We are living at the crossroads of the future, where automation, Artificial Intelligence, and code are being used heavily.

Although the use of technology is increasing, it is neither new nor the first time workers have had to deal with the possible threat of being replaced by machines.

In the film, Hidden Figures, NASA transitions from human computers to machine computers. Mathematicians, Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson broke down gender and racial walls while learning how to operate the machines that had the potential to replace them.

Today, we see more and more companies moving toward automation to cut costs and drive profits.

‌Technical innovations come at a rapid pace, but once these innovations are on the market, these machines and computers will need someone with the technical skills to keep production running. This is our opportunity as Blacks in America.

Since we have not transitioned to a world of total automation, we have an opportunity to get the education and training on new skills that could put us in demand for years to come. However, there are two things that get in the way of learning a new skill or trade: opportunity and will. So if you can see the writing on the wall that your current job is ripe for tech disruption which threatens your position and financial security, you need to look at all of your options.

With so many outlets for learning new skills such as YouTube, online courses, and ebooks, there are no excuses such as a lack of time or resources to get ready for the workforce demands of future.  Many online learning platforms provide free access to valuable information and training opportunities.

The women of Hidden Figures changed their circumstances by noticing an opportunity and having the ambition to take advantage of it. They changed the world and left legacies that extend to this day. This ability is still widely available today to our community. It’s up to us to take our role in building the future seriously.