mail_image_previewAre you becoming increasingly irrelevant in the eyes of your employer or the marketplace because your education and training has not been keeping up with the dramatic changes that are taking place in your industry? To have job security and increase your earning power both now and in the future, you need to boost your relevance by learning new things. The challenge is knowing what to learn, what courses to take, and what degrees will position you to thrive in the years ahead.

Regardless of your position today, realize that there are 12 technology-driven Hard Trend Certainties that will transform every career. In other words, no matter what your job is today, these certainties will impact your career. The sooner you take the time to understand and align your skills to these 12 certainties, the more relevant you’ll be to employers.

The 12 Certainties that will transform every career are:

  1. Cloud Services and Virtualization
  2. Big Data and Real-Time Analytics
  3. Mobile Hardware, Software, and Services
  4. Gamification of Training and Education
  5. Social Business Enterprise Management
  6. Cyber Security and Forensics
  7. Intelligent e-Personal Assistants
  8. 3D Web
  9. Connective Intelligent Objects (Internet of Things)
  10. Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing)
  11. Advanced Robotics and Automation
  12. Remote Visual Communications

(For more information on the 12 Certainties go to

All these certainties are technology-based because technology is literally transforming how we live, work, and play at an amazingly fast speed. But that doesn’t mean you have to become a technologist in order to get a great-paying job in the future. It simply means you have to adapt your current skills so they include a working understanding of these 12 certainties. That’s how you stay relevant.

Let’s look at two very different examples of how a current career will be changed by these 12 certainties—a CFO and a heating and air-conditioning (HVAC) maintenance person. The reason I’m using a HVAC maintenance technician is to illustrate how a job that does not require a 4-year college degree will be shaped by the 12 certainties. So let’s start there.

First, the technician will be using a smart phone and a tablet versus a printed work order and pen and paper. Using the 3D web browser installed on the tablet, the technician will be able to show you the system you have or a mock up of the new one you’d like installed from every angle, and without having to wear a pair of 3D glasses. By tapping into cloud and virtualization services from the maintenance company, the technician will be able to access and report to you every needed detail, from pricing to how much you’d save on your utility bill each month to current installation times. If there’s a part that’s needed to repair your current air conditioning or heating system, the technician will be able use a 3D printer in their service van to print that replacement part for you.

Once the system is repaired or replaced, the technician will connect some sensors to your unit and home so it can be monitored in real time and more effectively, saving you time and money. These sensors can show humidity, temperature, and various other data. The technician can then connect your intelligent heating and air conditioning system to your smart phone and/or tablet with a custom app so that you can remotely monitor the system and make changes anytime and from anywhere.

So the more this maintenance person learns about all of these technologies and how to use them, the more relevant he or she is going to be to that company. In contrast, if you have a maintenance person who doesn’t want to use a tablet, isn’t interested in learning about 3D Printing, doesn’t want to know how to install intelligent sensors, etc., that technician is going to be of less value to his customers and employer every year and will eventually get replaced.

Now let’s look at a high-level career—a Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Remember, it’s not just the mid-level and low-level jobs that will be affected by these 12 certainties. It’s all jobs. The CFO will be using a smart phone and tablet with an increasing number of enterprise level apps including purchasing, logistics, supply chain and many more. In fact, he or she will have a tablet and smart phone-based dashboard that will be personalized based on their position in the company. In this case, the CFO will be tying into the company’s cloud services and will be getting real-time analytics from the increasing amount of big data feeding in from all operations in real time.

The CFO will use the 3D web to be able to visualize different aspects of the company and analyze different changes that are being suggested. The CFO can then run a simulation to see if costs that he or she is being asked to appropriate are going to be driving sales going forward. Also, he or she will have to be aware of the costs of technologies such as advanced robotics and new automation systems going in, and the payoff in both revenue increases as well as added competitive advantages in order to make the best decisions.

The CFO will also be using gamification systems to personally learn enough about new tools, such as 3D Printing, so he or she will be able to make informed decisions about how, in this case 3D Printing, could benefit the company.

Finally, the CFO will need to understand the benefit of these 12 certainties and what they bring to the enterprise—not only the cost of buying and implementing them, but also the cost of not implementing them.

In short, all careers will be impacted and influenced by these 12 certainties. So even though we’re told that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” the fact is that humans aren’t dogs. We are infinitely upgradeable! Regardless of your age, it’s time to learn new things.

Use these 12 certainties as a litmus test against the university, school, or training program you’re thinking of attending. Look at the degrees or certificates they offer as well as the classes. Are they preparing you to live in a world that is ceasing to exist? Or in a world that is growing and thriving? When you analyze these 12 certainties, you can see the future your career is heading toward. Make sure you’re part of that future.

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