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Moving into the digital age and how technology will affect jobs

by | Jan 26, 2020 | Informational


One of the most mind-bending challenges of today’s workforce in South Africa is understanding how technology will change the future of work. In fact, analysts have predicted that 65% of children under the age of 11 today will one day occupy jobs that currently do not even exist. This is the result of what is now being termed the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), which the world is entering into. 

It’s been estimated that by 2030, 14% of the global population in existing jobs or careers (an estimated 375 million) will have had to switch occupations, or upgrade their skills, in order to remain relevant in a global economy drastically changed by the digital age. No need for despair though: it’s also estimated that up to 280 million new jobs will arise globally from the impact of rising incomes on consumer goods alone.



5 Attributes of Resilience to Face a 4th Industrial Revolution

How we as a nation respond to technology and artificial intelligence’s inevitable disruption to what we know as “normal” will determine the future of our economy and its people. 



Adaptability & Open-Mindedness


The rate at which the world is changing can be overwhelming. When such change begins to infringe on our workplaces and livelihood, it’s easy to be consumed by doubts about the future and to even harbour very real fears about the future.


As South Africa operates in a global economy, we would be wise to embrace technology and automation, and not to resist it. This requires us to be open-minded and adaptable in our approach to how technology can improve our workplaces and our industries. 





In addition to being open-minded, it’s going to take courage and grit to forge ahead into the realities of how technology will change the future of work. 

In the words of Roy T. Bennett, in speaking of courage, change and growth, “You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.”



A Sense of Urgency


The pace at which technology progresses is staggering, and requires us to move with the changes quickly and with intent, or risk falling behind. 

With automation and artificial intelligence fast becoming a daily reality, any changes that need to be made in order to avoid becoming redundant in your industry need to be identified and pursued with a sense of urgency and enthusiasm. 





It’s been speculated that the safest jobs are creative ones – if there’s one thing that has not been mastered in artificial intelligence, it’s creative reasoning. More and more companies are appointing creative directors and managers whose functions are to think outside of the box and find better ways to do things. 



Upskill, upskill, upskill! 


All the speculation on how technology will change the future of work is – for now – just that: speculation. There can be no greater preparation for the things to come than to continually find ways to upgrade your skills and broaden your opportunities both in your industry and in new industries. 



Start now: The future is here

The times are as exhilarating, as they are uncertain – the next ten years will be critical for the South African economy and the workforce building it. 

At Assessment College, we’re excited to be involved in equipping people with additional skills to help them face the 4th Industrial Revolution with determination and confidence. If you’d like to find out what skills could prepare you for the same, get in touch with us to chat it over.