Reality of the Job Market

In Greek mythology, Sisyphus was a cruel king, punished by the Gods to push a rock up a hill, and then watch it roll back down and start again, every day for all eternity.

The current rate of unemployment in India is the highest it has been in the last 20 years, according to the 'State of Working India 2018 (SWI)' report.[1] Despite the increased GDP, this shortage of jobs is also made worse by the reduced wages, with a more than half of the working population earning below Rs. 10,000 a month.

The fact is that the average age of our population is below 35, and it is only getting younger.

There are now approximately 4 million new jobs created each year, which is extremely low considering that the number of eligible Indians entering the workforce is 1 million each month!

An article by Times of India[2] states that:

"Ironically, the unemployment rates was observed to have decreased after demonetization in November 2016, as jobseekers focused on acquiring new skills instead of waiting for jobs in a hard-hitting economy."

The majority of graduates today do not possess the basic skills that most professional environments require. A huge chunk do not even possess the technical skills to be able to uphold their jobs/work, despite their qualifications.

Most companies will obviously choose not to hire an unskilled employee, even if they have the capacity to do so.

Yet, this is not the only worry for graduates. The number of new jobs being created is getting lesser and lesser by the day, and this is largely attributed to automation and machine learning. As Jerry Michalski, founder of REX, puts it, [3]

"Automation is Voldemort: the terrifying force nobody is willing to name."

Automated software and robots are capable of working longer than humans, they need no salary, and can perform the same tasks much faster than we can. At one point in time it was thought that creativity is a trait of humans alone, but even this is not the case anymore. There are instances of a robot composing classical music, writing an article about the death of a sportsman, and even creating a piece of art!

What does all this mean for you?

Well, when making your career choice, you need to make sure that you take the reality of today's job market into consideration as well. Choose a career that will play to your strengths, bring out your own creativity, brilliance and originality, and is in line with your passions and interests. It is important to stay up to date with advancements in your field too, so if you're passionate about your job, you will naturally work hard and be good at it, right?

Unless what you do is better than what any machine can replicate, in terms of bringing in your own originality, brilliance and excellence to the table, you will be at the risk of getting left behind. If you can learn to make use of the available technology to enhance your own work, your career will never be at risk. As Ed Newton-Rex so beautifully puts it, [4] "AI creativity isn’t about replacing human creativity — it’s about improving the way we can use the fruits of creativity."

You wouldn't want to end up like Sisyphus, right?

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