The Fight Against Automation

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Technology is evolving, and it has been estimated that by the year 2030, about 2 billion jobs will have vanished due to automation. That’s almost half of the current jobs we have today. How can you prevent yourself from falling into this statistic? First of all, be aware of what jobs are most likely to disappear, and try to steer clear from those industries.

In a recent study, researchers have found that the job most likely to vanish due to automation is telemarketing, but that’s no surprise considering it has already started. Almost all office and administrative support positions are at a very high risk as well. For example, bookkeepers and legal secretaries stand a 97.6% chance of being automated, tellers a 98.3% chance, and bill and account collectors a 94.7% chance. However, jobs like mental health and substance abuse social workers only have a 0.3% chance of being automated. Why? Because these jobs require very high levels of social skills that are strictly human. The best way to ensure your future employment remains unthreatened is by re-educating yourself on these non-programmable skills. Machines cannot empathize, care, or exhibit any kind of emotion – at least not accurately. Human interaction is needed to provide effective personal help to others. For example, marriage and family therapists only have a 1.4% chance of being automated in the next twenty years. Why is that? Because to be a marriage and family therapist, you have to exhibit excellent negotiation skills and must be able to communicate effectively with clients – being able to empathize with them, to read and respond effectively to their body language or verbal cues. You also have to be able to come up with clever solutions, unique to each client. Also, any job in the social services field requires a certain sense of responsibility. This responsibility incorporates ethics and morality, something that is innate for humans, but nonexistent within technology.

Creativity is another skill that can only be mastered by humans, and will never become irrelevant. Jobs in the arts and design category have very low chances of automation. Interior designers only stand a 2.2% chance of automation, writers and authors only 3.8%, and visual artists such as painters, sculptors, and illustrators only stand a 4.2% chance. This is because work like this can only come from the imagination, and computers will never be able to create anything unique on their own.

The bottom line is that technology is slowly forcing people to transition to jobs that require more brains over brawn. The ability to think quickly and creatively and to interact with other human beings will be the determining factors of one’s value to the work force. And although technology will soon be what we are fighting against for our jobs, it will always remain important that you have knowledge of current software and emerging technologies and the skills to work them… or to work with them, literally.

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