Jobs That Are Yet To Be
Since Industry 4.0 is about the convergence of existing technology, I’m guessing there won’t be a slew of totally unrecognisable jobs. What’s more likely to happen is to have familiar job roles that are now converged. This could include jobs such as Human-Machine Resource Managers, Learning Experience Designers and Organ Designers.
As we traverse into Industry 4.0, some futurists assert that this revolution may already be here. We see the convergence of technology taking place at breakneck pace, oftentimes too fast for comfort. Legislators and lawmakers not reacting in tandem is a common gripe these days. Pushbacks from the general population are oft-considered as old-fashioned, or archaic. But what really is happening, I’d suppose, is the semblance of a last stand to fight for what we believe is ours. Privacy, the most common defence and flavour of the hour in these Industry 4.0 migrants.
Just as we’re finally coping with the notion of the advancement of technology, the very nature of Industry 4.0 requires us to accept the convergence of technology. Though, I suspect it might be more palatable than Industry 3.0. It is always easier to accept an amalgamation than something completely new, isn’t it? Having said that, how are schools preparing their students for this future then?
Since Industry 4.0 is about the convergence of existing technology, I’m guessing there won’t be a slew of totally unrecognisable jobs in Glassdoor or LinkedIn. What’s more likely to happen is to have familiar job roles that are now converged.
The Effect of Schools in Industry 4.0
We’ve heard it far too often that what students are studying today may be obsolete by the time they graduate. In an article by Forbes, Derek Newton wrote how he felt that this was not only an exaggeration, but a myth. What resonated with me in his article was not so much of why it is a myth, but how “schools in general and colleges in particular are doing an outstanding job of preparing students for careers. And to the extent that any future jobs are in transition or under development, schools and students alike are wise to invest in foundations of a good education, the soft skills of the liberal arts such as critical reading, communication, creativity and collaboration. Actual research does show that those skills are essentially future-proof”. I tend to agree that these skills or foundations that schools are inculcating by the very nature of schooling are important in even Industry 4.0. I’m guessing it’ll be equally important for Industries 5.0 and 6.0, and all the other point-zeros down the road. These fundamentals of learning and toiling just simply won’t change.
The Convergence of Jobs in Industry 4.0
So what are some of the Industry 4.0 jobs we can expect in the near future then? Since Industry 4.0 is about the convergence of existing technology, I’m guessing there won’t be a slew of totally unrecognisable jobs in Glassdoor or LinkedIn. What’s more likely to happen is to have familiar job roles that are now converged.
1. Human-Machine Resource Manager
One immediate job title springs to mind - Human-Machine Resource Manager. This person will be the HR manager of the old, but with a new competency of pairing humans with machines for the fulfilment of more complex job scopes. While machines and automation have completely taken over manufacturing roles, what I foresee is how lawyers can work with machines on a case, where the machine ploughs through the painstaking job of precedents-hunting, the human can then focus on plotting strategies for litigation in court (justice, which I believe would still be meted by humans for a while longer). The human can thereafter feed the machine with tons of past litigation strategies and allow the machine to propose the best way forward. This symbiotic relationship is likely to pervade in many of our existing sectors. Finance, medicine, journalism, and even art as well.
2. Learning Experience Designer
Another natural convergence would be in the education sector, where teachers will now be required to upskill and retool. Their new role will be titled Learning Experience Designer (LED). The LED will be required to use existing tools such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and the good old teaching syllabus to design a learning package that would allow students to experience rather than memorise. I’d imagine that all teachers will be required to learn these tools, just as their predecessors did with Microsoft Office. Don’t get me wrong. As a former educator myself, I am certain that the human element will always be needed for any meaningful transference of knowledge and nurturing. But also as a fervent adopter of tech, I’m cognisant that teachers will never always be just teachers. Moving with times, would sometimes mean to move with how the next generation is digesting information. With technology doing the heavy-lifting of finding relevant information, the key for the future is to make sense of that information. Finding trans-sector solutions and innovation would be a necessary skill for students in this generation to master. Isn’t this what Industry 4.0 is all about?
3. Organ Designer
The final job prediction that I’d venture to make in this article would be the job role of an Organ Designer (OD). By then, 3D printing would’ve been perfected and made personal, much like the Personal Computer (PC). The advancement of medicine coupled with 3D printing would give rise to a new demand for organ transplants. Already in the market, we are reading reports of people printing prosthetic limbs, and some even went as far to print hearts, and kidneys. Though I may digress to say that this may inevitably “allow” people to live more recklessly, knowing that they have a cupboard full of different prosthetic limbs for different occasions. That’s a discussion for another day. But hey, with this idea of technology convergence, the sky is the limit isn’t it? The OD can now setup an online store to provide for a myriad of different customisations to fit the customer’s dietary habits, risk appetite and so on. A made-to-order organ would become commonplace, where customers can then bring this “spare part” to a doctor for installation.
What are we really trading our privacy for?
Although I can’t help but wonder. At this point, would you still be quibbling about your privacy, now that the OD is familiar with your lifestyle? Or would you, as a judge be worried that a machine knows all of your past judgements and found a strategy that is aligned to your subconscious moral compass?
By Desmond Hoo