The Impact of Automation on present Employees and young graduates


The anxiety of job loss is palpable for several employees from across the industries. Robots, Deep learning, Artificial intelligence has rapidly matured in taking care of most of the work performed by millions of Software engineers or white/blue collar workers.  Automotive and auto parts, electrical and electronic parts, business process outsourcing, textile, clothing and footwear  and retail are some of the industries that already are seeing loss of millions of jobs.

Most of the Banks, financial institutes, brokerage firms  will face closure due to rapid adoption of cryptocurrencies https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin which will affect millions of graduates/MBA’s  wanting to work in financial sector.

There are driver less cars, deep machine learning techniques which can accurately predict diseases (Doctors are you reading this?) and provide medical advices are some examples of how deep the impact will be.

Modern machines, Robots, sensors, Software can now not only do manual routine tasks but also do work that requires cognitive intelligence.

As a result a highly trained radiologist or a specialized software engineer in a company is in danger of being replaced by a Computer software or a Robot that have the cognitive capabilities and can work consistently.

According to a World economic forum report “current trends could lead to a net employment impact of more than 5.1 million jobs lost to disruptive labour market changes over the period 2015–2020, with a total loss of 7.1 million jobs—two thirds of which are concentrated in the Office and Administrative job family” Source:  http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Future_of_Jobs.pdf

Due to rapid and wide spread automation, AI, Deep learning and Robots replacing humans,  there will be no requirement of software engineers who are just specialists in any core technologies such as JAVA, Web or RDBMS. Rapid maturity of the above mentioned technologies will have the following impact on employment, present jobs and future jobs.

  1. Around 56% of jobs in industries such as Logistics, Healthcare, banking, transportation etc. in areas HR, Services, deliveries, finance, IT,  middle management jobs (supervisors, managers, Software engineers, clerks, tax experts, bank clerks etc. ) are automated and employment in this areas will be dwindling rapidly.
  2. Other areas of job loss will be are hotels and restaurants (80.7 per cent), wholesale and retail trade (77.5 per cent), construction (70.8 per cent) and manufacturing (61.6 per cent). Source : http://www.ilo.org/global/lang–en/index.htm
  1. By year 2020 employees will be working with Robots and other intelligent machines as colleagues and they have to take orders from machines to fulfill the remaining work that is not already replaced by the machines.
  2. There will be a situation in many companies, where humans will not be able to get jobs and only robots handle entire company operations. One such live example is Dyson’s automated Singapore plant where 55 robots do all the work that is done by 100’s of engineers. https://www.fastcodesign.com/1671939/dysons-80-million-new-factory-dedicated-to-its-most-unsung-invention
  3. Infosys an Indian IT giant plans to embrace automation and artificial intelligence, besides other newer technologies. Post-automation of certain operations, Wipro is already in the process re skilling 4500 employees for new technologies.
  4. Few and few companies will visit Universities and colleges for recruiting students (NO MORE CAMPUS Recruitment)  and there is no choice for universities and colleges but to rapidly adopt to changing business needs and adopt to new skills and teach students the same. Otherwise they will be producing huge numbers of Un employed youth that will have a cascading effect on industry and the country’s growth prospects.

Suggestions for Universities, educational institutes, Schools and other skills imparting institutes.

  1. Employees, Students should have the mindset for New skills adaptation and they should always be willing to be learning constantly based on the business needs.
  2. Change the ratio of teaching staff to include Industry experts in the proportion of 60% academic and 40% Industry experts in universities, colleges and schools and make faculty accountable of what skills they impart to students and reward only those who make students acceptable by industry.
  3. Avoid recognizing Marks as the parameter of students success in academics and recognize and reward special skills , creativity shown by students. Allow industry experts to teach students ‘Creativity , innovation and change” and make it mandatory for students to prove they are learning this vital skills.
  4. Eliminate class rooms and replace with Practical labs. Embrace online MOOC classes https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massive_open_online_course  and make students to pass the courses designed by industry and academic experts.
  5. Ask students to solve society’s or industry’s problems as part of school, college project submissions. Indian Government as part of engaging citizens has shared some challenges with rewards. Check details here https://www.mygov.in/  BTW i participate in some of the challenges.
  6. Change syllabus to include what industry will be needing in coming years. Be Proactive in knowing the skills needed in next 5 to 10 years rather than reactive in teaching present skills needed.  There is a huge requirement for software and hardware security experts by 2020. A report from Frost & Sullivan and (ISC)2 found that the global cybersecurity workforce will have more than 1.5 million unfilled positions by 2020. But the security industry is a fast-growing market.  More details on this report is here. http://blog.isc2.org/isc2_blog/2015/04/isc-study-workforce-shortfall-due-to-hiring-difficulties-despite-rising-salaries-increased-budgets-a.html
  7. For those who are working in Software industry or any other sector here is my advice.  Visualize yourselves working with robots, machines only and into next 10 years of your career and work backwards to check what skills will be in demand after 10 years and start learning them right now. If you just know one skills you will be in danger of losing your job pretty soon. Having a diversified skills set is a reward in present job market.
  8. Jobs in areas such as Artificial intelligence, robotics,cyber-security,  building intelligent machines will be on raise and also many traditional jobs that need deep cognitive skills won’t be replaced rapidly and there is scope for job stability.
  9. Because of huge pressure, stress, anxiety in work areas,  individual’s health will suffer which will force for more visits to hospitals. Yoga and meditation will gain tremendous influence in helping those who embrace Yoga and Meditation. I advice young students to start seriously practicing YOGA and Meditation. You can make a career in this two healthy areas.

