The fourth industrial revolution is underway, changing our world slowly, but surely. Extraordinary technological advances similar to those of the first, second and third industrial revolutions are blurring the line between physical, digital and biological, changing the way we think, relate, and most importantly, how we work.

The workspace is one of the most rapidly changing scenes as businesses are scrambling to create value in this rapidly evolving world. It is an open secret that many skills seen as essential for the workforce today will change in the near future. So what will be in demand? Read on.

Data Literacy

Data is the new oil. Much like crude oil, raw data is of little use. It is the result of the refining process that is of value. Data-driven companies can make smarter decisions based on the information gleaned.

They can consistently rely on insights from their data to further improve their organizational processes. Many companies are taking that route, seeking answers from previously insignificant pieces of data.

Unlike oil, however, the process of refining data is far from straightforward. The sheer amount of data collected by modern systems is overwhelming, and yet it is all worthless unless we make sense of it. This calls for the modern worker to be data literate. They should not only be a consumer of data but also contribute to at least one step of the data refining process.

Tech Savviness

With the advent of the fourth industrial revolution, technology is becoming much more prominent than it has been before. Tech that would have been considered science fiction five years ago is now commonplace.

The internet of things, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality, blockchain, digital currency, robotics, to name just a few, will soon become an integral part of the workplace.

Not only do you need to be aware of the existence of such tech, but also be skillful enough to work with it. These skills will be necessary for people of nearly all occupations and ages, from beauticians, accountants, engineers, and everyone else in between.

If you want to remain relevant, take up a course in information technology. Check out for a list of IT courses that you can take online.

Emotional Intelligence

Computers might be matching and even beating human IQ, but there’s an area where we humans are likely to forever have the edge over them; emotional intelligence (EQ). This is the ability to be aware of and understand our own and other people’s emotions. Machines cannot completely replace humans in the workplace.

In the past, emotions were left at the door as you walked into the workplace. Following advances in workplace psychology, however, people have begun to appreciate the role emotions play in maintaining healthy workplace relations. Good relations enhance productivity.


Unfortunately, modern education systems do not encourage creativity. In a world where innovative solutions are continuously being sought, it is important to relearn how to use our creativity and apply it to our daily tasks. Much like emotional intelligence, creativity is also an area where we will always be better than computers.

The new digital age demands new ways of doing things. Creativity opens new avenues of thinking and allows us to explore previously uncharted corridors of thought.

Consequently, human workers who are creative will continue to be in high demand since they can imagine, reimagine, invent, and reinvent the world over and over with their unique ideas and perspectives.

The Takeaway

Survival for the fittest not only applies to animals in the jungle but also to humans. As the world evolves, we need to change with it, adapting to its quirks, perks, and peculiarities. Failure to so will render us obsolete, without a meaningful role to play in the world.

For the modern career person, this could spell doom. This is why we need to keep reinventing ourselves and learning the relevant skills of our age.

By Chakraborty

Dr Chakrabarty is the Chief Innovation Officer of IntuiComp TeraScience. Earlier she was Assistant Professor of Delhi University, a QS ranked university in India. Before that she has held research positions in IIT Mumbai, IIT Chennai and IISc Bangalore. She holds 2 patents and over 20 research publications in her name which are highly cited. Her area of research is in smart technologies, integrated devices and communications. She also has a penchant for blogging and is an editor of Business Fundas.