I’ve always been under the impression there was only one Industrial Revolution: the one we learned about in High School history class. I remember learning about how the steam engine and the assembly line changed the landscape of the world economy and brought us into the modern world. It is now the widely held view, that there were at least three Industrial Revolutions: The Mechanical Revolution, the Age of Science and Mass Production and the Digital Age. It’s very interesting to see that the time separating these periods is getting shorter and shorter. While we tend to think linearly about technology, it all goes back to what Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, said some 40 years ago when he noticed the components inside circuit boards doubling in size every 2 years. His estimations became known as “Moore’s Law” and hints at technology growing at an exponential rate.

We are now entering a new industrial revolution, one which is being powered by the fast-growing tech of artificial intelligence, social media, cloud and the Internet of Things. A lot of people might think that this will bring with it the eradication of some jobs, which is true, but technology also creates jobs. History has shown that when one door closes, other doors open. Jobs such as Data Center Technicians, Machine Learning Engineers and Data Scientists will become more and more common in the future. Universities and 3rd level institutes have already started offering more AI, cloud and IT security specific courses – courses which weren’t very common in the past.

Deep learning computers that process huge amounts of gigabytes will see to it that Data Scientists will be in very high demand in years to come. IBM has also confirmed this stating: “the annual demand for data scientists, data developers and data engineers will lead to 700,000 new recruitments by 2020.” That’s just in the next 2 years! The sheer amount of data we are generating as users daily, is what makes a Data Scientist or Data Analyst very sought after. Data is in everything from mass marketing, banking, healthcare, insurance…you name it and Big Data is there!

I recently came across an article on The Verge about how scientists have for the very first time successfully 3D printed a cornea using human cells. In the future, these corneas can help people see. This proves that we are now just starting to see the full potential that 3D printing has to revolutionize the future and we are already starting to see a big demand for 3D printing specialists. Pretty soon, 3D print shops will start to replace thousands of traditional stores that carry millions of items that are lying around, waiting to be bought. They can just 3D print the item! More and more industries are finding uses for 3D printing.  Statista, a statistics portal for market data, estimates that the 3D printing market will top $16.2bn in 2019. Mechanical, Industrial and Software Engineers with skills in 3D Printing will be the most in demand positions.

Lastly, I’ve had the chills when viewing those Boston Dynamics robots doing complex tasks like holding the door open and letting the other robot pass or by jumping over obstacles. It reminded us of that Black Mirror episode with that killer robot dog and a future that is not that far away! A robot programmer or machine learning engineer is that person that creates tailored code that tells a machine exactly what to execute and “how to think”. These are the same applications that are applied to self-driving and self-learning vehicles. Presently, there are about 40 companies that are actively working on autonomous vehicle technologies. It is thought that in just 4 years, we will be seeing self-driving cars regularly on the road. A very bright future awaits robotics engineers. Robots will not only be present in the industrial space but also in the medical field, search and rescue and even in entertainment.

There are many other jobs that Industry 4.0 can create. I feel there will be a significant talent gap in the future, with data scientists, 3D printer specialists and machine learning engineers being in short supply. I would love to hear if you agree or what other skills will be more in demand?