The 4th industrial revolution is here, and it is completely transforming the way we live and work. This new world is fuelled by data and internet connected devices that are capable of collecting and processing ever-growing amounts of information.
Smartphones, digital cameras, sensors and social media now create more information than ever before. In fact, over the past 18 months we have created more data than in all of prior human history combined. More hours of YouTube videos are now uploaded every three minutes than all Hollywood studios produce in a whole year.
This explosion of data is changing how we work and what jobs are going to be available in the future. Data is the raw material that enables automation, smarter ways of working and artificial intelligence. A study out of Oxford University suggests that as much as 35 percent of all the jobs in the U.K. could be at risk of automation inside the next 20 years.
It is important for everyone, in every job and every industry, to consider the implications of this new transformation and how it will change their job and employment prospects over the coming years. Here are a few tips that will help you stay ahead of the pack and survive the data tsunami.
Get a job in data
Today, data is one of the most important resources for any business but there is a problem: We are seeing big shortage in people with the skills to turn that data into insights and value. It is therefore not surprising that working in data science was not only voted as the best job in 2016 but has been referred to in the Harvard Business Review as the sexiest job of the 21st century. High salaries, great career opportunities and flexible working all make this an attractive field to work in.
Consider the future of your job
Think hard about how much of what you do every day is repetitive and could potentially be done by intelligent robots or computers. Remember, we already have self-driving cars and trucks, drones can lay bricks, and intelligent computers can diagnose illnesses and issue prescriptions. The areas that computers still struggle with include creativity, problem solving and connecting with people on a human level. Once you have figured out which parts of your job will be difficult to automate, try to focus on those. Try to develop your skills in those areas and reshape your job to do more of those things that robots can’t.
Use data to find your perfect job
Big Data is not only changing our jobs but also how we find them. Platforms such as LinkedIn are getting smarter in understanding and matching your skills with those companies are looking for. Make sure you use these tools to your advantage – keep your profiles, experiences and recommendations up-to-date. You can also use services like glassdoor.co.uk. to get an insight into what it is really like to work for different companies and even find out whether you’re getting paid what you deserve by searching up the average salary for your job in your location.
Once you are in your dream job, demonstrating that you are among the technological elite who are able to use data in original ways to solve key problems is a sure-fire path to success in the information age. Being comfortable with using data in your job will only become more important, so start using more data when you make decisions. A great way to start this is by looking for data beyond the things that are available in your company, the UK government is now making a lot of data available for free and tools like Google Trends will give you great new insights.
Make friends with your AI colleagues
Artificial intelligence, or AI for short, is being adopted at a frightening rate. We can see that in our own private lives with AI assistants such as Apple’s Siri, Google’s Now, Microsoft’s Cortana and Amazon’s Alexa becoming increasingly competent at helping us to run our lives. They can manage schedules, proactively let us know about travel delays or breaking news and inform us of upcoming events that they think will interest. Increasingly they can do this without us telling them to do so just by monitoring our behaviour. This will become common practice in our jobs and you better get comfortable with that.
Bernard Marr is a bestselling author, keynote speaker, and advisor to companies and governments. He has worked with and advised many of the world's best-known organisations. LinkedIn has recently ranked Bernard as one of the top 10 Business Influencers in the world (in fact, No 5 - just behind Bill Gates and Richard Branson). He writes on the topics of intelligent business performance for various publications including Forbes, HuffPost, and LinkedIn Pulse. His blogs and SlideShare presentation have millions of readers.