How many times do we ask ourselves this question? Well, I personally keep asking this myself more than often.
In the present era of an ever-changing world and newly developed technologies, there is a need to constantly upgrade our skill set in order to grow. Every six months, we see a new tech tool enter the market. Today, companies need a workforce that can solve problems in a more effective way, and that way is by using new technology. Which means upskilling is a must.
I graduated in mechanical engineering, and during college, I understood well in advance that I must learn new technologies in order to keep myself relevant, wherever I am.
During college, my passion was automotive engineering and additive manufacturing (commonly known as 3D printing), which were newly evolving technologies in the mechanical industry in India. But there were many limitations, for example, limited access to workshop labs, the absence of automobile branches or books, and not much content on the internet (as we see today).
After seeking help from my seniors and convincing faculty members, I managed to form various teams under the Mechanical Engineering Club and get permission to work, learn, and grow after college hours. I also organised competitions for the benefit of my juniors so that learning could continue.
We learned many aspects, and with our combined knowledge of mechanical, automobile, and additive manufacturing, we were able to successfully design and fabricate not one but three fully functional petrol-driven prototype cars.
Throughout that time, I understood the importance of doing something hands-on. There is a huge difference between theoretically calculating speed, acceleration, braking, ergonomics, safety, and design parameters, to name a few, and practically fabricating a working machine with our own hands. It was something truly hands-on.
However, soon after graduation, when I began my professional career, I realised that the future would be dominated by data and data-driven technologies. It was the time when everyone around was saying “Data is the new oil,” and every few months there was some new tool or software entering the market to prove this right.
Then, I decided to learn new technologies like business intelligence, data analysis and interpretation, process and work management tools, etc., which helped a great deal in my professional journey. (And still is.) As said, the best way to learn something is to do it, and hence I started implementing them in my work, which paid off well.
Remember the time of the COVID pandemic? Yes, it is truly horrifying, but there is also a silver lining. We saw the true potential of many of these new-age tools, because of which students were able to continue with their studies, professionals continued with their jobs, the economy got stable, governments were able to run the administration, and it opened many platforms for thinkers and content creators in social media to find and live up to their inner passion. I, too, learned many new things and implemented them successfully in my work.
I told you about my time in college, where time was abundant. But time is a big constraint in professional life, which means we must upskill while spending the least amount of time possible. Today, we have access to hands-on learning that does the same thing. All you need for growth is eagerness.
How do you remain relevant in an ever-changing world?
I still ask myself this question. Is artificial intelligence (AI) the next big thing in the future? Is AI, along with better data-driven technologies, going to take over the world of tomorrow? Will AI eliminate many jobs, as many experts predict? Well, no matter what, I am going to continue my hands-on learning, and so should you.
Keep learning and keep growing.