10 April 2019

    Michaela Stehr

    Future careers: The impact of automation

    What can you do to keep your finger on the pulse and ensure solid job security in the years to come as we experience a tech revolution?

    There is a real fear that automation will kill jobs. But technology will also lead to the rise of new markets and job roles. How then can you add to your repertoire to ensure a stable future in your career path? The smartest solution is to acquire new skills and keep up to date with changing trends.

    Preparing for the future workplace

    One of the most valuable skills that you can learn today is how to learn. Learning how to retain information and how to adapt accordingly increases your value as an employee. Traits such as critical thinking, creativity, emotional intelligence, collaboration, adaptability, negotiation, cognitive flexibility and service orientation are qualities that machines just don't possess, so upskilling on these abilities is vital in our changing climate.

    How to upskill

    Today, building a portfolio can be even more important than having a resume, which is only a two-dimensional representation of a skill set. Creating a three-dimensional job reel that represents your level of expertise is extremely beneficial. On-the-job learning, apprenticeships and workplace training have also become important to employers. There are many tools that are easily accessible and free to keep your skills relevant and evolving. A good example of this would be free online courses offered by a variety of universities, which are available worldwide and universally recognised. Coursera and edX are two websites that offer access to such courses.

    Jobs of the future

    The World Economic Forum's 2018 Future of Jobs Survey listed these jobs among the roles we can expect by 2020:

    • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning specialists
    • Big Data specialists
    • Digital transformation specialists
    • Software and applications developers and analysts
    • People and culture specialists
    • Client information and customer service workers

    Many jobs that are already in existence are also likely to remain necessary for years to come. Machines can't provide empathy and social skills, so jobs in healthcare, education and management rely heavily on humans. The former will be especially important as our life spans increase and the world's population grows. The creative arts and entertainment are other fields that are unlikely to be replaced.

    Even computer-related and IT skills are still necessary – now more than ever, in fact. While machinery may be better at crunching data, they can't fix themselves. Getting involved in the building and creating of Artificial Intelligence (AI), tech and robotics is a smart way to ensure you are irreplaceable in the future. Coding and content creation are also all worth investing in.

    AI, smart automation and robotics are not an extreme threat to all jobs and shouldn't be feared. New innovations bring a lot of economic benefits to a large number of industries and, when the time comes, working alongside robots will be a smart way to ensure that not every job is lost. 

    Ready to embrace the future? Use our Future Jobs Finder to plan your career.

    Michaela Stehr