The career landscape is changing, due to advancements in technology as well as the general attitudes and interests of the latest generations entering the workforce. In the future, some careers will fade into the background, while new career options emerge along with the latest technologies. Still other fields will experience major talent shortages as a result of fewer members of the workforce opting to pursue careers in those fields.
So what does the workforce of the future look like? What jobs will continue to be in high-demand? What fields should today’s high school graduates pursue to have the best chance of gainful employment for decades to come? To find out what jobs will be in high demand, and thus make promising career paths to pursue, we reached out to a panel of career experts, academics, and business leaders and asked them to answer this question:
“Which jobs will be in demand the most and best for the future (and why)?”
Meet Our Panel of Career Experts, Academics & Business Leaders:
Kristan J. Wheaton
Kristan J. Wheaton (Kris) is an associate professor of intelligence studies at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania. He is a retired Foreign Area Officer with the US Army who specializes in national security matters, analytic methods, intelligence communications, and game-based learning.
“One of the most in-demand jobs of the future will be…”
Cyber Translator. We are already starting to see this job emerge. At one end of the cyber spectrum, you have the hard-core computer experts who look at cyber security issues every day. These are highly educated and experienced people who regularly speak in a technical shorthand that the rest of us simply can’t follow. At the other end of the spectrum sit the CEOs and politicians with the checkbooks. They need to understand these cyber-related issues in order to make good decisions for their companies and countries. Enter the Cyber Translator. This individual will not be an expert in the tech but will know enough to be able to understand what the hard-core techies are saying. Then, they will have the communication skills to be able to translate the tech speak into plain English for the decision makers they support. I have spoken with several CEOs and senior executives of cyber companies and they all claim this kind of employee is very difficult to find, yet incredibly valuable. As the need for this person becomes more obvious, I expect to see the position emerge as a formal one.
Brian Goodman is the Co-Founder of Drawn to Discover. He spent nearly 25 years sitting in many different desks and roles within the advertising and marketing industry. He worked for several large agencies in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco.
“The past few generations have…”
Moved through the manufacturing and tech economies, but now we are moving into the “creative economy.” With the automation of cars and trucks, plus more and more robotics and technology displacing jobs, tomorrow’s worker must be a creative thinker, problem solver, and have a perceptive entrepreneurial spirit. We started DrawnToDiscover.com to prepare children for this reality. When we engage our fingers, we engage our creative minds. The jobs of tomorrow have not yet been imagined, but we can begin preparing our children now by giving them the tools to think, reason, create, imagine, and more.
Vic Patel is the founder of Forex Training Group. He is a Professional Trader and Investor with over 20+ years’ experience in the Financial Markets.
“The Energy sector will see the highest growth over the next 10 to 15 years…”
As more and more consumers and companies see the need for an overhaul in our energy consumption habits, there will be an increasing wave of potential job prospects in this sector. This includes Environmental Engineers, Solar Installers, Clean Car Engineers, and Wind Turbine Technicians. These are the jobs of the future as the current forms of energy consumption become replaced with more clean energy industries.
Eugenia Boldyriknina is a paid search and search engine optimization implementation specialist. She works for Delta Growth, an agency that offers expert digital marketing services to everyone from startups to international companies.
“One of the most in demand jobs that show no signs of slowing down in the future is digital marketing…”
Any role pertaining to paid search, search engine optimization, social media, and digital strategy are at the forefront. As a matter of fact, these jobs are getting more and more popular, and the salaries are growing above national averages because businesses are starting to catch on.
You see, most businesses survive on active and strategic marketing efforts. And in the world of technology and online prevalency, being able to do digital marketing well is the difference between getting left behind and thriving by harnessing the power of social media, search engine inquiries, and data.
Sarah Boisvert has over 30 years experience in the commercialization of high-technology products utilizing laser machining and 3D printing. In 2010, she founded Fab Lab Hub, part of the Fab Lab Network based at the Center for Bits and Atoms at MIT, to foster entrepreneurship and workforce training in digital manufacturing. She operates two Fab Labs in Santa Fe NM, and has created a New Collar Workforce Digital Badge program.
“My interviews with 200 U.S. manufacturers shows that digital New Collar Jobs are replacing blue collar jobs and are in high demand…”
3D Printer operators, and 3D Printer service technicians both for equipment manufacturers and end users
Co-Bot workers: humans who design, program, maintain and yes, repair robots and automation tools
Data Analysts: the Internet of Things produces lots of data but humans need to interpret the findings and make management decisions.
These are all engaging, high paying jobs in modern facilities producing cool products that impact the world. As new technologies are introduced onto the Digital Factory floor, workers with the specific skills to operate, maintain, and fix the machines will increase adoption rates.
