All this talk about robots invading the workplace has many fearing for the future of their job.
However according to Indeed.com, not everyone needs to worry about being replaced by a machine because there will always be jobs out in the world that require a human touch.
Not to mention that panicking about an impending robot takeover is a waste of time, because the robots are already here. In fact, they’ve been here for quite some time.
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“This automation isn’t anything new,” said Daniel Culbertson, economist at online job site Indeed.com. “It’s been happening in our labour market for centuries now. There’s always been new technologies that have come out and have changed the landscape of the labour market — taking some jobs but also creating more. But I think some of the reports that are out there today gloss over the fact that this will be a gradual transition.”
According to Culbertson, the types of jobs that will most likely become automated are the ones that require a low-level of skill and involve repetitive and routine tasks. Jobs in production are a great example of this.
But if your job is considered to be more complex, requires critical thinking, managing and developing people and decision-making, then you’re job will most likely be left to the human race.
“[The jobs] that will be safe will be the ones that involve a lot of non-routine tasks, and the ones that require interpersonal skills,” Culbertson said. “Jobs like human resources and in healthcare, for example, still require a lot of human-to-human interaction, ‘human’ qualities and the ability to make judgment calls… [Qualities] which cannot be replicated by a computer.”
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Jobs that complement the work of machines will also continue to be in demand, Culbertson adds.
While it’s impossible to know exactly which jobs will be safe in the future, Indeed offers the following predictions based on its search data:
- Cybersecurity experts: The demand for cybersecurity professionals is high as cyber attacks increase in both scale and sophistication. Job postings for this profession alone increased 73 per cent from 2016 to 2017, making Canada one of the top markets for job seekers interested in these roles (seventh overall, as reported by previous research done by Indeed).
- Data scientists: Combining technical and statistical skills, data scientists are the go-to people when it comes to collecting, storing and analyzing data sets. Supply and demand for these jobs increased dramatically increased between 2016 and 2017 (75 per cent and 83 per cent, respectively), showing that there is both a need and interest in this sector now, as well as in the future.
- Health-care professionals: Jobs in health care will always be in demand. These jobs usually require interpersonal and communication skills, and other kinds of human qualities that robots cannot replace. Specifically when it comes to nursing, the demand is at its highest yet, however the current supply of nursing talent isn’t keeping up with the increasing demand.
- Marketing, communications and design: Complex creative careers such as these are highly likely to survive the switch-over to automation. This is because these jobs require social intelligence and new media literacy skills that, again, are not within the realm of robot programming.
- Human resources: The nature of the HR world may change due to technological advancements in software used by HR professionals, but humans will be needed to fulfill roles no matter what. Those who will do well in this changing sector as HR professionals in the future will combine soft skills and emotional intelligence, as well as expertise in software and analytics.
- Gig-worker: According to Indeed, the “gig economy” has enabled smartphone connected driver to work flexibly on their own time (think Uber). It’s a model that is quickly spreading to other areas of the service sector. As this model becomes more accepted and regulated, it’ll be easier for people to take part in. However, considering some of the major gig employers are heavily investing in self-driving cars and technology, this type of work may have an expiry date.
- Chef and culinary roles: Combining creative intelligence and complex manual skills is no easy thing for a robot to do, so it’s best left up to humans. The improving Canadian economy over the past year has helped increase the demand in this sector. In fact, chef postings on Indeed have jumped 11 per cent from 2016 to 2017.
The idea of job disappearing can seem like a frightening concept, Culbertson said. But if you want to prepare for the future, the best way to do it is to build up transferable, non-routine skills that can be applied across a spectrum of occupations.