It may be a huge industrial revolution that will make the world look like science fiction movies; automated container ships, 3D printing, AI, electric vehicles, quantum computing, biotechnology. Earlier this month Inmarsat revealed Fleet Data, an Internet of Things (IoT) service, which will enable ship owners and managers to access and analyze real-time onboard. This service will help accelerate the adoption of IoT across the maritime industry. 

What is the 4th industrial revolution? 

Fundamentally different from the 3rd one, the 4th Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0, brings exponential changes to the way we live, work and relate to one another due to the adoption of cyber-physical systems. 

It is marked by emerging technology breakthroughs in fields, including 

  • robotics,  
  • artificial intelligence (AI), 
  • nanotechnology,  
  • quantum computing,  
  • biotechnology,  
  • the Internet of Things (IoT), 
  • the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT),  
  • fifth-generation wireless technologies (5G),  
  • additive manufacturing/3D printing  
  • fully autonomous vehicles  

Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, defines the 4th Industrial Revolution as: 

..new technologies that are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds, impacting all disciplines, economies and industries, and even challenging ideas about what it means to be human. 

Previous industrial revolutions liberated humankind from animal power, made mass production possible and brought digital capabilities to billions of people.

Which are the Top 10 skills to thrive in 2020? 

Despite how fast the technology in our interconnected world evolves and how fast we adopt it, the Industry 4.0 is ultimately about people. According to the World Economic Forum there is a skillset towards success in 2020: 

  1. Complex Problem Solving 
  2. Critical Thinking 
  3. Creativity 
  4. People Management 
  5. Coordinating with others 
  6. Emotional Intelligence 
  7. Judgement and decision making 
  8. Service Orientation 
  9. Negotiation 
  10. Cognitive Flexibility

Although the fourth technology revolution is said to fast replace human beings with machines, it also creates new job positions aligning the scales! 

People will continue to play a pivotal role in shipping regardless of machine learning or unmanned, autonomous vessels.

Vassilios Kroustallis,  Vice President ABS Europe, said earlier this year to SAFETY4SEA . 

Besides, a recent IMarEST survey showed that shipping future is autonomous, but human will remain an essential component. Specifically, 5% of those surveyed agreed that seafarer skills will remain an essential component in the long-term future of the shipping sector.  

 5 Jobs that will be in demand by 2020 in maritime industry 

  1. Ship Automation Specialist 

Totally Integrated Automation and Totally Integrated Power concepts not only reduce component life-cycle costs and increase levels of system reliability and safety, but also optimize the ship design, building and systems integration phases. Engineers, software developers and mechanics who can work on the new technology are already increasingly in demand. 

  1. Cyber Security Specialist

The cyber security crisis is more rampant than ever, especially when it comes to maritime. Maersk and Clarksons cyber incidents during 2017 serve as examples. Shipping companies hire persons responsible for designing, testing, implementing and monitoring security measures for their systems in order to prevent potential cyber-attacks. 

  1. 3d Printing Technician

The 3d printing market is growing rapidly. Many projects have shown the potential of using 3D printing techniques to produce vessel components; think of the WAAMpeller, the first 3d printed ship propeller. Thousands of new jobs are being created around the 3D printing industry as this technology gets evolved. 

  1. Energy Efficiency Optimization Specialist

A series of regulations (MARPOL, MRV, GHG, ISO 14001 & 50001 etc) originated an environmental frame which requires continuous actions and efforts and created positions such as environmental managers and representatives, energy efficiency experts, personnel for the construction of new type of engines , new types of fuels and a lot of other related initiatives. 

  1. Data Protection Specialist

Personal data protection requirements are among the latest developments in the shipping industry. New technics and technologies, additional law-based notices to ensure employees’ rights have been at the front line of compliance.