Ms. Fatima Agarkar, Educationist
As educators, we have tried to envision this. Between speculation and predictions, we often come up with ‘blanks’. How can one possibly propose careers of the future when the pace of change already set in leaves us overwhelmed? It is a fact that, be it developing nations or developed countries, our educational systems have not been able to define the future in a way that we get our students ready to escalate once they graduate. There are enough statistics to suggest, batches after batches churn out ‘products’ in the form of talent that are ill-equipped to cope with the world at large. Skills required to adapt simply have not been taught or thought about.
This 4th industrialization era is not one of the simple ideas – it is complex and combines IQ, EQ, and AI in ways that we have not been able to master. Elements change as rapidly as months and not years, which means anything we put out, in a few months becomes redundant and is replaced by technology or is bettered by it.
In this ever-changing world, therefore ‘concrete’ careers, traditional careers that have an element of repetitiveness will be replaced by automation hence specialized services that cannot be ‘coded’ or work on the algorithm will emerge. Performing arts, creative arts and sports are some areas that may dominate and those who combine technical and technology-aided proficiency will surely remain ahead of the pack.
IT as the backbone that will drive economies will continue to lead the way in terms of job opportunities, be it creative design, design thinking, technical or other ancillary services that require back end and software upgrades.
Human capital management, as the core for different industry types, will also receive more attention than before as teams will need both managerial and leadership direction to build organizations. Strategic thinkers, planners, risk-takers and those with ability to adapt and customize depending on the changing market dynamics – health and entertainment, for example, coming together or sport and entertainment which has already sowed its seeds with ‘shorter’ versions if its original formats capitalizing on the ‘entertainment’ aspect more than sports will be talents to watch out for. Anything that allows the team player to collaborate, combine different disciplines, generate solutions to world problems will be niche.
The new world order will enable niche talents to find their voices, more entrepreneurs emerging as they identify gaps that need attending to, and this is simply a case of evolution. Every era develops and with this development comes its share of problems or opportunities as I prefer to call it. Like industrialization led to progress but also threw up issues of waste management, global warming, etc.
Education systems, therefore, could do well to allow students to gain cross-discipline knowledge and understanding as these professionals would be required to become problem solvers and this means an understanding of different dynamics.
The future – 30 or 40 years from now at the moment appears to be like a sci-fi movie with no guarantees in terms of what to expect or what would work. The one thing is certain that it will remain fluid and ever-changing and perhaps the skills and attitude to adapt will be the differentiators!