Written by Artur Meyster
We usually talk about robotics and artificial intelligence like it wasn’t already here or as if it was a futuristic thing. However, automation is already disrupting every single industry, and there’s no way to escape. In the future, there might be jobs that don’t even exist today. So what can we do to avoid losing our roles in the future? What can we do to avoid being obsolete? Today we’ll show you some ways to future-proof your skills.
Why You Should Prepare for the Future of Work
We’ve experienced three industrial revolutions during human history. The first one with the invention of a new manufacturing dynamic in which people learned how to use water to generate power. The second industrial revolution came with the invention of electricity, and the third one is the one we’re currently living in the computer era.
Now, is there a fourth revolution around the corner? Most experts think that the fourth revolution is already in its early stages with self-driving cars, 3D printers, and virtual reality. This fourth revolution will significantly affect the work environment, just like the other three did at first. According to the BBC, robots will replace up to 20 million factory jobs by 2030.
It doesn’t mean that humans won’t be working at any job in the future. What it means is that some people might migrate from one profession to another to adapt to the future of work. Here are some tips you should consider if you want to future-proof your skills.
Adopt a Resilient Mindset
Technology is constantly changing. Therefore we cannot expect to remain with the same skills forever. You need to become a life-long learner to be able to work in the future of work. One of the essential soft skills you’ll need is resilience. In an actively changing world, you’ll need to be able to adapt to situations and trends.
Those employees who are innovative and resilient won’t be threatened by tech disruption. There are several ways to be resilient in a disruptive world. The best way to deal with change is to embrace it.
Create a Digital Footprint
In a digital world, you can’t expect to use old methods to build your portfolio. You no longer have to print a CV and attend physical meetings. In today’s world, you need to have a digital footprint.
To make yourself some room in the future of work, you need to create an online presence. You need to create a website and optimize your profile on platforms like LinkedIn or Indeed. Whether you’re a software developer or a digital designer, you should show your work online.
If you’re a developer and want to show your computer skills resume, the best way to do it is through your own website. If you have a more artistic profession such as design, there are other platforms like Behance to show your skills.
Learn a New Tech Skill
If you’re a non-techie person, but you’d like to dive into the tech world, there are many ways to break into tech. You no longer have to study a bachelor’s degree in computer science. You can learn from experience and even take a coding bootcamp. Today, if you want to become a data scientist with no degree, you can do it because most companies have ditched their strict requirements of a bachelor’s degree.
Find a Tech Skill Equivalent to Your Profession.
Sometimes you don’t want to switch careers because you’ve invested too much time and effort into your profession. Therefore, it’s hard to ditch your current occupation for a different one. If this is the case for you, we have a solution. You don’t need to start over to enter the tech industry; you can find a tech equivalent to your current career. This is good because you’ll have a rich background that could benefit you. Here are some tech skills for career changers who don’t want to start over.
Finance → Data Analyst
If you have a financial background, you already have something in your favor. People with a financial background have a fundamental knowledge of statistics and data analysis. That’s why the best equivalent for these careers could be data science. Data scientists filter, scrape, and analyze data to find meaningful insights. The good thing about learning data science is that this career offers a high salary. According to the Bureau Of Labor Statistics, the salary of data scientists is over $120,000.
Journalist → Digital Marketer
Journalists are content creators by nature. Therefore, if you’re a journalist who wants to dive into the tech industry, you could try learning digital marketing. As a digital marketer, you need to have excellent communication skills and understand marketing fundamentals such as SEO and social media management. Journalists are used to dealing with the content creation dynamic so digital marketing can be a functional tech equivalent.
Graphic Designer → Web Designer
Graphic designers and web developers are very compatible. They both design digital products with similar tools such as Photoshop or Illustrator. If you’re a graphic designer and you’d like to have a technical career, you can learn web design. As a web designer, you’ll be creating layouts and buttons for software or websites.
If you want to continue being valuable for companies in the future of work, you need to learn new skills that will be indispensable in the future. This is the best way to future-proof your skills. And if you don’t want to start over, you can find an equivalent to your career in the tech industry. Remember that soft skills are still important. Therefore, you should embrace them by having a resilient mindset and being innovative.
Artur Meyster is the CTO of Career Karma (YC W19), an online marketplace that matches career switchers with coding bootcamps. He is also the host of the Breaking Into Startups podcast, which features people with non-traditional backgrounds who broke into tech.