Open Site Navigation

How Technology Will Change Future Jobs

Automation and robots are slowly taking over the repetitive tasks normally performed by humans. So, let’s take a closer look at how technology will shape future jobs and understand how career planning can help us stay relevant in the job market.

Our perception of work has gone through a quantum shift in the last couple of years. This is partly due to the introduction of new technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, drones, automation, robotic processes, autonomous vehicles, etc. These new paradigms have been driving significant changes across industries. As a result, experts estimate that the notion of work will be completely transformed within the decade. As a result, learning and reskilling should be part of your personal growth and professional development plan to prepare for the future of work.

No one knows what our work will look like in the future, but by studying changes today, we can develop insights into the best careers in the future to help us prepare for job hunting.

Significant transitions bring about tremendous uncertainty in terms of job security, availability of work, and skills required. Experts weigh in on both sides of the equation. Some despise the changes as this might mean unemployment for millions of people, not to mention the stress it might put on society. Others welcome this transition predicting a futuristic workplace where repetitive tasks are automated, machines performing labor-intensive work, and technology bringing more flexibility and remote working.

So, what will the future jobs look like?

Humans and Machines Working Together

Close to 45% of the jobs performed by humans today can be fully automated. In some industries, such automation has already started. The emergence of these trends makes employees insecure about their jobs. Looking back, the situation is comparable to the wide adoption of computers. People were skeptical that computers and the internet would make them redundant. But if we think about it, the adoption of computers created a whole new set of roles that did not exist before. New jobs required employees to use computers, fix them, program them, and perform the tasks correctly. Not to mention the thousands of jobs created in the network engineering industry to keep the internet secure and up and running.

We are watching the same scenario unfold again. Despite 45% of the workforce feeling that their jobs could be at risk, the adoption of AI, machine learning, and automation will require skilled employees to interact and communicate with these technologies. Recent studies paint a clearer picture. Despite more automation than ever before, there are close to 7 million well-paying jobs in the US alone that employers are finding difficult to fill. The real reason behind the current talent crunch is a skill gap caused by organizations engaging in digital transformations.

As technology progresses, organizations need more and more individuals to fill mid and high-skill roles. To fill these roles, you must be conversant with one or more of the following - big data, OLAP, ML, AI, automation scripting, robot deployment, drone piloting, or other high-tech skills. Exposure to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects is necessary to achieve these skills. But the participation of American students in these high-tech and engineering courses has been dwindling for years.

Some organizations have already identified the challenges and are taking corrective steps. Amazon, for example, is investing close to US$700 million to upskill a third of its low-wage US workforce. As these 100,000 employees are brought up to speed to work with the latest technologies, we expect other companies will organize similar initiatives.

Just as with previous industrial revolutions, introducing new and sophisticated technologies does not necessarily strip away jobs. Instead, it creates opportunities that were not possible before. One possibility is for humans to be more human. And for machines to take on the dirty, dangerous, dull, repetitive, demeaning, disliked, detestable, and physically demanding tasks.

To navigate these digital transformations, you need to be ready, willing, and able to co-exist and collaborate with machines. Learning to collaborate with technology is one thing, but more importantly, you need to understand your real interests to discover the best jobs in the future that will bring you joy at work. Take the free Career Quiz to find out.

Governments, companies, and educational institutes will also need to adapt to these changes. Governments to create environments to incubate the talents required for the future. Education to teach cutting-edge and cross-cutting skills is necessary for this new age. Companies will have to share the burden of preparing their workforces for the technology they must master.