The world is changing fast - faster than ever before, even jobs that first emerged barely a generation ago are no longer around. Photo: Pixabay

DURBAN – The world is changing fast - faster than ever before, even jobs that first emerged barely a generation ago are no longer around.

Today changes are monumental job market: by 2022 over 75 million jobs will have disappeared and replaced by 133 million new types of jobs (WEF, 2018). This is because of the 4th Industrial Revolution, which refers to how high-level technologies are enhancing our world. It’s a future that could have driverless cars, drone deliveries and shops run by artificial intelligence. That’s why so many jobs will disappear, and new ones will be created.

This can make students today anxious about their tertiary education choices. What guarantee do they have that their pick will be a good one for the future? Here are four tips that will help cover those bases and guide you to the best options:

Get into STEM: In the future STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) will be a part of everything, because it is the foundation of the 4th Industrial Revolution. That doesn’t mean you need a PhD in science to play a part. STEM can however help you see where you can do the most with your abilities and interests. STEM actually covers an enormous number of careers that aren’t in the ‘classic’ brackets of their names. For example, a designer of visual elements for an application is still part of the technology world. Visit STEM seminars and speak to people in careers you’re considering about STEM to discover more.

Soft skills are the top skills: Machines can do many wonderful things, but they are not much good at creativity, empathy and a host of other human attributes that makes each of us unique. This is popularly called EQ or ‘soft skills. EQ will be very important for future jobs. Working with others, managing disagreements, inspiring co-workers and collaborating for better results are benchmarks that matter more every day. There are many books and online resources about soft skills, so start there. An integrated and supportive learning environment can also help develop these skills.

Discipline: The need to clock in at nine and leave work at five is disappearing fast. It’s being replaced by agile workplaces where results, not being seen at your desk, are the measure of productivity. We can now be connected nearly anywhere and use phone-sized computers in our hands that are more powerful. Those are all ingredients of the 4th industrial revolution. They create new freedom for workers, but you need to know how to self-motivate and apply discipline. This is even more important if you want to work for yourself. Anyone can learn such skills by setting goals and working to meet them.

Making a choice for a future career isn’t easy, but once you’ve decided, Sasol can help. To support the growth of STEM skills in South Africa, Sasol offers bursaries for students pursuing B Eng or BSc Eng in various engineering disciplines, BSc in Chemistry and Accounting (CA route), or Instrumentation, Mining Survey and Mechanical or Electrical Engineering at a University of Technology.

Applications for the Sasol Corporate Bursary Programme close at the end of April.