Time to wake up to the technology revolution

Time to wake up

‘You never change things by fighting existing reality’ – Buckminster Fuller

If you think your current job is safe, think again.

Change is happening so rapidly that jobs that exist today won’t exist in 5 or 10 years.  Software and technology is disrupting all industries. Take these few examples:

Uber is a software company that does not own any cars, and yet are the biggest taxi company in the world.  While taxi drivers are calling foul, think about this – Uber drivers will be talking foul when self-driving cars finally become mainstream (and Uber is investing in this technology and disrupting themselves).

It is estimated that by 2020, the first self-driving cars will appear for the public and by 2025, the complete industry of owning your own car could be disrupted, as instead of owning a car, you could call a car with your phone and it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination (far fetched you might think, but plans are afoot).

Up to $3million jobs in Australia alone, involve driving being an essential element of the job, including commercial vehicles, commercial motorcycles and train drivers. Self-driving vehicles could permanently obliterate all these jobs.

If you think deeper, than self-driving cars could potentially mean less accidents, which in turn will disrupt the insurance sector, (think car insurance).

Lawyers are increasingly struggling to get a job upon graduation.  Why? Because with streamlined legal services, you can get legal advice at a fraction of the cost, because of technology and streamlined offering, resulting in law firms requiring 25% less staff. The legal sector will be further disrupted going into the future.

Finally, take the 3D printer.  In just 10 years, the 3D printer has revolutionised so many sectors.  Companies have already started printing 3D shoes. Now take this one step further – maybe you could print your perfect shoe at home.  No need for the shoe manufacturer, or shoe store. If you don’t think this will happen, think again.  China unveiled the world’s first 3D printed office building and mansion in early 2015, which is logistically far more complex than a shoe.

Some of the predictions won’t come true, some will, but whatever unfolds in the future, you need to adapt and change, reskill and stay abreast with change.

What we do know:

  • That the next wave of the industrial revolution will fundamentally reshape business activity. Key trends include Cloud Services, the Internet of Things, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Robots and Immersive Communications.
  • Up to 40% of current jobs, won’t exist in the near future. There is a high probability that computers and automation will replace these jobs.
  • It is not the first major transition that has occurred in economies (think Victorian times and the Industrial revolution) and as with all changes there will be winners and losers.
  • Every expert on the planet cannot predict whether the next wave of the industrial revolution will see a net increase or decrease in employment opportunities. Experts are split between optimists and pessimists.

The way I see it, you have two alternatives. Embrace the change and move into sectors and jobs of the future, or bury your head in the sand and become a statistic.  If you choose to embrace the change, ultimately you need to treat your career like a business, investing in ongoing education and professional development and adapting your skills to match industry needs.

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