Developing Skills for the Disruption Era

Developing Skills for the Disruption Era

Automation is a hot and also, controversial topic right now. If you were to condense every discussion about automation that has taken place for the last few years, you would arrive at a few basic questions.

  • How will automation affect emerging economies?
  • How can the leadership ensure that their citizens have the abilities to survive in an automated world?
  • What kind of skills will the average person need to remain employed in a world that is gradually replacing human labor with machines?

These are tough questions that have every policymaker out there at their wit’s end. Nobody wants a future where people will have to remain unemployed because of technological innovation, especially in countries where the young make up for more than half the population.

Pepper the humanoid robot
Pepper, Japanese humanoid robot

Automation has already claimed victims in some of the world’s leading economies. For instance, in India, leading IT services firm, Infosys, recently let go of 11,000 employees due to automation. Sadly, this is only the beginning as far as predictions go.

Experts agree that unemployment due to automation is a threat on the horizon and we’re losing time. In fact, in another 10 years, a number of current jobs will become redundant. The workplace is evolving faster than we can handle.

Skills for the future

It’s high time we started thinking about how we’re going to equip people with skills for the future. Currently, 85% of process oriented labor in developing nations is predicted to disappear. Now, couple this with the fact that automation costs will only drop further, cheap human labor starts to seem pointless. Making things worse is the fact that most millennials aren’t big fans of artisanal labor.

For instance, developing economies can focus on revamping technical skills education via polytechnic institutes. Of course, such institutions do exist, but, rarely do governments focus on developing them. So, now would be the perfect opportunity because it’ll be a long time before AI takes over this line of work as well.

App developers working on a project

Another key area that’s drawing interest with regard to “jobs of the future” discussions is “digital application”. All said and done, machines will still need humans to create them and this is where the software aspect comes into play.

For example, the Canadian government has already implemented plans to offer ‘coding’ as a subject in high school.

The drivers of disruption

The three main sources of global disruption happen to be IoT, Big Data, and AI. Big data from IoT devices provides machines with key insights about human behavior, which is then analyzed by AI to help make smart decisions.

Luckily, there are areas that still remain beyond the reach of AI and this includes social intelligence, perception, manipulation, and creativity. However, these areas require very particular skills and the workforce in developing economies isn’t equipped with such skills.

As a result, developing economies will face the worst of automation.

The only way to overcome this challenge is by implementing policies that further digital literacy and continuous learning.

Jonathan Furman

Jonathan Furman got his start through an Advertising agency. He began in the production department and eventually worked his way up to managing a small team. He then decided to make a transfer over to sales, and over the course of a year built a book of business valued at north of $2.5MM a /year in revenue. Jonathan was given the opportunity to manage a team on this end as well (combination of junior account executives and sales reps) in bringing in new business, monetizing existing business, and growing revenue streams to their full potential. Later, he left the agency to form his own company as a financial intermediary, helping small businesses attain necessary funding during hard times. More recently, Jonathan has founded his own management consulting firm A.K.A. Furman Transformation, igniting his full passion in transforming all aspects of a company’s Sales, Marketing, and Operational Growth strategies, into the most powerful and polished version of themselves.