Thinking About Career Choices in the 4th Industrial Revolution

A friend of mine sent me an article, knowing I’m in the staffing industry and that I routinely talk to job-seekers including young folk right out of college on career options as well as early retirees looking for a second career or a nice and interesting part-time job. After reading this article, I thought I’d share it giving food for thought on the future of work.

The article started out with the fall of Kodak (a household word), a large and profitable company with 170,000 employees in 1998 and selling 85% of all photo paper worldwide. Within just a few years, their business model disappeared and they went bankrupt. What happened to Kodak will happen in a lot of industries in the next 5-10 years and most of us won’t see it coming as we capture the moment with our IPhones and digital cameras. At first digital cameras were a disappointment with only 10,000 pixels but as with all exponential technologies, the digital camera became way superior and became mainstream in only a few short years. It will now happen again and faster with Artificial Intelligence, health, autonomous and electric cars, education, 3D printing, agriculture and jobs. All in the Exponential Age.

Software will disrupt most traditional industries in the next 5-10 years. Uber is just a software tool, they don’t own any cars, and are now the biggest taxi company in the world. Airbnb is now the biggest hotel company in the world although they don’t own any beds nor any property. AI: Computers become exponentially better in understanding the world. This year, a computer beat the best Go-player in the world, 10 years earlier than expected. In the US, young lawyers may be hunting for jobs. Because of IBM’s Watson, you can get legal advice, mainly basic advice so far, within seconds, with 90% accuracy compared with 70% accuracy when done by humans. Watson already helps doctors diagnosing cancer and treatment options, and it’s 4 times more accurate than humans only. Facebook now has a pattern recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans. Will computers become more intelligent than humans by 2030? What do you think? To be continued……

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