How can IT professionals future-proof their careers in the era of AI?
What lies on the road ahead? What will happen to me? These are two thoughts that seem to constantly dwell on the minds of IT professionals in a workplace that is steadily being taken over by automation. From artificial intelligence (AI) to design thinking, the current pace of robotization and the equally interesting pace of adoption have not only altered our workplaces drastically, but also instilled a sense of uncertainty among IT workers.
According to a 2017 report of the McKinsey Global Institute, by 2030, breakthroughs in AI and successive automation could compel around 75 to 375 million workers or approximately three to 14% of the workforce worldwide to switch occupational categories. Given these circumstances, mid-career reskilling is the latest mantra in the job market today to enable employee redeployment. We need to be future ready, as Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella aptly describes the present situation, “Ultimately, it's not going to be about man versus machine. It is going to be about man with machines.” So, the fear that AI might devour your job completely might be slightly misplaced. The need of the hour is a customized reskilling mechanism to stay relevant in a ruthless market.
AI and IT
According to the TCS Global Trend Study conducted in 2017, IT is a sector that uses AI way more frequently and intensely than other industries. Moreover, by 2020, the investment in AI is expected to reach skyrocketing levels, as well. Already, more than 46% of IT companies have adopted AI for tasks related to IT help desk, cybersecurity, back-end jobs, and so on.
The bottom-line is that IT professionals will have to enhance their existing skills and acquire new ones to stay relevant. You will need to work with AI, instead of against it! This, in turn can improve employee productivity and create new careers options. But of course, going forward, certain tasks will no longer need human intervention. So, what to do now?
3 tips for IT professionals to remain unshaken by the winds of change
If you think positively, you will realize that AI will free up your time for strategic thinking and problem solving, by replacing mundane tasks. So, here is how you can gear up for the automated era:
- Embrace change and gain new skills – You need to shift focus and develop skills that will actually matter in future. You can build your knowledge about how to implement ideas better and match technology with your company’s business objectives.
- Bridge the man-and-machine gap – While automation will replace tedious manual tasks, developers who can build complex apps will still be in high demand. So, learning how to bridge the gap between technology and people is vital to seamless collaboration.
- Become indispensable through collaboration – IT can no longer survive in isolation. Collaborating with other teams, to understand their work, exchange ideas, offer expertise is the new way forward.