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

Where there is a WHY there is a WAY


“The ‘why’ of what we do is much more motivating than the ‘what,’ we do.

When we are young we don’t really care to chart a course of action of what we really want in our life or where we really want to go. We just know that we need to go to school or college, make friends, study or have fun and pass out. If we are Lucky enough we get into job via Campus recruitment or thru some competitive exams whether we like it or not. All of these are familiar to most of the students.    Those are the golden days where we enjoy watching movies with friends, post photos on Facebook, study together or do something that we know really well. We never question “why” we do what we are doing daily.    We are in a comfort zone and we don’t care much to plan or plot a particular journey or reach a particular goal that is unknown to us.  We won’t know the meaning of “Vision” or what “Disruption” to our daily routine means.  Very few students move out of comfort zone, from daily habits, from the known life and experiment with things, think differently, work hard to reach great goals,  do something different than their friends or classmates do. They are charting an unknown path and at every step of learning they stop, re-evaluate and recalibrate their course of action and finally they will find a WAY for leading a life not just living another day that is just like yesterday for many others.

“Vision” implies you have a view of exactly where you want to go and you chart a course of action plan accordingly, like plotting a journey on a map, a straightforward road with no distractions, roadblocks or alternate routes.

Others just move forward and they don’t form any idea how to lead a life until a problem makes them to think. That is the time self is constructed and that is the time most of them take a course of action and follow.  That is the time WHY leads to find a “WAY” out of the situation. For some of those who don’t ask themselves “WHY” early on they may end up with doing something they don’t really want to do whether it is their subjects or life  or career.

So my friend every day you should question your routine with a WHY and you will realize that you need a WAY to better your life. Better life with best practices is what my vision is for skillsnest.

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.

Flow


After a gap I have gone back accepting global assignments in ERP consulting again. Iám also studying MBA under Andhra University.  I accepted part time work  so that I can spare time for my passion for teaching. I was once a Mentor for MSIT (Master in science and information technology,   under “Center for Higher learning”) course,   in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University (USA) at JNTUK campus.  Juggling between global software project work , studying MBA and teaching needs proper time management schedules and I  follow a certain flow  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_(psychology) for doing my best. I  love getting to my peak performance at anything i take up  pretty quickly. In other word I want to get back to flow. It took a while for me to find the rhythm I needed. But I felt that I should share my experiences with my students and others  who read  my blog. While interacting with students I  found that many are struggling to get the best out of their day  and to find success in whatever they dream of doing.  But many are not able to focus on neither studies nor in other positive actions, that contribute to their success due to lack of willingness to work hard towards their goal, lack of focus ,concentration and the facebook effect  (https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2012/05/27/facebook-or-other-social-websites-are-harmful-to-you/ ) .  If you are building a new machine or developing  software games or you are a software coder you cannot achieve peak performance at your work with just a couple of attempts. It takes some time and good effort to find a rhythm and consistency at your work. If you want to become expert in one area , it takes ten thousand hours of practice to achieve perfection in whatever you do. http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/on-luck-success-and-10000-hours.html Here are some ways of getting back to your peak performance of whatever you want to do.

  1. Yoga, Meditation is a proven way of getting back your focus. Try learning the right way of yoga/ meditation and practice it. Yoga improves your health tremendously, and Meditation brings peace and tranquility to a turbulent brain.
  2. Visualization .Imagination.  Many from sports use it. It is mental rehearsal. It enables them to find some way of achieving what they want to. More about it here. http://sportsmedicine.about.com/cs/sport_psych/a/aa091700a.htm
  3. Try doing something that scares you,  for example presenting in front of audience. It is emotional feelings  that have to be controlled to bring the best out of you.
  4. Your study room matters a lot. Keep your table tidy. Remove the mountain of books on the table. The more clutter you find on your table the less you ware inspired to study. Otherwise find a serene place where there is good lighting. Well lit parks are good places for yoga,  studies and physical exercise .
  5. Moods matter a lot in whatever you want to do. If the mood is not good then listening to music and going to gym or parks is a good way of relaxing your brain.
  6. For some,  Coffee gives the relaxation they need but too much of coffee is not good for health.
  7. Visiting temples, church or mosque gives the peace of mind you need so that you can come back with peace and work on your assignments. Try that out.
  8. Finding the best time of the day for studies also helps to prioritize what you want to do at that time.
  9. Everyday exercise , morning or evening walks in parks  helps to tone up your body. Prayer, meditation helps your mind.
  10. Doing what you love the most is what matters. So from early stage of life try finding what you love the most and develop the skills you need and find success.

