The IR 4.0 transition and its effect on employability

Technological advancements have been impactful spurs in changing the global job market. The World Economic Forum estimates robotic automation rates across sectors to range from 23% to 37%. It also states that by 2022-23, almost half the companies will be adopting automation in some form or the other to reduce workforce on the same tasks. As the machines take over the more routine and pattern-based jobs, there is an increased demand for more ‘human’ skills, and skills related to the Industry Revolution (IR) 4.0 technologies.

The proliferation of IR 4.0 technologies requires the future workforce to be familiar with these to keep themselves relevant and productive. Amongst all IR 4.0 technologies, core technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Cloud Computing are frontrunners in terms of ubiquity and adoption rate worldwide.  There has been a surge in job opportunities that require proficiency with these technologies. It is imperative to prepare our future workforce with skills around these technologies to ensure career readiness, especially as they enter the workforce.

As industries shift to more advanced, automated processes owing to IR 4.0 technologies, employers are looking for more people with human skills that can augment technology and drive the transformation. These cross-functional job skills or ‘human’ skills forms the core of all job roles in the current and future workforce.  Key human skills include traditional soft skills like communication, collaboration, and creativity, as well as unique human traits like empathy, customer-orientation, critical thinking, resilience, and the desire to learn. These highly valued human skills are not easy to find though and must be inculcated in the future workforce.