesses are undergoing transformations, the fundamentals of most industries are changing, consumption patterns are being reinvented.
Amid all this, what Indians must change immediately is their mindset and be open to new ideas. What worked may not work anymore, so there is prudence in reinventing – and those who govern and those who are governed have to, together be the change while driving that transformation.
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