In recent years the internet has become central to our lives, both personally and professionally. As technology continues to develop, the internet is expanding beyond the web, and into other aspects of our lives.
This is the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT), which uses networks to link everyday objects together so that they can send and receive data. Along with AI, IoT technology is designed to increase automation, and it is predicted that these two advancements will have central parts to play in the near and distant future.
But what does this mean for your job prospects?
The rise of automation through AI means that machines are already able to do many jobs previously done by humans, particularly in manufacturing. Further developments mean that many jobs are at risk across various sectors, with one study suggesting that up to 800 million workers will lose their jobs to automation by 2030.
While many job roles may become obsolete, this does not necessarily mean that there will be 800 million of us out of work. Although retraining may be required for a lot of people, new technology means new opportunities, and therefore, new jobs.
Afterall, the point of automation is not to destroy the global economy, but to enhance it, and as with all economic revolutions, this means a lot of change along the way.
IoT as an economic revolution
Beginning in the mid 18th century in Britain, the industrial revolution represented a major economic development. Across the western world, powered by machinery, industry took over, pushing countries like the UK and America forward into more economically prosperous times.
Similarly, the rise of computers and communication technology in the 1960s onwards led to another economic revolution. The advent of the personal computer, in particular, had an enormous impact, changing the face of many jobs forever.
The Internet of Things represents another potential economic revolution, following in the footsteps of previous movements. While bringing about great periods of change, particularly with regards to job roles, these previous revolutions ultimately increased economic productivity, simultaneously pushing forward standards of living as well.
The IoT economic revolution is predicted to be no different, potentially increasing average income in the US between 20-30% by 2030.
How will this work?
As with the industrial and computer/communication revolutions in previous years, IoT is designed to increase productivity. Through connected technology and increased data, automated technology will be far more efficient, meaning less waste (both in terms of materials and workers’ time) and better results.
Greater automation of previously human-intensive work means that, in theory, workers are freed up to invest time elsewhere, creating better productivity and therefore further opportunities.
IoT will potentially lead to huge developments across numerous industries, affecting many job roles. If this economic revolution follows in the footsteps of previous periods of change, however, then instead of being a cause for concern, the IoT could affect job prospects in a very beneficial way for those willing to adapt and embrace new opportunities.