Prepare for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Have you heard of the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”?

No, it’s not an indie band. It’s not another tragic Steven Segal movie. It’s not even a new flavour of crisps. In fact, crucially, it’s to do with employment trends, which have serious implications for your studies and career choices.

What is the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

An article by the World Economic Forum (WEF) explains:

“The First Industrial Revolution used water and steam power to mechanize production. The Second used electric power to create mass production. The Third used electronics and information technology to automate production. Now a Fourth Industrial Revolution is building on the Third… It is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.”

The two big issues

A recent report has shed light on on two of the greatest Fourth Industrial Revolution challenges:

  1. Millions of job losses in 15 major developed and emerging economies
  2. Some negative impacts on the workplace gender gap.

What this means for you

  1. As far as job losses are concerned, white-collar office and administrative roles are said to be the most at risk.

BUT, this will be offset by the creation of 2.1 million new jobs, mainly in more specialised areas such as computer science, mathematics, architecture and engineering…

(…which is why the team here at Futurum is banging on about careers in STEM (science, tech, engineering and maths))

  1. In terms of the gender gap, it’s bitter sweet. The good news is the proportion of women expected to progress to medium and senior roles by 2020 is set to rise by nearly 10%.

BUT the bad news is that women are currently underrepresented in the fields of work where the growth will be; that is, STEM. 

As the WEF puts it: “women stand to gain only one new STEM job for every 20 lost across other job families, whereas the ratio for men is one new job for every four lost elsewhere.”

No need to fear, conquer the Fourth Industrial Revolution

The “Fourth Industrial Revolution” is not as serious as it sounds. You don’t need to hide under the bed, hyperventilating into a paper bag and uttering proverbs of doom. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is something you can conquer.


If you think you might like it, we encourage to take a leap into the world of STEM. There are many people/organisations out there to embolden you, and give you the support and inspiration you might need. Just check out our course and career guides.

Read more about this:

World Economic Forum: The future of jobs

Forbes: What is the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

World Economic Forum on Facebook

World Economic Forum on Twitter