Getting a job has always been the primary point for learning. We all want new skills which we can leverage to get the best paying job to live the best life. But what happens when a machine threatens the job you spend years in school preparing for? Well, that is the future of work.
Automation is the new trend in the labor sector
The reality of the battle between intelligent machines and humans for routine jobs is that humans will lose in the long run. It is quite an uncertain period for the labor market as employers are pondering on what to make of the workforce of the future. On the contrary, the toughest task for employees today is to determine if the workforce of the future will include people with their skills.
An EY report noted that no employee is safe from automation if his/her job is to pull a lever. It is based on the reality that automation is more efficient and cost-effective compared to human labor. In the next two years, artificial intelligence (AI) is estimated to do away with about 6% of employment opportunities in the US.
Surprisingly, people in very unlikely professions are likely to face off with the bots in the future. In particular, the legal sector could see 39% of its jobs go to the bots by 2027. Another study shows that the future might be without human accountants, and only 5% of the jobs might be available to the humanoid workforce.
You have just seen why you need to prepare for the future of work because the robots are coming. But how do you do that?
Integrate the new technology in your skill set
A McKinsey Global Institute research document in 2017 noted that technology is both a threat and opportunity to the workforce. The research document was conveniently titled “Jobs Lost, Jobs Gained.” It affirms the claim that AI will create new jobs even as the existing ones are obliterated.
What will change is the kind of expertise that employers will need to acquire a human workforce. Essentially, this means that one will have to learn and integrate new technology which will be relevant for the human workforce in the future.
Acquire more strategic skills and critical thinking techniques
While the McKinsey study sounds gloomy for the future human workforce, another study by the same institution casts some positive light on the transition of the workforce. In particular, the study establishes that there are some jobs which will adapt to automation. The core thesis of the study is that machines can only perform jobs which require tactical skills. On the other hand, humans can perform jobs which require both tactical and strategic skills.
Strategic skills have a lot to do with imagination, strategic and critical thinking, and creative analysis. As such, jobs built around these concepts will be hard to automate, and they might survive the sword of AI.
Like any other technology, AI is dynamic. As such, the AI of 2030 might not be as we know it today. It is to say that jobs that are safe today from automation might just be rendered obsolete in the future. How do you get ahead of this dynamic? Lifelong learning!
The goal of lifelong learning is to remain relevant. Usually, technological innovations precipitate a lot of changes, and one needs to stay abreast of the changes to avoid dropping by the wayside. Staying relevant implies the ability to identify threats and opportunities in every new concept that is birthed as a result of new technology. Ultimately, nobody will be safe from the bots, but one can prepare to co-exist with them.