So the much-Discussed Buzzword in the corporate world (more specifically in the engineering and technology firms ) is here – Industry 4.0. By the way, there isn’t any industry without either engineering or Technology in it.
I am sure by now, You as a young aspirer would have read and must be thinking about this Animal called Industry 4.0
While there will be excellent articles talking in detail about it and how the industries, as well as all the individual stakeholders, must change and upgrade their knowledge and skills to tame the animal, what I intend to talk to you about, through this article is, the necessity to look at Soft Skills from Much wider perspective – much beyond the confidence – communication skills and interpersonal skills periphery.
You need to know that better understanding of your personality, your specific strengths , your thinking and execution pattern will impact your seamless integration with the fast-paced changes on the anvil. Certain traits in your personality might just take longer than your expectation to adjust to the new environment or You just might have the perfect brain to shoot off in the new challenging environment.
So lets quickly understand what might be the changes on the anvil with advent of Industry 4.0
What it means at more transactional level is
Every industry, be it manufacturing or Hospitality or BFSI – literally every industry will need to overhaul their entire system- Process, Product, Scale of Operations, Supply Chain, Success parameters and Client Relationship. While Vision of Entrepreneurs will remain intact the Mission statements might change a bit and the goals and objectives will undergo considerable changes.
All Businesses will have Information Technology and Computing as the core functional connecting and strategic Nervous system. (and this has already happened for Most Industries at skeletal level)
We all know how Uber, Zomato, Oyo, and likes of Amazon and Flipkart or even for that matter chat services like Whats App have disrupted various industries.
Many work processes will be changed and aligned as per the Technological system deployed in that industry. The initial phase (read current phase) will be a bit chaotic for core industries since the evolution in the IT and computing itself is quite fast-paced and is happening all around the world in complex degrees and multiple levels across platforms. The Computing hardware, the Software, the Interfaces and the Production Hardware, everything is changing and evolving faster.
It might take a few dedicated sessions for youngsters to understand each of the above change in detail and what every change will demand from them.
But summarily what it means for all of us is to start reskilling ourselves. Start Unlearning and Relearning. And Hold.. by Reskilling if you think taking up some course, maybe something in Augmented Reality or Virtual Reality or doing a project in Artificial intelligence or IoT will be enough preparation – You may be in for a unpleasant surprise.
Let’s take a look at some facts in the White Paper published by BRICS Business Council on Skill development for Industry 4.0 which mentions following Skills as Most important requirements in the people
Fig 1: Important Qualifications and skills required for Industry 4.0
So Knowledge about ICT and Ability to work with DATA are the High focus areas and Technical knowhow and Personal skills will be the second most important focus skills.
While the students and the corporates will focus on gaining/imparting Knowledge and Technical knowhow through various courses / degrees / certifications, Ability to work with Data and Personal skills are the areas which will mostly be left to individuals to improve upon.
Going by our experience in the last 25 years, we as a society have mastered the art of acquiring degrees and certifications and yet we have the highest unemployable community in the world. (all those great stories about Indians ruling big technology firms across the globe are exceptional individual success stories mostly charted by individual talents and hard work )
Hence even with Hundreds of Skills development Centres and the courses therein facilitated by NSDC, there is a high chance that the No. 2 and No. 4 from the above figure 1 will still remain the Down-pullers for individuals if not well attended. (These are also the main reasons behind the current employability problem across youth)
Before we talk more about it lets see one more table that details the Abilities, Basic skills and Cross-functional skills specified by BRICS Skill development working Group as an important requirement.
Fig 2: Core Work-related Abilities and Skills
We need to be honest in assessing and accepting the degree of focus we as individuals have paid towards the above skills. One may have an excellent academic track record in a professional course however the application of the theories learned – in practical competitive work environment needs above skills more than ever now
Every aspiring Millennial needs to understand the above abilities and skills, assess factually the degree of their presence in his or her personality and consciously work towards improving the same.
If you still wonder how important these skills will be, take a look at another study by World economic forum.
It Says 52% jobs in the near future will need Cognitive Abilities as Major and Growing Job Requirement in every employee. While 42% of Jobs will need System skills, 40% of Jobs will need Complex Problem-solving skills and Content skills on a Growing scale.
So these 4 abilities/skills will be the most important job requirements across most of the industries.
Unfortunately, there aren’t any degree or certificate courses to get trained in the above Skills barring system skills to some extent.
There are certain abilities you naturally Possess or don’t possess Like Musical Talent, Creative abilities, etc and there are certain skills you can get yourself trained in through consistent and long term activities that need those skills and nurture those skills- viz. logical thinking, critical thinking, decision making, interpersonal skills, etc. In any case, these skills cannot be Learnt through theory classrooms or books.
You may need to Plan much earlier and act consistently (maybe for 2 or more years) to develop these skills. Thinking that these skills will get developed while you get your Technical certification done might prove disastrous.
We at Edu Walkers have worked out experiential training programs that guide you and give you learning experience through various Real-life planned incidences and events and also simulated laboratory experiences. We help you assess yourself on various abilities and skills and also facilitate their development to keep you abreast with the on-going Employability or Entrepreneurial requirements.
wishing success and happiness to you.
Data References: BRICS report on Skills required for Industry 4.0, Surveys by World economic forum , Report by Roland Berger
About the Author
Avinash Deshmukh is Founder and CEO of Edu Walkers Lifeskills LLP and Brainsmaart Solutions.
He is also founder of BOLDnet : Buddys Open learning and Development Network , a Platform for youngsters to connect with industry professionals and learn from them.
An Engineer by qualification, Avinash after a stint of about 18 years with companies like CITI Financial, ICICI prudential and Kotak Life Insurance, started his entrepreneurial venture in the field of Skills development. He is a Multiple intelligence counselor and Trainer and has so far impacted over 2000 lives in the last 5 years. His brainchild Service HAR GHAR MEIN GENIUS – a Multiple Skills development program for children aged 4 to 12 has gained a good foothold in society. Employability assessment and enhancement are the company’s main offerings for youth.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org