The early warning signs of the upcoming tsunami of our economy are all around us. STEM industries, in particular — and the technologies that power them — are changing so fast, the skills you need to succeed right now are not the same ones you will need in five or 10 years (or even tomorrow). What's more, any job that is rote and easy to learn will probably soon be on the chopping block because a machine will be doing it before long.
A report published by PwC, "Workforce of the Future," highlighted the trend. It surveyed 10,000 people and found that typical careers, in which a person advances through the ranks of a particular field, will increasingly "cease to exist" as artificial intelligence and robots replace human workers.
Data from the World Economic Forum supports those findings. It revealed that 65 percent of children who entered elementary school as early as 2016 will end up working in jobs that don't yet exist. And that's more or less the same if you graduated in 2016.
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So how do you prepare yourself now to work in an industry that changes so rapidly, the roles don't even exist except in the mind of the next Shonda Rhimes or Steve Jobs?
To sail these choppy waters, you're going to need fundamental skills. Some of these haven't changed in generations: You still need to be able to write and think clearly, creatively and critically. You still need to be able to read the news and decipher analyses or data.
Yet you also need to be on top of the things that have changed. Whitney Johnson, a leading business thinker who innovated the concept of personal disruption, said you always want to be on the steep part of your S curve; if you stay too long on the flat part, even at the top, you're going to find yourself bored and out of a job.
Here are five ways you can prepare yourself to land a job in the future and stay ahead of the S curve.