Finally those who are lifelong learners and who can rapidly adopt to changing job specifications, skills will stay relevant and those who resist change will be side-lined.

Any comments, additions to this article are welcome to do so. Thanks

Creativity , Innovation Life Rings


While doing the MOOC course on Creativity , Innovation and change we are asked to prioritize the 5 most important life activities to cover all our responsibilities. The course expects us to be creative while presenting our solutions Here i created life rings and a Poem to describe what matters most to me. Let me know your thoughts.

life-rings

A poem on my Life Rings.

The new career choice in imparting knowledge and skills

The Life ring of new career switch is a thrill.

 

The ERP software gave me a wonderful career tapestry.

This life ring fulfilled my life’s dreams and fantasy

 

To work in the community service is a challenging affair

This life Ring reminds me to have a dedication to fulfill kids who aspire.

 

The Entrepreneurship is a reflection of my business needs.

The Life ring will stands as the memory of fulfilling the same with concrete action deeds.

 

The family is dear to me and all my efforts finally merge to   keep them hale and healthy.

This Life ring is a conclusion of my life’s meaning which is always remains as plenty.

 

Chance favors the connected mind


In the fast moving digitally connected  and complex world-  our beliefs ,skills,  assumptions , our knowledge is constantly  challenged.  Willing to accept that we need to refresh our knowledge, skills and other matters makes us better positioned to take on any kind of new challenges that come across.

RICHARD GREFÉ  :   “You know, a few years ago, whoever had the knowledge had the power. But today, the power resides in those who have a sense of the way that knowledge flows. And that becomes critical because knowledge is growing at an exponential rate. So what does that mean? That means that for any individual to succeed, has got to go beyond just knowing things. They have to be curious, they have to be thoughtful. And that doesn’t come from social media and that doesn’t come form deep-diving in data. That comes from thoughtful conversations.”

We are in a  era and times that requires us to think differently. 19th and 20th century education has built invisible walls around everything. We are trained to see things, learn , watch and use things individually.  Students are trained to learn subjects individually.    Civil engineers focus more on their subject and less on other engineering branch knowledge and similar is the story with all other branches. Computers science students focus more on software and less on industry’s domain knowledge  which is more vital in today’s market place. There is no one course that combines all these knowledge from different fields and provide us the insights of how interconnected everything is and how to acquire the right knowledge to face today’s smart planet’s requirements to stay successful with the right skills for the rapidly evolving nature of corporate work and society’s cultural shifts.  I always used to stress this point to graduate, post graduate and PhD Students of engineering and MBA to come out of their  specific subject knowledge and look afresh by learning how all the subjects knowledge works together to create solutions and products we use everyday. (Think Apple I Phone’s focus on Design more technology less) . Today Technology has erased the boundaries of  all branches of sciences, agriculture, medical and even changed our daily life habits. Why then are we not understanding that we have to have a open mind and inclination to learn something unrelated to our subject matter?