Competency based education


Time and again I’m revisiting education because there is a seismic change happening in Educating our young population. I have written blogs that focused on the the changes that are happening due to Massive online open course ware (MOOC) movement, big companies such as Microsoft, Wipro, IBM’s investment in this sector, how universities, colleges , students need to re orient themselves to stay relevant  to the present conditions and how to learn smartly using technology tools in the following blogs.

https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2014/05/14/classroom-learning-with-concert-of-technology/

https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/uncommon-sense-and-common-nonsense/

https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2013/09/29/chance-favors-the-connected-mind/

https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2013/07/28/free-online-resources/

https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/students-this-is-for-you/

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

But most of these practices are still not able to make students employable right away after coming out of colleges. There are still many factors that contribute for  success of new employee other than the core skill that is basically needed to work. Realizing this, below universities along with industry collaborations came up with a new way of imparting skills to students. This approach is considered more relevant to industries needs and is called competency based education. I want students to take a look at the following universities that are providing this education because getting jobs is very much likely.

https://www.brandman.edu/cbeducation

http://www.capella.edu/flexpath-self-paced-learning/

http://flex.wisconsin.edu/

http://pl.nau.edu/

http://collegeforamerica.org/

http://www.wgu.edu/why_WGU/competency_based_approach

I personally feel that time has come to club medicine, engineering , agriculture, life sciences and other fields together, create a course and impart training to solve some of the great challenges of the world.  I wrote about my opinion here. please check http://www.ghdonline.org/innovation/discussion/5-innovations-in-global-health-maybe-not-what-you-/?ref=dashboard#reply-14103

 

So why waiting just start learning. your feedback is appreciated.

Students this is for you


India is still considered as developing country and I feel extremely upset with this thought. We produce so many well learned people and this country ranks high in the number of PhD’s and master students who come out of universities. But still not a single university ranks high in the top 100 lists of the world.

Every part of the government machinery is still limping with inefficiencies, bureaucracy and off course corruption. It is a nightmare to get work done with government still. How long we take to become transparent, modern and nimble?

But what puzzles me is why our education system is suffering from status Quo with antique teaching methods and subjects that do not align with our modern industry?  These same students someday become government employees and they continue the same old tradition. Why are they not questioning this and why are they not attempting to change except handful of very dedicated officers and employees?

I know many will disagree with some statements above but the point I want to drive is things that needed to be done at the college levels. Present state of affairs is basically the result of our education system that needs drastic disruptive changes.

I request “Universities and colleges : Please wake up and fix your systems”.

Majority of young student’s lifestyle follows a predictive path once they steps into the college. They read the same stuff their friends read, they go to the same movies their friends go, they play the same games their friends play and everyone studies for just marks/grades and finally waiting to get into job thru campus recruitment or some other methods. Then they enter workforce and live life depending on their lifestyles.

This result in massive waste of brain power, youth’s energies, strengths, will power, time and many qualities that otherwise wisely tapped, would have developed the nation to highest degree of living standards. In a Billion population there are handful who are contributing to the  growth of the nation’s living standards but why are we collectively not thinking of following those brilliant people who strive for the nation.

This is because we never question anything and just follow the protocol. We never develop skills such as creativity, innovation, the quest to live a better life, the craving for quality and the interest to dive deeper into our subject matters. Many students won’t learn subject for knowledge but just for getting grades. Universities take long time to adjust syllabus that follow industry best practices. Even if they introduce the syllabus the faculty is not trained to the latest and greatest trends in business so they cannot teach the same to the students.

Read what The CEO of one of the largest software company has to say about teachers here http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/services/education/20-of-teachers-in-the-country-not-sincere-azim-premji-says/articleshow/43212004.cms

Inspiration to do things differently is low in teaching community and there are several reasons for that but that will be for a different blog.

But I blame partially students and parents for not willing to question the status quo. Here are some steps required by students to initiate a change for a better life and a better country . This same can be used by any other developing and under developing nation’s  students.