Zack West is the Director of Marketing at Novomotus.
“Anything related to machine learning and analysis of large data sets will be in high demand…”
As technology continues to increase our ability to both generate meaningful data and draw actionable insights from it. In my opinion, we’re only now seeing the tip of the iceberg with regards to the applications of machine learning. Those that endeavor to understand how to harness such technology will continue to be regarded as assets to the modern business community in a way that, in my opinion, many current roles will not.
Sophie Miles is the CEO & Co-Founder of CalculatorBuddy.com, a tech company in expansion to USA, Canada, and South Africa.
“The digital market is increasingly competitive, and…”
Companies are looking for people capable of highlighting their brand and their services or products above others. Marketing is evolving as media evolves and adapts to new sales techniques, less intrusive and more effective. The new marketing professionals who are innovative and know how to handle themselves perfectly in the digital environment are the most requested.
In particular, grows the profile Growth Hacking, a profession that comes from the common denominator found in the growth of start-ups such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Airbnb, etc., which have increased their value to millions of dollars in a short time. Companies are already more aware than ever that if they do not have an online presence, it is as if they did not exist. The person best suited for this job has to see things in a different way and attack the market with techniques that go beyond spending money on advertising.
Zach Hendrix is the Co-founder of GreenPal, which is best described as Uber for Lawn Care.
“Anything in the technology space will be more in demand in the future…”
It’s pretty obvious that every company is going to eventually become a technology-based company. But the skill set that will be in most demand are conversion rate optimization experts. These experts understand human psychology, product design, and technological execution to be able to satisfy users’ desires while achieving company goals at the same time.
Put another way, conversion rate optimization specialists make the company more money while making their customers more happy.
To be a CRO expert you have to understand human psychology, visual product design, as well as physical product design if what you are working on is a physical product. What’s more, you have to have a little bit of business acumen, stats, and lastly you need to be able to work well with other team members.
CRO experts will pull in a wide variety of teammates’ skill sets to achieve the companies objective while satisfying customers. If you want to start on a career path that will be in demand for decades, become a CRO expert.
Ben is a personal finance writer for DollarSprout.com, a personal finance blog devoted to helping readers achieve financial freedom through sensible money management and investing. Follow him on Twitter for more money saving tips, humorous pictures of his dog Sydney, and the low down on any of his other musings.
“The most in-demand jobs of the future will include…”
Physician’s Assistants and Nurse Practitioners. Job vacancy trends shift from year to year, but decades of growth in the healthcare industry have demand in the sector as high as ever. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, 10 of the Top 20 fastest growing jobs in America are all found in healthcare.
With the decentralization of healthcare, from city-based hospitals to more rural clinics, comes the need for more cost-effective practitioners for healthcare entities. This means there is an even greater demand for positions such as Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners, and Registered Nurses despite vacancies in many of those areas already.
Evan Roberts is a real estate investor with Dependable Homebuyers in Maryland.
“With an aging housing inventory, we will see a high demand for skilled labor in the future…”
A surplus of plumbers, electricians, and inspectors will be required to ensure that homes stay safe and functional as their critical components begin to fail. To keep this limited pool of technicians working efficiently we’ll also need more operations staff to work the back end and ensure that jobs are properly scheduled and materials are on-site to keep the labor productive.
Services like Wonolo will be critical in helping companies ramp up operations during peak remodeling seasons without burdensome overhead when demand dips. Lower overhead will mean lower cost services and more affordable home ownership.
Jeff Miller is a real estate agent with AE Home Group in Baltimore, MD.
“Every day, people are bombarded with more and more online marketing…”
In the future we’ll see the pendulum swing to where online marketing is so noisy that in-person door knocking will become an effective form of marketing. As a commission-based business it will become critical for us to be able to hire temporary door knockers during peak real estate seasons. To hire these temporary workers, companies like Wonolo will become an invaluable tool in keeping our marketing effective and efficient.
Alexander S. Lowry
Alexander Lowry is a professor of finance at Gordon College and also the Director for the school’s Master of Science in Financial Analysis program.
“The most in-demand career field in the future will be FinTech…”
It’s changing not only financial services, but also the world. Below are several examples of how this is happening, especially within financial services.
- Digital Currency is not Going Anywhere – While bitcoin will have a long way to go before universal acceptance like fiat currencies, it seems to be getting there, fast.
- Bitcoin as Peer-to-Peer Remittance – As compared to traditional remittance services, bitcoin remittances fees are much more affordable and the funds transfer time ranges from instant to mere hours instead of days.