I get inspired when i look at some smart companies combining cross platform knowledge from different industries and come with a radical design and products. One such company is Dyson. James Dyson is famous for inventing something new that we never think possible.  They don’t hesitate to take inspiration and knowledge from different sources to come up with  new product. Here is a Blades less fan they invented using principles or aerospace fans. Click here to know more http://www.dyson.com/Fans/FansAndHeaters/Fans.aspx

For those who have guts to think differently and achieve something Dyson innovation awards is the platform to take on the challenges. Here is the link

http://www.jamesdysonaward.org/Prize.aspx

Similarly Companies such as Toyota come with some amazing ways of improving quality in their products , minimizing waste in production process and reduce the cost of making high quality products for less.  We already learnt their best practices such as Lean manufacturing, Kan-ban, Kaizan widely implemented in different industries.  They now use a new method called Andon Cord.

” The andon cord is literally a cord that workers can pull – a cord they should pull – any time something in the manufacturing process goes wrong that would compromise the quality of the product or safety of the people. The line stops immediately. Everyone’s attention is turned to the problem. Everyone helps to solve the problem. And the line doesn’t restart until the problem’s been fixed, thus ensuring that zero scrap or defects are allowed to perpetuate.”

http://www.toyotageorgetown.com/qualdex.asp

So innovation don’t need to be complex. we just need to think different.

World’s knowledge levels today (mostly Industry) are so mature that we don’t need PhD’s anymore because industry’s maturity levels are so high that until we think differently and look beyond  PhD’s  knowledge;  sustainable solutions are not possible for the complex problems we face today. Medical field is one such area where sufficient knowledge is not there to solve diseases such as Diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer or parkinson’s etc in spite of having top notch scientists with multiple PhD’s.   The only way to go is look into a different field , combine your subject knowledge with it to create a new idea or a cool product or a new medicine for a deadly disease.

We have different lifestyles than our parents. Youth today are in a constant flux of adopting to new lifestyles with high connectivity to the entire world. Mobile connectivity, social media interactions, crowd sourcing for solving complex problems of the planet,  Internet of things, body connected intelligent sensors, health tracking devices like Nike shoes and many more new technology gadgets allow us to look different , work differently than our predecessors and acquire knowledge differently than what is taught in our colleges today (the good old style).

The reach of internet to every nook and corner of the world allows us to know any kind of information , acquire knowledge and skills needed. Technology as i said above , erased the boundaries of everything and i want you to remove the mental blocks (the artificial silos in your mind)   and train  your mind to look at things differently with a open mind. Today we are connected so closely via social media, tech gadgets that we can collaborate with the world’s  best  on a massive scale that is not possible in a physical form. One of the courses  I’m doing on Coursera ( https://www.coursera.org/course/strategy101)  has 90, 000 students from across the globe. We are learning by doing  , something new but connected to a single platform on coursera No class rooms to go,  only online practicals using technology and internet connection. Cool way of learning something new,  Right?   Colleges and Universities should focus on building Labs to help today’s students to experiment, tinker with tools and gadgets. Otherwise we only produce paper engineers ,  MBA graduates who are just fit to do a service job  , does not provide any competitive advantage to students nor to the country as a whole. Today we should worry that we bring out very insignificant percentage of  cutting edge products to market  in spite of one billion population and large number of PhD’s and Master students.

Do you want to be a listless person or want to impact the world with your knowledge.  Remember the title of this blog  “Chance favors the connected Mind”  That power of Connectivity should become your major weapon to acquire skills needed for 22nd century companies. Many of the problems industry faces will be solved by individuals  from across the planet. This is the future of work. People won’t be working for a single company. There will be problems that need to solved and if you solve it you get paid. That is what will happen in Job markets going forward.

So why waiting. Go get connected with the world’s knowledge. My Previous blogs have several world class resource links to start with . so check them..

As part of this Blog here are some useful links for you to get on the fast track of 22nd century learning… Enjoy and good luck to you..

Learn something new here https://www.coursera.org/  or here https://www.udacity.com/  or here https://www.edx.org/ or from the whole internet which is at your finger tips.

Good luck to you and do not hesitate to reach out to me through your comments in this blog…

Indian University rankings


The National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) outlines a methodology to rank institutions across the country. The methodology draws from the overall recommendations broad understanding arrived at by a Core Committee set up by MHRD, to identify the broad parameters for ranking various universities and institutions. The parameters broadly cover “Teaching, Learning and Resources,” “Research and Professional Practices,” “Graduation Outcomes,” “Outreach and Inclusivity,” and “Perception”.

India Rankings – 2016 based on this framework were released on 4th April 2016.

