You say you want a revolution
The first industrial revolution in the West introduced the steam engine and mechanization, the second was a phase of rapid standardization and industrialization paving the way for mass production, while the third revolution gave the world computing power beyond our wildest dreams through electronics and microprocessors.
We are well advanced in the fourth industrial revolution–the digital revolution–and perhaps at the cusp of the fifth one: the AI revolution, said Deepa Mahidhara, director of data science and analytics at Publicis Sapient and based in Washington, D.C. It took nearly two centuries to progress from the first to third revolutions, but only a couple of decades to shift from fourth to fifth.
At the dawn of the 2020s, we’ve seen how jobs have evolved to handle automation robotics and AI and, in turn, create more experiences. “The digital revolution that we are in today has created a profound sense of global connectedness, and has brought about long-term productivity and efficiency gains,” said Mahidhara. “However, as with every previous industrial revolution, it has resulted in disruptions in the labor market. This has forced many industries to re-train their workforces with the skills and tools needed to succeed in an ever-changing economy.”
A newly skilled workforce will dramatically transform the customer experience. But perhaps the most important skills necessary for that transformation–critical thinking and problem solving–have little to do with technology. As technology evolves, it increasingly makes more sense to know how to think about and solve for big picture problems rather than become entrenched in certain software or solutions that are eventually rendered obsolete.
Recent U.S. jobs reports, for example, signify how the future has already arrived. The transportation and mobility industry has faced doomsday predictions for years given the threat of automation and trade disruptions. But the industry was a bright spot for U.S. economy in September 2019, adding 16,000 transportation and warehouse jobs. The fastest-growing occupation in transportation is software engineering, followed by package handlers and operational specialists, according to LinkedIn data.