The world, the United States, and the Midwest is on the brink of a projected major change in employment, with millions of jobs and even entire industries set to be replaced by robots in the coming years. Artificial Intelligence (AI) automation is already affecting our jobs today, and it’s likely to get worse. Forrester predicts that by 2021, intelligent agents and related robots will have eliminated a net 6% of jobs, which equals 9 million jobs in the United States.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) publishes The Future of Jobs report, predicting substantial changes to jobs and employment for white-collar workers as technological advances gain momentum. They predict that 65% of children entering primary school now will work in roles that currently do not exist. The National Public Radio job calculator, using research by the University of Oxford, is one way to predict how your job will be affected. You can input your current occupation to find out how likely it is that you’ll be replaced by a machine. AI and automation offer benefits as well, since they eliminate tedious tasks, freeing individuals to pursue careers that give us a greater sense of meaning.
“Everybody would go, ‘Oh, my God, we’re going to be out of work,”’ Ray Kurzweil, singularity expert, told Fortune’s Michal Lev-Ram. “I would say, ‘Well, don’t worry, for every job we eliminate, we’re going to create more jobs at the top of the skill ladder.'”
Jobs that are Going Away
Each of us needs to take a hard look at the effects AI will have on our future employment. Some of the jobs that are highly likely to disappear with the rise of AI and automation are lawyers, accountants, bank representatives, financial analysts, and construction workers. Students need to be aware of these trends and chose careers that are likely to survive automation.
Most of these careers will require advanced learning, as mid-level jobs with a lot of repetition are likely to be eliminated first. Young workers who choose careers where relationship-building and decision making are central, such as in the creative, technology, or healthcare industries, are likely to thrive during the next wave of automation. Existing workers cannot ignore life-long learning if they want to enjoy fulfilling and rewarding careers. The time is now to reshape your career, growing in-demand skill sets so you’ll be able to thrive in the technological revolution.
Jobs that will Grow in the Technological Revolution
Jobs Requiring Strategy and Higher Cognitive Skills
The new automation caused by artificial intelligence will still keep some low-level manual and basic jobs and many high-level jobs requiring years of study and experience. It’s the middle managers and paper pushers that will be out of a job. If your career is based on paperwork, like many accountants, office managers, and bureaucrats, you’ll want to increase your strategic and higher cognitive skills.
Advanced IT and Programming Jobs
The need for technological skills: data analysis, information technology, statistics, software development, scientific research, and robotics is expected to grow as much as 90 percent between 2016 and 2030. To really participate in the new economy, seek to grow your skills in these fields. Technology evangelist James Stanger says "people have been talking for a long time about digital transformation of business, we're going to see a lot of defined job roles either being radically redefined, or even just go away. I think an IT skillset will remain valuable, but it has to be in regards to business. Too long, those things have been kept in siloes."
Social and Emotional Labor
Emotional labor will still be a prominent and valuable part of work in the next 30 years. Social and emotional skills including empathy, negotiation skills, empathy, continuous learning, the ability to manage others, and adaptability will be valuable skills in the fields of business development, programming, emergency response, and counseling. These skills are a crucial way to differentiate the human workforce from a more automated one in the future. Though robots can learn to mimic human emotions, there are no standards for emotions and the machines will not mimic the basic instincts of human beings. People will still want to interact with other humans for many life experiences, and those who are good at human connection and communication will continue to be valuable. Building emotional intelligence and management skills is one way that you can prepare for the AI employment revolution.
Humans will still be required to work on the Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology as it grows in prevalence. AI workers will develop intelligent software and systems based on how human minds think, learn, decide and solve a problem. A Gartner study reports that AI is an emerging field that will create 2.8 million jobs by 2020. As AI becomes more prominent in business, there will be a need for marketers and salespeople who understand the technology and can translate it into human terms in order to sell it. People working in sales who are interested in AI careers should build their abilities to “think meta”, outside the immediate scope of a task or problem with creativity and judgment. Selling AI will also require cognitive complexity and sensitivity to craft messages, shape branding and construct symbols that appeal to and resonate with human aspirations and needs.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution will eliminate a significant number of jobs through the combination of Artificial Intelligence and automation. Humans created artificial intelligence, so we are the ones that must harness it for good. Take a look at your career today and map it out so that you can grow with the changes instead of being left behind.