Know more here.

https://www.nirfindia.org/univ

Universities that did not register can do it now by clicking the below link

http://nirfweb.cloudapp.net/Registrationnew.aspx

To know more about my professional work   click here http://skillsnest.com/

Reverse engineering Resume


I was helping one of my master students with his resume preparation and felt that I should write a blog on how job candidates should make their resume appealing from an employer’s perspective.

Before you start your resume you should put your imagination to work. You should think you are the recruiter and interviewing a candidate. What answer are you expecting from the candidate. As recruiter you will ask questions to the candidate as follows

Why are your skills right for this position?

Tell us more about your last job?

How are you going to add value?

What is your work ethic?

Tell us three adjectives that would describe your attitude?

What about your weaknesses?

Why should you matter to us?

Where do you want to eventually live and settle?

Where else are you looking and why do we stand out in your set of choices?

Are there any reasons why you would not take this job if it were offered?

I have written a book “Interview questions with answers” which have 80 more questions with answers so that all branches of engineering and MBA candidates can use it to prepare their Resume.

When you are reading the questions your mind also thinks of what answer you expect from a candidate.

Now let’s take one question from the above Why are your skills right for this position? “

Depending on job requirements you can have variety of answers for the above questions. 

Let’s assume the position is a Software engineer and expected skills are soft skills , Java, web and mobile technologies. …

One answer is : “My skills of java code will enable a process and quality improvement,  if implemented in a manufacturing firm production facilities”

 

If a Mechanical engineer has to answer the above question he/she can  consider this sample answer: “my deep understanding of engine technologies (let’s say hyrdolics )  made me to come up with new engine improvement ideas that would be helpful to the company and my knowledge of software coupled with Domain knowledge makes me productive right away “

Look at the answers I wrote. These answers enables you to understand whether your skills and subject knowledge is enough to meet the expectations of the recruiter. In your skills and abilities section of resume you can put exactly what kind of end results you can provide by using your java or whatever you learnt. . By clearly reverse engineering the end results of your training’s and skills you can put the same in your resume and your resume stands out from other candidates very well.

By answering other questions that matches your skills and abilities you can make a resume with end results in mind to clearly mention the benefits you can provide for a recruiter.

If you want more advice you can contact me.. Happy job hunting…

 

 

 

 

The new technique of Performance reviews


PR is different in different companies and the aim is to align employees to the goals of the company. But all said and done PR can create mixed emotions in employees and many feel stressful to know the shortcomings.

Performance reviews thru ratings also have shortcomings because of the bias in the perceptions it carries and it is imperfect science.

So in many ways Performance reviews are having challenges that will not bring the best intentions of the management nor satisfies employees.

I felt this whole exercise needs to be redefined in different ways. The following are my thoughts on this.  Please do not hesitate to add your feedback or comments.

This exercise should be preferably done by HR or Admin teams.

  • For the present financial year, HR with help from sales, marketing, and management teams should prepare a chart. That should contain details of required skills, competencies, overall revenue targets, expected sales, expected new skills, competencies needed etc. in the form a visual representation. This competencies/skills can be categorized on employee designations if needed and corresponding revenue targets should be matched.
  • HR should then make another matching visual representation of Skills, competencies and experiences of each employee and distribute the revenue targets across them. This can be done in the form of potential revenue generation capabilities and expected competencies in the form of what could be realized if a new skill is acquired. A sample for an employee by name Bob is as follows

PR

  • By categorizing the required competencies of each area and matching the same with specific employees skills will throw open the gaps that still need to be fulfilled by Bob.
  • Revenue targets that matches the above employee’s skills, competencies, experiences should be matched to each employee and discounted.
  • Now it becomes clear that there will be gaps due to forecasted sales in areas that need new competencies, or deficiencies in certain areas for people whose role needs that skill or competency or experience.
  • That should be made visible to employee and employer in a centralized location and accessible to everyone. As the employee meets the revenue targets or skills targets in the form of deliveries in the new skills area, data values of the above graphs should be adjusted during the year. That will instantly provide information to both employee and employer about the performance of every one.
  • Same exercise should be repeated for any other target areas such as employee’s growth, special contributions etc. as needed by the company.

There are several advantages with the above method. It makes employees to check their improvements as and when they want and becomes a major morale booster when they see the graph’s real time changes. It helps management to take corrective action and help employees as needed. PR exercise becomes much easier, seamless and highly visible.

Ultimately every PR aim is to achieve high productivity, keep employees happy, equip them with skills that are needed, help them to grow along with the organization, pay well and at the same time make sure the company’s target goals are achieved.

