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  • Writer's pictureAiman Omer || أيمن عمر

How can we go through the transition period of the 4th industrial revolution

Updated: Feb 19, 2022

We are currently living in such a critical time where we are witnessing many changes around us. The development and implementation of new technology such as Artificial Intelligent, Robotics, Automation, Internet of Things, Big Data, and many other things; have transformed the economy and working environment around us. According to many research studies, it is expected that most of the low-skilled jobs such as cleaners, waiters, drivers, and even some entry white-color jobs are going to be taken by robots and automation. However, as robots and automation will take low-skilled jobs new high-skilled jobs will be generated in the future. This might help to improve the quality of our life by having better jobs with higher earnings. Knowing this might be good news for many young people who might be worried about their future career, however, it might not be that easy. There are a lot of works and preparation to be done to move to our intended bright future.

The robot and automation system had shown successful performance in simple and repetitive tasks. The technology can perform those tasks far better than humans in terms of speed and accuracy. Now with the recent development in Artificial intelligent systems and the use of techniques such as Machine Learning and Big Data, many basic professional tasks like data analysis and pattern recognition can be done by machines. However, even with the advancement of Artificial Intelligent, there are many tasks that can only be done by humans. Humans can perform better in tasks that require soft skills such as critical thinking, communication, imagination, creativity, and complex problem-solving. It is obvious that humans will focus on doing tasks that require soft skills and leave the computational and repetitive tasks to robots. However, the increased usage of technology in many of our daily job activities will require some technical and hard skills to deal with the technology. This will require people to develop their soft skills in addition to hard skills which will enable us to perform the jobs of the future.

It is obvious that to reach the desired future that will satisfy most of us, we need to prepare the workforce for the jobs of the future. This will require a lot of educational and training programs. In one of my previous articles, The Future of Employment in the Fourth Industrial Revolution Era; I have talked about the idea of going back to the university during your career life to update your knowledge and skills. It might look like a simple idea but it is hard to implement. Keeping in mind that most people in their mid ages will be responsible for a family and need to have a steady flow of income. It might not be easy for most people, in this case, to leave their jobs and pursue an education unless there is some kind of financial support such as a scholarship or sponsorship program.

Currently, some government organizations and big companies give some of their employees a chance to upgrade their knowledge and skills through pursuing a university degree like a Master's and Ph.D. Sometimes there are even some short training programs that most of those frames provide for their employees to develop their skills. However, such opportunities might not be available for small companies that have limited financial budgets. This might leave people in SMEs with the choice of relying on their own to learn and develop their skills. Given the fact that technology is transforming the work system rapidly, there is a great risk for many people to be left behind and exit the workforce due to their lack of the required skills and knowledge.

The creation of new jobs as a result of technological development is not something new. It has happened in the past during previous industrial revolutions. Each time people had successfully managed to learn new things, upgrade their skills, and adapted to the new types of jobs. However, the current industrial revolution is a little bit different from previous ones. The speed of the development is quite fast in addition to the scale of its impact. In addition to that, there are many players contributing to the development process, which makes the future unpredictable. Those facts will make it harder for most people to plan for their future whether in choosing the educational field or setting the career path. To go through this uncertain period, many sectors, private and public; will need to come together to work on an action plan to ensure the benefit of the whole society.

To move safely during the transition period of the 4th industrial revolution, three main sectors have to been involved, which are:

  1. Government and Public Organizations.

  2. Research and Educational Institutions.

  3. Companies and Private Frames.

Those three sectors will need to cooperate to move the whole society and economy safely into the desire bright future that we want to have. Each one of those sectors will have to play a specific role that will generate the required effect.

Government and Public Organizations:

Generally, governments develop plans and create policies for future development. To ensure the best for the society and economy, governments should study and see which of the economic sectors are most suitable for the country’s future. Based on the studies the government set the required policies and strategic plans. Governments can implement their policies and plans through laws and financial budgets. The financial budgets can be distributed to other external parties such as educational institutions and private companies through grants and loans.

Research and Educational Institutions:

Based on the government's plans, research institutes will carry out research activities for the implementation of the needed technology. In addition to that, educational institutions such as universities and schools will educate the next generation of the workforce and equip them with the required skills and knowledge.

Companies and Private Frames:

Companies are the ones who will introduce the technology to the public through business activities. It is important that companies collaborate with educational institutes and show them up today's market situation. Educational institutes need to keep a close look at the industry and be aware of the changes happening. This will help those institutes to update their educational programs to ensure the readiness of the next generation of the workforce.

What we will do in the current period could determine our future. It is very important to think carefully and work together to reach a sustainable safe future that we will all desire.

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