As service industry workers seek a living wage, some companies are instead experimenting with automation, reducing the need to hire and hold on to human workers.
The development can be divisive, and for many it may even mean the turning point when a robot actually renders them obsolete in their current role.
Even if you aren’t likely to be replaced by a robot that flips burgers based on an order from a touch screen, you may wonder how much longer it will be before a robot is built that can actually do your job better, cheaper and faster than you.
Is My Job In Trouble?
With technology moving at its current rate, it’s no wonder than many individuals are worried whether their job will be threatened by robotics, automated machinery, and other innovations in the foreseeable future.
The concern goes beyond the loss of menial employment that’s far from anyone’s first choice. Will teachers, health care professionals, financial workers, and many other skilled individuals also have some competition as a result of increasingly sophisticated equipment?
Skilled But Standardized Jobs Lost
It is true that some forms of technology are limiting the need for humans in a range of professional roles, but if history is any indication, more sophisticated industrial equipment is likely to create more jobs than it will ultimately replace.
According to new research from economists at Deloitte, jobs that require more social interaction, empathy, and a creative approach to problem solving, have increased since the Industrial Revolution.
That’s not to say technologically induced job loss isn’t a major issue. It is happening to some skilled and experienced workers, but the jobs most frequently lost to sophisticated machinery were those that produce predictable, routine outcomes.
Opportunities On The Rise
Among the professions listed in the research, weaving, metal making, typing and similar jobs have declined from 44 to 82% over the last two and a half decades, while opportunities in nursing, teaching, consulting and similar fields have doubled, tripled and more than quadrupled in the same amount of time.
While we are seeing robots with more human like qualities, placed in positions once thought of as strictly human, the researchers have stated that they believe job creation and loss are likely to follow the trend we’ve seen in recent history.
How To Ride The Automation Wave
If your current job involves more muscle than mind, you may want to start building skills that can’t be easily duplicated by an advanced machine. For the manufacturing sector, that may mean learning how to maintain and operate the equipment that will assemble parts, pack boxes, and crawl the warehouse.
Even if you may find fewer opportunities to do the hands-on work of craft and manual labor, you’ll likely find lots of opening for teaching a machine to do the very same.
Are you excited to see how automated machinery and robots will increasingly enter the workforce, or are you worried about the loss of opportunity in specific industries?
Has automation already had an impact on job opportunities in your lifetime?