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The Impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution to the Manufacturing Industry

By: Jomel Alos, Project Consultant, Guthrie-Jensen Consultants, Inc

The Swiss non-profit foundation, World Economic Forum, has released a report (pdf download) stating that the fourth industrial revolution is here to change the manufacturing industry through business processes centered around new technology to improve productivity.

According to the report, the impact of automation may render millions of jobs obsolete, and jobs that appeared to be ‘safe, particularly in manufacturing, are hit the hardest.

Computers and robots are set to do much of the work humans are now doing, with an estimated 5 million jobs expected to be lost from automation by 2020. The situation may appear bleak, but the study could help professionals take up new skills so they could thrive in the future.

The manufacturing industry is expected to benefit greatly from automation by reducing costs and boosting revenue through advances in artificial intelligence and robotics. This has raised serious concerns in the human labor department for taking their jobs, but those with tech-related skills will still be in demand. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, software developer jobs will have an 18.8% growth from this year to 2024.

The fourth industrial revolution has now ushered in a new era in manufacturing where the need for the human touch will slowly become obsolete. However, handing ‘unskilled labor’ over to automation is seen to be beneficial to human workers. This presents opportunities for them to pursue more challenging jobs that provide higher wages.

The need to adapt is crucial in spite of automation taking out a huge percentage of the human labor force from the process. Despite reducing jobs available for humans in the manufacturing industry, automation is still expected to force an evolutionary shift in skills to take on more complex jobs that machines would not be able to do.

Guthrie-Jensen Consultants made an infographic of the Skills of the Future: 10 Skills You’ll Need to Thrive in 2020 which enumerates the top skills, industries, and jobs in 2020.

About the Author:

Jomel Alos is a Content Strategist at Guthrie-Jensen Consultants. He’s obsessed with TV shows about designing like Tiny House Nation, Forged in Fire, and Ellen’s Design Challenge and eating burnt bacon.