To remain relevant in the Age of Automation, IT pros must be fluent in so-called “soft” skills like strategic and critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and anticipation.
Most important, our future relevancy depends on our ability to learn new skills on the fly — to adapt quickly to new and emerging technologies and position ourselves to do the things for our clients that those new technologies can’t do. Not long ago, we could count on our degrees and on-the-job experience to carry us for decades and build our careers.
By some estimates, half of what graduates learn in their first year of university will be obsolete by the time they graduate — and many of them will end up in jobs that didn’t exist when they started university.
The most important skill we’ll possess going forward is the ability to learn new skills, and learn them quickly. Like everything else in the age of accelerations, securing and holding a job requires dynamic stability — you need to keep pedalling all the time. Today, you have to know more, you have to update what you know more and you have to do more creative things with it, that recursive loop really defines work and learning today.
That loop requires us to ask a few key questions: What can I become quite good at that’s really difficult for a computer to do one day soon? How can I become so resilient, so human and such a linchpin that shifts in technology won’t be able to catch up? It was always important, but now it’s urgent and necessary.
Automation is going to happen whether you like it or not. The question is, what are you going to do about it?