The Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) leverages automation, cyber-physical systems, artificial intelligence, and high-speed wireless communications.
To meet workforce challenges, traditional static 4-year (and longer) educational degrees take too long, are too expensive, and may be unsuitable for many trying to get ahead or stay relevant in the fast-changing technology landscape.
Rather, continuous life-long training is the new normal for upskilling the reskilling the workforce. Along with 2-year, 1-year and shorter training programs from academia and MOOC vendors, employers often develop their own in-house learning and development programs to meet employee job requirements. This is why every business needs to have a Learning Management System.
Regardless of the technology or job title, you will need to understand technical math and software code at some level, whether it be ladder logic in a PLC, electricity flow, Python, or C++.
Across almost all industries, vehicles and machines are going 100% electric, some industries faster than others. This means getting proficient in electric motors, lithium batteries, high-voltages, and charging infrastructure. Regardless of whether the power source is fossil fuel, solar, wind, or nuclear, it gets turned into electricity that is stored in batteries.
Everything is becoming automated - factories, warehouses, buildings, homes, and transportation. This means getting proficient in the use of programmable machines and devices from an industrial Programmable Automation Controller to a smart home assistant.
The world of objects is becoming interconnected and smart. This means learning skills related to IoT, AI, edge computing, cybersecurity and 5G communications. Everything that can have a chip in it WILL have a chip in it soon.
Longer-term, humankind will work and live off-planet. That means learning about the space industry - rockets, launch facilities, ground stations, satellites, spacecraft, habitation, and resource extraction.
Whether you are a Fortune 100 employer, a middle-aged mechanic, or a high-school student, the time is now to plan, to learn, to train, to thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
And not only computer and software engineers are needed - this is the province of 4-year degrees. In addition, all of these new vehicles, machines, and systems will need technicians and operators who will install, test, calibrate, repair, and operate all the new technology and associated infrastructure.