The Workplace of the Future — The Top Ten Skills You’ll Need to Succeed in 2020

Technology is advancing at such a rapid pace that in 2020, about 5 million jobs will be replaced by automated machines. Self-driving cars will gradually change the way we travel, and artificial intelligence (AI) will soon make decisions for us. My friends at Pyramid Analytics have some very interesting things to say about AI.  We are on the verge of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, an age that will require a new set of skills for the workforce of tomorrow.

Before we go deeper into what the fourth industrial revolution means and how it will affect the future workplace, here’s a quick overview into the previous industrial revolutions.

The Industrial Revolutions: A Quick Overview

ThoughtCo. describes the term “industrial revolution” as a period of massive technological and socio-cultural change, similar to the time when our ancestors switched roles from hunter-gatherers to farmers.

Humanity has had quite a few industrial revolutions over the course of history. Here’s a quick overview:

  • The first industrial revolution happened during the 18th century in Britain with the discovery of the steam engine and the burning of fossil fuel to power factories that replaced manual labor. The textile industry was the major benefactor of this period.
  • The second industrial revolution in America was an expansion of the first when Henry Ford applied the manufacturing techniques of the previous revolution to pioneer mass production and the moving assembly line.
  • The third industrial revolution or the digital age builds on the invention of World Wide Web and seeks to connect the world through innovations in information technology.

These industrial revolutions have one thing in common: they are all disruptive—turning the tables of the prevailing industries during the periods before them. We’re currently witnessing the climax of the third industrial revolution and transitioning to a revolution that is more technological than industrial.

More Technological Than Industrial

The Fourth Industrial Revolution focuses on innovations that harness the potential of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), self-driving vehicles, nanotechnology, renewable energy, quantum computing, and biotechnology to name a few.

Because of this explosion of new fields, new markets will emerge which will require a new set of skills for employment. Increasingly smart robots will take over some jobs, and jobs that didn’t exist before will be in-demand.

A new age of work requires a new set of skills to thrive and be productive. Here’s an infographic on the top 10 skills you need to thrive in 2020.

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