What helps firms to become successful in reaching their goals is by documenting major risks,  issues, potential problems, Known resolutions, ways of mitigating issues (example https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andon_(manufacturing) )  and helping employees to have access to the knowledge database so they won’t repeat the mistakes.

Your thoughts please. ..

 

The art of leading life.


“Time, not money, is the most valuable commodity of all”

We have proven track record of achieving extraordinary success in things, projects or big goals that we never imagine we can do it. Belief in attempting things that are beyond our imagination and achieving them enriches our lives with fulfilment and many times makes us famous and rich. “Only those who attempt the absurd can achieve the impossible”.--Albert Einstein Theoretical Physicist, Philosopher, Nobel Prize Winner

We are living in a very competitive era and we all have onus of making some impact with our way of living life on ourselves and the community around us. We should develop the habit of liking to be challenged, stay self-motivated in spite of negative pressures on us; take big challenges and try our best to accomplish them and people will start noticing you. There is a need for every one of us to make a difference in whatever we attempt to do.

“There’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self”. —Aldous Huxley Novelist

We are known from what we achieve.  But our achievements have a shelf life. That means we cannot just stop improving ourselves and impacting others as role models.  World moves dynamically and age, values, knowledge, experiences are constantly progressing and where we stand is what matters. Taking risks and learning from setbacks and moving forward are the only way to stay relevant in this world. There are problems small to complex that needs to be solved and we have the capability of solving many of them.

Some examples are “Genetic sequencing of human genes that help in target medication for individuals instead of generalized prescriptions”.  Similarly we have global warming challenges to solve. We have challenges to reach Mars, Venus and colonize Moon. Our imagination is what matters the most.

There are people who are able to achieve some extraordinary feats such as  mimic human behaviors, experiences and creativity by using some complex machine learning techniques, Mathematical algorithms such as K-nearest neighbor ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K-nearest_neighbors_algorithm ) to analyze music , predict Hollywood movies whether they will be hits or flops even before starting on the projects ( http://www.epagogix.com/ ) and finally computers creating music (we don’t need music directors anymore)  http://geb.uma.es/melomics/melomics.html

But for a beginner in life like young students there is ample opportunity for you to start building your life and leading on the edge of achieving some extra ordinary things. Here are some basic principles of achieving some extra ordinary things.

  1. Ignore the Noise. Once you firm up your mind and motivate yourselves to start working for great achievements you will find naysayers around you all the time. They will try to pull you down. Just ignore them and slowly and steadily start building knowledge and experiences in what you really want to achieve that is beyond your imagination.

Do remember “It is not who is Right but what is Right” matters.

  1. Have clear objective. Start reading/learning diversified information. Today world needs people who are deep in one knowledge area but also very good in every subject matter that is not related to their fields. I wrote a blog on this https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2013/09/29/chance-favors-the-connected-mind/

3. Stay focused: As you continue your journey of achieving great goals you may be distracted         by many events, circumstances, constraints, family pressures and many unknown   factors.            Coming back on track is very important. Doing regular Yoga and Meditation will help you to             regain focus.

                          “Innovation is rewarded, execution is worshiped.”

  1. Develop patience. Today digitally connected and instant gratification world is making young students to be restless and expecting instant results. But in order to achieve great things you have to be patient enough and continue your journey until you reach your goals.

                “There is no limitations except those we create for ourselves” ―Lolly Daskal, Thoughts Spoken From The Heart

  1. Watch your progress: we all make judgmental mistakes and sometimes it may be that we may choose a wrong direction. So occasionally checking where we stand in our achievements should be monitored and measured. Otherwise all our efforts may be ultimately futile .

 

  1. Not able to accept failure: We should never become possessive of our tasks, work or people we work with. Sometimes if things won’t work out we should be able to ignore our failures and continue on a new path. Possessiveness makes us Sad and creates mental distress and other health problems. I wrote a blog on this subject here https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2013/09/10/failure-is-not-final/

            “Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail”                   .– Ralph Waldo Emerson Philosopher, Poet, Author, Essayist

7. Question your acts: You should constantly ask why you are doing something in a                        particular fashion. By questioning your way of doing you will get a chance to do it much                better.  I wrote a blog on this

https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/where-there-is-a-why-there-is-a-way/

                  “Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do,                                 something to love, and something to hope for”.–Joseph Addison English                               Essayist, Poet, Playwright And Politician.

Good luck to you.

“Change yourselves and the world is a better place with You” –RK  This is my quote for you.