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Modern Day Workforce Needs To Upgrade With The Advancement In Technology
To be successful in the future, employees will need to acquire skills that were absent before and during the industrial revolution
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In past centuries most manual work was performed either in the homes of craftsmen and artisans or in relatively small workshops. Such work often required great skill-set on the part of workers who, by working in their profession, were carrying on a trade they had inherited from their elders. Gradually with the rise of the industrial revolution, traditional artisans found that the craft they had honed for generations was obsolete. The efficiency of machines and the specialization of labour meant, that what took a week to be manufacturedusing traditional techniques, could now be completed in a matter of hours.
A Changed World
During the late 1920's till the end of the Second World War in 1945, the world was in the grip of the Great Depression and millions of able men couldn't find work to feed their families. To help end the Great Depression in the US, economic policy in the form of "The New Deal" was enacted to alleviate the suffering of the working poor. Labour reforms also took place across the globe and rights of the workers were recognized, as essential.
Trade schools were created in advanced countries where unskilled workers could master a craft and earn a higher wage than unskilled workers. A quote by the eminent journalist, Thomas Friedman sums it up best, "In 1950's America, You Needed a Plan to fail". The world'sfactories began manufacturing products at an ever greater rate of efficiency and new technologies such as computers, made it possible to create a wider variety of products than was possible ever before. Countries such as Germany and Japan, having lost the Second World War, reindustrialized and began to rapidly manufacture putting workers to work in factories and growing output so quickly as to challenge the US, the dominant power of the time.
The New Millennium and New Technologies
Over the past two decades, much of the manufacturing has moved from industrialized countries to China. Hundreds of thousands of blue-collarworkers in the US have lost their jobs simply because the factory they worked in, moved to China where wages are a fraction of those in America. India's role in this great upheaval has been no less significant than China's, many technology workers in the US were replaced by equally or more qualified Indian techies, who could work for less while living in India.
However today, the rise of Artificial Intelligence is gradually putting the jobs of tens of thousands of technology workers at risk. Increasingly sophisticated automation has caused many workers employed in factories to lose their jobs. Jobs across the spectrum are at risk of being decimated. Sophisticated software that can write software is replacing the need for jobs that had been earlier performed by low-level coders. Repetitive coding jobs are gradually being performed by an increasingly intelligent Artificial Intelligence.
Even high-end jobs like those of doctors may also be at risk as is evident by new software that can diagnose tumoursfaster and more reliably than human doctors can. Once such software is widely available, some Oncologists may find that their services are no longer needed.
Knowing today what jobs will be in demand tomorrow is difficult. According to one estimate, 5 million jobs will be lost by 2020. However, workers who upgrade their skills and learn to use new technologies will benefit from the technological revolution that's changing the world at warp speed.
To be successful in the future, employees will need to acquire skills that were absent before and during the industrial revolution. The jobs that were done by labourers, then by workersusing machines, and today increasingly by machines themselves, will grow fewer. However, those who are skilled in "computational thinking" and skilled in using software to spot patterns in massive amounts of data will be in ever greater demand. Marketing professionals working in the domains of Market Research and Marketing, with skill in using information using big data, will be highly valued by several companies.
Manufacturing jobs that existed a century ago didn't exist the century before they did. Two centuries ago the vast majority of workers were farmers. Today only 1% of the workforce is in developed countries' farms, yet they produce significantly more than their predecessors ever could dream of. Similarly the world today manufacturersare much faster than capitalists a century ago, could have ever imagined. A century from today, the jobs of today will be replaced by entirely new ones. Yet workers must learn to upgrade with the use of new emergingtechnologies such as BigData and Artificial Intelligence and use the same in their fields if they don't want to be left behind and replaced by automation or a better-skilled worker.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.