Category Archives: Computing

Free courses you can take to think like Steve Jobs

Quartz compiled a list of 250 free MOOC (Massively Open Online Course) courses offered by Ivy League Universities.

Here are 250 Ivy League courses you can take online right now for free

The list includes a good mix of courses that you can take in

  • Humanities
  • Art & Design
  • Science
  • Engineering
  • Computer Science and other topics

One of the best courses that you can take from the list is Justice

Digital Transformation – The Bullish Case

This post follows the Bearish Case of Digital Transformation. The bullish case of Digital Transformation is a scenario where productivity growth in many industries approaches 3% or higher for a sustained period (2020+) and the product/service quality is continuously improving.

There is a good chance that the bullish case comes true, especially if advances in foundational components of Digital Transformation feed each other and geo-political conditions return to a tranquil state.

Let’s revisit the foundational components of Digital Transformation listed below.

  • Mobile and Cloud Computing
  • Internet of Things (Sensors, Intelligent Machines, etc.)
  • Robotics
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Genomics and Synthetic Biology
  • New Energy Sources

In the benign scenario, Moore’s law continues to hold true for computing, ubiquitous communications (mobile and fixed broadband) become dirt cheap, mobile phones are miniature super computers with unlimited intelligence and computing power aided by Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence endows robots to become reasonably autonomous and intelligent to eliminate human drudgery, clean energy is ubiquitous and cheaper than the cheapest fossil fuel and genomics/synthetic biology eliminate disease and ensure sustainable and plentiful food supply. Sounds like Utopia? This is the type of future many techno-utopians imagine to be coming.

The Abridged Version of WEF’s Future of Jobs Report

In the age of social media it’s hard to pay attention to more than 2 paragraphs of text at a time. It’s highly unlikely that you will find the time, interest and initiative to read 167 pages of the ominous sounding “Future of Jobs” report from World Economic Forum (WEF). So we did for you, subtracted all the fluff and abridged the report into this lucid post. First a few bullet points.

  • Advances in genetics, artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology, 3D printing and biotechnology are laying a foundation for a revolution.
  • Most occupations are undergoing fundamental transformation. Some jobs are threatened by redundancy, other growing rapidly and existing jobs require change in skill sets.
  • The worst case scenario could be talent shortages coupled with mass unemployment and growing inequality,
  • 65% of children entering primary school today will end up doing job types that do not exist today

The top 5 drivers of change are

  • Changing nature of work and flexible work
  • Mobile, Internet and Cloud technologies
  • Increasing processing power and big data
  • Middle class in emerging markets
  • Climate change

Most of the drivers support job growth. A few, including geopolitical volatility, artificial intelligence, could lead to job losses.

Computing, mathematical and engineering job types will see the highest growth prospects, while office/administrative and manufacturing/production job types will see contraction.

The authors of the report themselves admit that the report does not offer any prognosis for the largest segment of job type in the world, especially in developing economies; Farming, Fishing and Forestry.

Two new job types that were most frequently mentioned are data analysts and specialized sales representatives.

The report highlights core work-related skills (Figure 9 – Page 21) that seemed to have come out of a Common Core evaluation form.

future-job-skills

It was surprising to see that women make between 30-40% less than men in many industries. The top 3 barriers to gender parity are

  • Unconscious bias among managers
  • Lack of work-life balance
  • Lack of role models

The report has a lot more information on above topics, different regions of the world and industries. It is a worthy effort to understand how HR departments in large companies perceive the jobs conundrum. The report would be lot more comprehensive if it had covered the crystal ball for the vast majority of people that work in the informal sector in the developing world and emerging economies.