- Hybrid Global Financial Platforms – There are now financial platforms that specifically support both crypto and fiat currencies; these have a global audience.
- Robo-Advisors – Robo-advisors are fund managers without the high commission rate.
- Search Engines for Financial Information – This has significantly reduced the time that finance professionals need to conduct research, which should lead to price slashing in financial advice services.
- Exchange-Traded Funds are Everywhere – ETFs are cheaper to manage and hold, easier than buying individual stocks, as diverse as mutual funds, and offer many thematic industries that are appealing to new investors.
- Non-Bank, Peer-to-Peer Lending Marketplace – Individuals and small businesses can now get access to funding from individuals through P2P lending marketplace, where multiple lending platforms now exist to connect borrowers and lenders.
Robin Schwartz, PHR
Robin Schwartz is the Managing Partner/Content Writer at MFG Jobs.
“From HVAC workers to plumbers, skilled trades offer significant opportunities to a new generation of the labor force and shouldn’t be overlooked…”
Most skilled trade careers can’t easily be outsourced to other countries or areas that have cheaper labor costs. If you call for a plumber, you expect someone to arrive at your door within a few hours. You don’t expect someone across the globe to try to walk you through a do-it-yourself toilet repair.
For that reason, many of the skilled trades can expect a certain level of job security that other professional jobs might not have. While no job is 100% secure, people still need their roofs repaired and their cars worked on. For the foreseeable future, those jobs will be handled by local skilled trade workers.
With an entire generation of workers retiring or preparing to retire, there’s an increased need in many markets for skilled tradespeople. The baby boomers that once dominated the blue collar industry have left an opening for those coming into the workforce, or those already experienced, to take over. Depending on your geographic location, the need might be significant enough to offer additional monetary incentives or free training programs.
After 13 years in operations management working for two Fortune 1000 companies, Dr. Wiedman spent 28 years teaching college courses in Management and HRM at Doane University. He is a member of the Human Resources Group of West Michigan, holds two graduate business degrees, and has earned several professional certifications.
“The following occupational areas will have strong demand well into the future…”
1) Healthcare support occupations (including home health aides and Certified Nursing Assistants working in institutional settings). Given an aging U.S. population coupled with regular advances in pharmaceuticals and medical devices, increased life expectancy will require an increasing supply of healthcare workers.
2) Healthcare practitioners and related technical occupations (including nurse practitioners, physician assistants and physical therapist assistants). The same reasoning in number 1 (above) applies to these occupations as well.
3) Computer software and application developers. As the so-called Internet of Things connects more and more of our devices, new software and apps will be required. And Internet-savvy folks seem to have an almost unlimited appetite for apps with more user-friendly features.
4) Building trades (including plumbers, electricians, and HVAC specialists). A growing population needs additional housing, so demand in the building trades will grow – especially as more and more baby-boomers retire from those jobs. While robots continue to take over jobs in other types of production, they haven’t made a dent in on-site construction work – and probably won’t for a very long time!
Rafi Zikavashvili is the CEO and co-founder of Pramp, a platform that enables developers to practice live coding interviews.
“As the world is becoming more and more mobile…”
Having skilled app developers who can not only build but consistently update and maintain high-functioning apps are key for a successful society. We use apps in our medical practices, our businesses, and our personal lives. User experience for apps is being improved all the time, and good developers need to be working to stay on top of trends and making their apps as user friendly as possible. Good app development is crucial for many businesses to stay competitive.
As AI-technology is exploding and being implemented in a huge range of industries, skilled and innovative machine-learning engineers are another type of tech worker that will be in high demand in the near future. Not only will they need to have knowledge and ability to work and develop machine learning, but also to apply these new technologies to companies of all industries and background.
Andrei Vasilescu is a renowned Digital Marketing expert and CEO of a Money Saving platform in the name of DontPayFull. He provides cutting-edge digital marketing service to various international companies and different online coupons of various brands for years.
“New age comes with the demand of new different skilled professionals who can steer the modern systems. A few of the most in-demand jobs of the near future are…”
Modern people are used to the availability of online services for whatever they want. Interacting with different apps of different companies through smartphones can solve most of your problems or fulfill your requirements. In the coming years, literally every product and service will be available only through respective mobile apps. Therefore, modern app developers will be in the most demanding position in near future.
Modern technology has provided the worldwide data storage for business data and personal data. We are now capable of uploading or downloading any of our own confidential data to or from our own safe vaults from anywhere in the world through cloud computing. All we need is an Internet connection and proper authorization. In the near future, we will intensely need skilled cloud specialists to manage our cloud stores.
