Industry 4.0 and Employment Opportunities

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.

To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

― Buckminster Fuller

As aptly said by Mr. Fuller, the existing system does not change by itself, it simply is overpowered by a new, innovative, and evolved system. A system that revolutionizes the way we look at and perceive things.

Since the 1700s we have seen the world undergoing drastic and dramatic changes, that have changed the way of life. The industrial revolution started in 1780 in England with the invention of steam-powered engines in the 1900s, when computers became the game-changer. Now, with the turn of the century comes another revolution, Industry 4.0. 

Industry 4.0 is the latest marketing buzzword and denotes the fourth Industrial Revolution. This revolution comprises automation in the manufacturing, warehousing, supply chain & logistics to machines & robots becoming a part of our daily lives.

Let’s take a close look at the changes this new system of work brings about:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Big Data – Big Data refers to the large amount of data generated by various sources such as manufacturing equipment, mobiles, computers, and allied machines. This data is analysed to extract useful information that aids in decision-making. Artificial Intelligence is making the machines analyse the surroundings to take in the data and interpret it in such a way that it learns & adapts to changes as it continues working.
  • Machine Learning & Internet of Things (IoT) – Machine Learning, a subset of AI, uses the interpreted data to become more efficient and accurate. The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of connected devices, robots, machines & equipment. This connection of devices offers real-time status updates and ease of monitoring.
  • 3D Printing – What started as a tool for prototyping is seeing real potential in the future. The scope of 3D Printing is extending to mass production which saves costs and time.
  • Cyber security – The amount of data generated, gives rise increase in cyber threats. Hence keeping the data secure is becoming of paramount importance. Hence there is a need for strong cybersecurity that will detect threats & viruses to prevent breaches, leakage, and theft of sensitive information.

Companies adopting the new technologies and processes are termed smart factories or smart offices.

Even though the changes in the industries are making the processes and systems cost-effective, saving time, adding to the efficiency, and creating ease of working, there is a hint of fear to it. The million-dollar question – Will Industry 4.0 brings with it mass unemployment?

The answer is a big NO. Any change brings about disrupti0on in the existing motion of things, however, it brings with it numerous new opportunities. The same can be applied in this case. The changes in the way businesses are run today are creating opportunities for people to learn new technologies and become the master of them & not the other way round.

If the skills required for the execution of a manufacturing job or tracking the movement of ships in the supply chain are being replaced with machines and robots, it is simultaneously giving rise to creators of these machines & robots. 

Even if the example is primitive, the thought is deep. New technologies create creators, managers, and manufacturers of these technologies. To upkeep with the changes one must update the skills such as analytics, data computation, software development, and management to be in sync with the encompassments of Industry 4.0.

Thus, it is time we rethink business and business models too. Co-sharing work with robots is the future and we all must embrace it. 

Understanding the trend and adapting it is what MIT School of Distance Education (MITSDE) does best. MITSDE is an ed-tech organization offering PG courses with various specializations. It offers a wide range of courses like PGDM in IT, Logistics & Supply Chain, Project, and Operations Management to choose from. These Post Graduate Diploma in Management courses are designed to fill the skills gap in the industry today. The courses equip you with analytical skills, decision-making ability, forecasting, risk management and change management.