Analysts at some of the world’s most prominent think tanks are forecasting massive disruptions in the global job markets within the next several decades. They anticipate that technological advances will render 47 percent of the world’s current jobs obsolete.
What Sorts of Jobs Are in Danger of Becoming Obsolete Soon?
These experts inform us that even the cornerstone societal job roles people historically considered stable and perpetually necessary -for example, teachers, accountants, lawyers, doctors, drivers and hospitality workers –are not safe from this massive disruption:
● Online education broadens opportunities for teaching increasing numbers of students while requiring fewer instructors to lead classes in person.
● Increasingly sophisticated accounting software systems are automating tasks that human accountants did in the past.
● Fewer physicians will be needed as software purveyors release programs that can analyze biometric data more efficiently and diagnose disease with far greater accuracy than any human doctor is able to.
● Analysts predict that driverless cars will render most driving and transportation jobs obsolete within the next few decades.
● The numbers of employed paralegals will decline dramatically as the research they do becomes increasingly automated.
● Cashier jobs and retail sales jobs are in decline as internet shopping increases and retailers install growing numbers of automated self-checkout kiosks.
● Telemarketing jobs are declining as robots begin to take over these tasks.
● Banks need fewer tellers as people conduct more of their transactions online and at ATM machines.
● Textile industry jobs are declining as automation replaces the technician jobs that used to be commonplace.
● The hospitality industry is shifting; fewer hotels are needed, and fewer hotel staffers are being employed, now that homeowners are opening their spare rooms to paying guests through services like AirBnB.
This type of technological disruption is nothing new; it started with the industrial revolution sometime around the year 1760, and it hasn’t slowed its pace since.
Well before that, the rise of the printing press rendered the career path of professional scribe obsolete. Automated jacquard looms displaced numerous skilled hand weavers in the textile industry.
The popularization of the automobile resulted in the displacement of numerous blacksmiths, since demand for horseshoes declined dramatically.
Much later, the widespread adoption of computer systems forced typewriter manufacturers to scramble to re-invent their companies or go out of business. That particular new technology also sent large numbers of typists to the unemployment lines.
What’s new: the startling rate of pace at which technological advancements, and their resulting disruptions to the global job market, are now occurring.
So how do you plan for this massive upheaval that is beginning to occur and about to get exponentially more dramatic?
For starters, you will want to avoid investing your time and money in training for a career that is about to become extinct. Additionally, you’ll want to start developing the skills that will be most valued by employers in the evolving global job market of the future.
An article at The Economist enlightens us about two of the types of career paths that are least vulnerable to elimination by automation: creative careers and careers requiring managerial expertise. Development of critical thinking skills will be essential for survival in the future global economy that is now arising.
An article from The Guardian suggests that people with STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills are also likely to remain employable. Since machines are incapable of performing jobs that require emotional intelligence, those types of careers are also less vulnerable to being lost to robots.
If you’re currently employed in a career that is obviously susceptible to extinction by automation, or if you lack critical thinking skills, creative skills, managerial skills and STEM skills, now is the time to start the training process for developing them.
This doesn’t automatically mean you need to plan for making a complete career change; but you can definitely do some thinking about whether a career change would be a wise move for you in the future.
Training That Could Help You Succeed in the Global Job Market of the Future
A Master’s Degree in Robotics Engineering
An obviously in-demand career choice in the future will be that of robotics engineer. Numerous creative and talented individuals will be needed to design, program, maintain and repair the army of artificial intelligence that will power the global economy.
A Master’s Degree in Engineering Management
If you have a combination of technical engineering experience and hands-on management expertise, you’ll be armed with a winning combination of skills that’s likely to keep you in demand with employers in the future.
Earning your master’s degree in engineering management could help you to develop the necessary mindset of a manager and kickstart your management career.
A Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management
We’re still a long ways away from developing robots that are capable of exhibiting the emotional intelligence required to perform a human resource manager’s job.
This job requires the ability to interpret nonverbal communications such as body language; these sorts of communications are still largely incomprehensible to machines.
A Ph.D. in Psychology, or a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) Degree
Understanding the finer points of human mental health is, so far, outside the scope of what robots are able to achieve; so for now, it could be a smart move to develop the skills and credentials necessary for becoming employed as a psychologist.
A Master’s Degree or Professional Certifications in Information Security
As more computer systems, community infrastructure and home appliances become internet-of-things enabled, the need for information security professionals continues to grow. While machines may be utilized to do some of the necessary work in this field, human managers are increasingly in demand to oversee organizations’ information security operations.
While it is impossible to foretell with certainty all the technological advances the future has in store, some of the imminent changes are predictable enough to enable you to prepare yourself for them adequately.
We hope this information and the accompanying suggestions are useful to you as you anticipate the direction your career could possibly take in the future.