  1. Change in lifestyle. I absolutely agree that students should have good memories of college life with loads of fun but I totally disagree that they should feel that this is the top priority. They should first take a snap shot of daily life and confine fun to couple of hours a day. This should be done collectively by all students because if one follows the rule the other will break it and the overall change is not possible.
  2. Learn from Internet. I do not know why universities take so long to keep syllabus fluid and aligned to ever changing business needs, but that should not stop young students to spend time to learn the best practices of the industry online. So instead of spending time on Social networks spare time to learn what’s going on in your area of subject matter. There are several exciting stories in business circle that will inspire you and energizes you with knowledge and opportunities you may not get if you just study for marks.
  3. Engage fellow students: Form a team from different educational backgrounds and take up a local problem and try to solve. For example during winter most of the babies and children become sick from viral fevers and hospitals are packed with patients. It is painful to sit for long hours to get treated and you know it is much more painful if that hospital happens to be government hospital. So as a team you should collaborate with fellow medical students and come up with preventive steps from diseases and conduct community classes to educate parents and others from having good health for themselves and their children. This helps you to learn communication skills, project execution skills and time management skills. These soft skills are very vital skills needed for business.
  4. Engage with professionals that visit campus or on social networks. Students should join professional networks such as LinkedIn and start participating in group discussions and identify opportunities from the challenges industry is facing and brainstorm of ideas to solve the problems. That way you become expert in that subject matter and you will do much better when you join the business.
  5. Yoga and Meditation: Modern life style is full of pressures and pulls from every direction. Maintaining top health is very difficult if you are not disciplined. So from very young age it is best to practice Yoga and Meditation to maintain top health.
  6. Sports : It is mandatory that students come out of Facebook and internet games to play real games to develop good and healthy body/mind, otherwise we end up with sick nation with no hope for becoming most developed. Remember Swamy Vivekananda’s call for youth.
  7. Reading and listening skills: Spend time reading books online and newspapers every day. Search for business videos, ted talks that inspire you and teach you some very important life lessons and listen to them. Bookmark some best sites that help you to get the best and the latest in your area of interest. This helps you to improve your vocabulary and also general knowledge which are useful during interviews.
  8. Try teaching: Start teaching your juniors whatever you learnt on a daily basis. Adopt a school and go and teach them what you learnt. This will help you to memorize the subject matter and also keeps you on your toes to learn something new to teach some other day.
  9. Form teams and go to a nearby village and check what problems exist there. Then come back and see if you can use your learning to solve their problems. In the process you may even start your own company and give jobs to fellow students.
  10. Finally remember every student attends the same schools, read the same books, go to the same movies, play the same video games, and watch the same TV shows so how can you expect to have a  life experience, ideas of  your own or world views? If you do not follow a better living standards?

Above suggestions will elevate your career and help nation to become better. Please take time to rethink your priorities and strategies and try your best to live quality life with best practices. Comments are appreciated.

Now or never. You decide your fate


If you’re young and ambitious and driven, don’t run from the challenge, run towards it. If you’re terrified of learning something new, go find a way to learn and master it. When you are a student and young you have loads of energy and enough time for learning as much as possible. You won’t stay young for ever and student life won’t stay with you for ever. You spend so much time having fun during college that you miss this vital point, that once you are out of college you are on your own to find a job and succeed in career. Campus interviews may give a job for some but that is the worst job with low pay and high pressure to handle.Those students who are smart enough realize the value of time and work towards their goals early on and once they are ready they also look for jobs they like to do in LinkedIn , twitter and Facebook other than campus interviews.

Life is full of temptations and distractions. When you are young you will have more opportunities to waste time, money and your youthfulness.

Start using your mind on what matters most for your life and for your family.Fate is not decided by anyone. It is you who can decide what is best for you and your family.  Time is precious and need to be spend wisely.  One of the best practice you need to develop is to check how you spent your day and what value you derived from all the activities you did during the day. Spending time on  Facebook, twitter or games or chatting or going to movies should be restricted otherwise it will  only add more junk in to your precious mind.  Networking with professionals , spending time to know yourselves , your strengths, your weaknesses and becoming mindful of all your activities will give you enough mental strength, knowledge and courage to find what you love to do for your career. Positive habits help you with clarity of thoughts when you need direction and guidance to succeed in life. Think of your parents, teachers and friends who you should trust for guidance and work hard to learn skills needed for you to succeed.  You may not love it while you’re going through the learning phase, but you’ll carry that learning and success with you  for ever. Once you achieve what you are aspiring for then you will have wonderful life. May be you will be  visiting exotic places and working on some wonderful and challenging assignments.

In order to have quality life, good food and good life you need to work for  it and  prove that you are eligible for good life.

I worked for that and I succeeded and i want you to succeed too.

You can start with small positive actions such as reading for a hour a day something new, doing yoga /meditation for a while etc and as days pass by they become your habits and you will be in a position to control your life and lead a life rather than living a life.

Similarly for getting rid of bad habits you should start with small attempts and then slowly  get rid of that bad habit  completely after some time.

Please do comment your feedback and suggestions.