I really think that there are huge changes heading our way in the job market and economy that will effect all industries. Advancements are coming at an exponential rate in Robotics and Processing Speed combined with AI, Big Data and Distributed Decentralised Technology.
More manual jobs will be automated, AI software programs will perform simple tasks at dizzying speeds and global digital markets will be opened up like never before by Blockchain and DLT technology. The political implications and general disruption to economies could be huge.
As a 30 year old millennial it would be easy for me to think that I have already lived through the fastest period of change in human history. From when I was born in the late 1980s to now we have seen the rise and mass adoption of transformational tech such as the Internet, Personal Computing, Smart Phones, Social Media and an explosion in the creation, sharing and availability of data/knowledge. However I believe that this is only just beginning and that the next 30 years will see change and disruption like never before. Many industries have been disrupted by the tech of the last 30 years, however many still operate the same as they have always done.
Industries Ready For Disruption
Industries such as Finance, Insurance, Transportation, Education, HealthCare and Law at their core operate very much in the same way they have for decades if not centuries. I expect industries such as these to experience the most disruption but the effects of automation, AI and DLT will be felt across all industries. Driverless Cars/HGV will revolutionise transport replacing millions of lorry drivers, taxis and other driving jobs. Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology will redistribute wealth, control and access of financial assets across the globe, removing middlemen and banking the unbanked. Robotics combined with AI will care for the sick, carry out health screening and rescue those in danger. The global economy will be accessible to anyone and everyone, you will be competing for jobs with every other person on the planet. The most knowledgeable experts on the planet in Law, Science, politics and every other subject there is will be AI, accessible to anyone on their Smart Devices.
What Can you Do To Adopt?
So are we all doomed to be replaced by AI and robots?
This is no longer in the realm of Science Fiction, jobs are already being replaced in call centres and factories across the world. A study by the McKinsey Global Institute found that based on current trends 20% of current UK jobs will be automated by 2030, on a global scale this represents around 800 million jobs.
However all is not lost, with new technology comes new industries, new businesses and new opportunities. Those who are willing to learn new skills and adopt to change will prosper like never before. Luckily we now live in a world were access to learning materials, online courses and tuition is virtually free. Literally all you need is a computer and some spare time to become an expert in any field you choose. There is huge demand, growing every day for people with skills in Development, Coding, Blockchain, Engineering, AI, Data Science etc.
As a young dad I know it is difficult to find time but I practice what I preach and try to dedicate 10 hours a week to learning new skills. I spent the last 18 months researching Blockchain and Cryptocurrency to the point where I am now very knowledgeable in the field. I have learned to build and programme computers from scatch, use comand-line interface, read trading charts, run Virtual Private Servers and program software in depth. All done using free resources online which I have shared below (yes YouTube is one of them and Google search).
I am currently dedicating some spare time in my evenings and weekends to learn Android App Development, along with the XLM programming language it uses. I expect it will take 4-6 months for me to be reasonably proficient and years for me to become a highly capable developer but with a working career left of 30-40 years I have plenty of time. I am lucky to have a very understanding wife that supports me in my learning journey, although my 3 year old son is not quite as understanding he is one of my main motivations to push myself out my comfort zone and strive to improve myself.
So in summary the world of work and the economy is changing regardless if you want it to or not, the best thing you can do is to start learning new skills. Don’t wait until you have more time or a New Years resolution, start today buy a book or subscribe to a free online course. Nothing is out of your reach if you set your mind to it, the future is yours for the taking.
Udemy – Fantastic range of free and paid interactive courses that can be accessed on Mobile, Laptop and PC/MAC. Complete noob or experienced in your field, you can learn anything from App design, coding, blockchain, driverless car tech etc.