“I have a degree and I have experience. How’s digital transformation going to affect me?”
20 de January de 2022
20 de January de 2022
Last time we met here, we introduced our current challenge: a digital transformation paradigm that we’re facing as a society, as citizens, as users and as professionals.
We’re currently living in times in which workers from different ages and generations coexist and organise in order to get the job done. This has all been amplified by remote working and by the different times we had had to coordinate to go to work by batches depending on which stage of the pandemic we were in. And let’s not even mention those situations in which the geographic location of projects calls for remote teams to work together from different time zones.
What we get is a melting pot for different types of professionals from different backgrounds; industries that are starting to disappear and cut down their labour force while others are on the rise; and technology — technology that transforms jobs and creates new ones at an amazing pace (in less than a decade’s time, an estimated 70% will be jobs that currently don’t exist or that we don’t yet know about).
But, then… What's going to happen to the professions we chose a few years ago? What are we to do with all our previous experience (in some cases of 5, 10 or more than 20 years)?
For some years now, we’ve been able to see how some professions are slowly disappearing. But, actually, this has been going on for centuries. With the first technological changes, many professions started to disappear, mainly, to make it easier for human beings and provide us with more security and physical care (and mental? We’ll see). But, unlike those first ‘revolutions’, we’re experiencing a data revolution now, which means that not only everything happens ‘fast and now’, but it’s also measured, calculated, controlled and boosted.
Technology is increasingly taking charge of ‘human’ tasks. Nowadays, there’s a re-evaluation of the models for mobility (taxi, uber, etc), shipment, customer service at banks and government agencies, supermarket cashiers and even for fast food chefs. Unfortunately, we will witness how a large percentage of these tasks will be taken on by technological inventions.
And what about the more traditional professions? Well, I think that, at this moment in time, it’s precisely in the traditional professions where there’s the greatest room for growth in the creation of value and work. Workers will have to embrace their own transformation and get ready to take on new professions and train themselves for the road that lies ahead — there’s no doubt about that. But… how will they do it? And, how fast can they do it? The answer to those two questions will determine their success.
The way we create value and the way we work may also be subject to change due to the fact that technology is gaining ground in our daily life, inside of companies and also in the way that we streamline the world economy.
Traditional professions —like medicine, engineering, architecture and law— will be in high demand by companies that experiment with 3D printing, nano and bio technologies, situation analysis with the help of AI, and machine learning. It’s important to start preparing and opening up to the acquisition of new knowledge, but without leaving behind our academic journey and the experience gained so far.
As for teaching, specific areas such as maths and statistics will become of great value for areas that work with big data. Models, calculations, projections and basic knowledge are all key for the development of the algorithms that keep getting better and better. And we can’t forget, among other professions, about sociologists, anthropologists and historians — key players that will contribute to the understanding and placement of human beings in this situation. Remember that algorithms —and software in general— are designed through very precise orders from people who seek to make their own work easier.
Understanding how we change, how we live and how we think is also part of this adventure, part of getting to know ourselves better. Those who have worked in sales, logistics, production, administration, and even accountants and economists, can all find opportunities if they approach tech-based companies.
The operations carried out in those industries create data, which not only needs to be stored, but also curated in order to design presentations that will allow us to analyse it and make decisions based on it. It’s becoming more and more common to see a greater demand for the improvement of processes, the aglisation of tasks and the development of new products and markets. Graphic designers, photographers, artists and other professionals are gaining ground thanks to their desire to work towards achieving simpler and easier ways for us to understand and interact with technology and the different digital products that are part of our present and future.
Maybe not 10 years ago, but today we all know people who work as UX/UI designers, data scientists, community managers, developers and programmers (whether for video games or any other piece of technology that exists today in the market). And there are many more of these ‘new’ professions that are becoming more common for the general public.
While it’s true that change and training are needed, technology itself —thanks to the internet and telecommunications— makes it possible by significantly multiplying the opportunities. Nowadays, my employer could be living in a different country from me and access the market through virtual platforms. Currently, besides being able to become remote workers, thanks to virtual media, we can develop and monetise youtube channels, online guides, webinars, courses, assets and sounds… And all of this is backed by virtual transactions through digital payments, cryptocurrencies, NFTs, Fintechs, virtual wallets, etc.
The creation of jobs through the development of new economies and new ways of generating value will be greater as long as we put in the effort to work on our personal transformation and towards integration, preparing ourselves as a society. This won’t be the job of a few, of governments or companies. No. It will be a hard and complex task that will require everyone’s involvement.