The Millennial Santri: Thrive the Most Important Skills in Such Future

Source: freepick

In this disruption era, understanding the future landscape is very crucial. It also raises the question like

What the future would look like to you?

As millennial santri- even now we are called as Gen Z generation- we have to realize the fast technology development such as artificial intelligence (AI) and other tech advancements. Some of them are deep learning, which is used to achieve state-of-the-Islamic art results in image classification, natural Al-Quran learning processing, and da’wah recognition; generative AI, which can create new data, such as images, text, and videos; robotics, which is increasingly used in transportation, healthcare, and manufacturing; natural language processing (NLP), it deals with the interactions between computers and human (natural) languages; computer vision, it deals with the extraction of information from digital images and videos. We can expect to see even more innovative and impactful applications in the years to come as AI technology continues to develop.

How is the condition of disruption in industry NOW X FUTUR

In the US, the job displacement rate from 2018 to 2020 occurred at 25%. It means that 25% of the American workers saw their work taken over or replaced by new technologies- only in two years. Meanwhile in 2025, based on World Economic Forum (WEF), 50% of labor will be done by humans and 50% will be done by machines. In the extreme, based on the McKinsey Global Institute, the rate of job displacement will reach 80% by 2030. It has to be the big question for a millennial santri:

Will I be among those who survive in the future? Or will I be replaced too? 

Then, How can we, the santri, survive and be irreplaceable?

The hint answer can you found in this insight: soft skills are more important than ever!

Why? It is a simple question with several answers.

It is because they enable professionals to collaborate effectively with AI systems, navigate complex ethical and interpersonal challenges, achieve synergy between technical expertise and soft skills, maintain competitiveness, and harness the full potential of technological advancements. Here are the important skills you will need to thrive in such future:

a.      Self-awareness

b.      Creative thinking

c.       Analytical thinking

d.      Storytelling and communication techniques

e.       Resilience

f.       Flexibility and agility

g.       Curiosity

h.      Tech literacy

I would like to claim something before I give an example of how the world of AI and technological advancement will still need humans, as AI works on a fixed objective. In contrast, humans can adapt and innovate.

Disclaimer: We, as a santri, cannot expect that in the future our professional job is becoming Kyai or Nyai, teaching Alquran and all religious knowledge to our society, and becoming uswatun hasanah to others. Remember, it never becomes the santri’s job. It is not the job but, the obligation. Whether your job will be a police or a data analyst or copywriter or other, you have to become uswatun hasanah that lead the good things in your society.

Okay, I will give that example that I have said before. In the future, you will use all the skills that have been mentioned above. For example, your future job is a data analyst. AI will become very advanced in data analysis, therefore, the human ability to extract meaning will become more valuable now than ever. Humans can make the finding more accessible, relatable, and persuasive by retelling and visualizing data or forming data interpretation into a captivating narrative. Humans can bridge numbers and impact- because these numbers are eventually about humans.

So, what are you waiting for?

Be a santri who is responsive to technological advances if you don’t want to be replaced! 

Wallahu a’lam bi shawab

Writer: Nabilatus Sa’adah (Santri of Darul Falah Besongo Islamic Boarding School)

Editor: Hana Salsabila