Staying ahead

Staying ahead
23 Jun

Spot the similarities between Netflix, PayTM, Instagram, iPads and AirBnB — We can hardly live without them today, none of them are regular words in the English language, and none of them existed 10 years ago.

However, the last one amazes me the most. These companies that provide income to thousands of people everyday, were mere pipe dreams 10 years ago. Back then, a student wanting to be a “game designer” would be asked to “Be more practical”. There were no bachelor’s courses in data science or digital marketing. How then, was a student graduating supposed to know that her passion for fiddling could be fashioned into toy design? Or that writing could make him a leading blogger one day? How do students graduating today know what the future might hold? Here’s a quick look at what the trends add up to.

What is happening

The big change-makers are automation, artificial intelligence, globalisation, among many more. This is expected to slow down job growth for manual labourers, factory workers, tellers, security personnel, and others. But, automation is not an enemy. It is an enabler that frees human beings from repetitive labour. Here are the exciting areas that these trends indicate growth in:

Creative fields: Rising income means more people with time and money to invest in life’s higher pleasures such as painting, sculpture, films, and so on.With budget for events going through the roof, enterprising performers will find avenues to showcase their art. Online markets for paintings and stock photographs have opened up avenues for many budding and amateur artists.

Healthcare: Life expectancy has increased by about 30 years since 1841, and healthcare continues to be a major growth area. Cheaper health insurance, multispecialty hospitals, and so on are expected to expand the reach of global healthcare.The demand for doctors, nurses, and medical researchers is expected to boom.

Investing in education: This leads to increasing demand for school teachers, tutors and education counsellors such as Byju’s in India, Changingedu in China, and Tutor Group in Taiwan.

Scientific research: Increasing investment in biotechnology (think organ culture, genetically modified foods, and performance enhancement drugs), renewable resources and reducing toxic waste.

Media gets bigger: The Internet has exploded the speed and reach of media — be it news, short film,animation, serials, or advertising. With over one billion websites on the Internet, over five billion Youtube videos being watched every day, and Netflix releasing over 700 original series just this year, media has captured eyeballs and mindspace across the world.

Technology: Automated assistants that buy gifts for your mom’s birthday, smarthomes that turn off lights, health monitors that call your doctor and cars that deftly avoid pedestrians on roads — none of these are science fiction today. Data analysts, interface designers, game developers and cyber security experts will be in demand, especially those who keep upgrading their skills.

Managers and strategists: Marketing insights, advertising gimmicks, leadership training and strategy consulting will remain game-changers. Leaders who think out-of-the-box will remain at the top.

Builders have to build: As people throng cities, rush to work and fly to holiday resorts, the demand for better homes, roads, hotels, malls, and more. Architects, urban planners, civil engineers, interior designers and art consultants all contribute to creating increasingly dense, utilitarian and beautiful spaces.

And lastly, the market swells for personal service and personal consultants — therapists, image consultants, hair stylists, masseurs, gardeners and even dog trainers that work for individuals to make their high-tech, fast-changing lives more fun and productive.

Richa is the author of The Ultimate Guide to 21st Century Careers, Richa leads Inomi, a career and college guidance firm



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