Cyber security experts
We are in the time of Internet and we, civilized people, literally live on Internet service. Our financial, personal, professional, social – every type of existence depends on cyber systems. The more our lives are being dependent on cyber systems, the greater the need to secure all our confidential digital data. Therefore, cyber security experts will be in high demand to save our digital existence from cyber theft.
AI trained doctors
AI or Artificial Intelligence is now a widely talked-about phrase in the technological world. AI has changed the concept of modern applications of technology and offered ultimate solutions in various segments of our civilization, especially in the healthcare industry. But currently AI can not be widely used in healthcare, due in large part to a lack of AI-trained health specialists. Therefore, in the coming years, doctors knowing AI applications will be in demand.
Digital market analysts
We have already adapted to live in the digital world, and therefore brands are flexing and using their marketing muscles in digital marketing instead of traditional marketing. Market trend research and marketing approaches are mostly being done through digital platforms. In the coming years, traditional marketing will cease to exist. Therefore, expert digital market analysts will rule the business marketing trade.
Eric Deegear, entrepreneur and investor, was forged in the fires of Texas and currently travels the world, working remotely on his businesses from all over the globe. He is the founder of a number of companies, including New Man Revolution & Brotato Games, where new and innovative products are created for people to enjoy. His companies focus on making the world a better, healthier, and more enjoyable place to live.
“In the future, computers will handle 99% of the manufacturing, building, and other left-brain jobs…”
This will leave humans with the creative right-brain jobs such as graphic design, fashion, and media creation. The competition to be continuously creative will be high, and we will need a constant stream of ideas to direct the powerhouse of AI and technology that will be at our fingertips.
These imagination-driven jobs are the best for our future because without constant innovation and adaptation as a species, we are doomed to evolve into slobbering, motionless meat blobs, overly-stimulated by technological dopamine injections fed to us visually through recreational media feeds. Jobs that stimulate our minds, keep us active, and fuel our passions will be in high demand as we move towards a future full of distractions and complacency. The danger of falling into mediocrity or losing sight of our why is a growing concern that is not currently addressed by our education system, but we still have time to re-focus our efforts to build a future that is designed to be a help and not a hindrance to the human evolution.
Bob Bentz is president of mobile-first digital agency, Purplegator. He is also the author of RELEVANCE RAISES RESPONSE: How to Engage and Acquire with Mobile Marketing.
“There are two jobs that are in high demand…”
We are seeing a lot of activity and frustration from businesses being able to fill such openings. One is obvious – nursing. With our aging population, there is an increasing need for nurses and it will be impossible for supply to keep up with demand. The second is truck drivers. Drivers are an aging population and millennials are showing little interest in driving trucks, even with increased salaries and signing bonuses.
Jon Brodsky is Finder’s Country Manager who oversees all US operations and heads up recruitment efforts.
“In-demand jobs of the future will include…”
Robot Supervisor: Depending which forecasts you pay attention to, a significant amount of common jobs will be replaced in the coming years by robots. While this is certainly alarming, those robots will still require a level of human direction. Managing teams of robots, involving programming, strategy, and general managerial skills will be required.
Insurance Clerk for Driverless Vehicles: Auto insurance is set to be one of the biggest industries to be impacted by the implementation of driverless vehicles. With the culpability of a most accidents now shifted from driver to manufacturer, specialist roles will grow to act on behalf of each in claim scenarios.
AI Maintenance: With a growing number of consumers turning towards AI for everything from financial advice to therapy, maintaining reliable systems will be important for brand survival. AI maintenance as an industry will thrive, with people employed full time to review feedback and update systems and required.
Digital Removalist: Gen Z are not only growing up without knowledge of a world before social media, they are growing up without awareness of the consequences that can come from a regretful digital footprint. As this generation starts to enter the workforce, digital removalists will be in high demand to erase anything incriminating that could impact their future opportunities.
Rick Lauber is the Author of Caregiver’s Guide for Canadians and The Successful Caregiver’s Guide. He is also a Published Contributor in Chicken Soup for the Soul: It’s Christmas! and Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Very Good, Very Bad Cat.
“Natural human aging makes for a great career choice…”
With the growth of the number of seniors and senior caregivers throughout the country, a job seeker wouldn’t be wrong pursuing a career in senior services.
There are many opportunities for people working with both seniors and their family caregivers – think of seniors’ accommodation, driving services, home renovations, prepared and delivered meals, mobility aids, and so on. My choice was to write about my own caregiving experiences during my time helping to care for and support my mother and father (Mom had Parkinson’s disease and Leukemia while Dad had Alzheimer’s disease). Although both of my parents have now passed away, I have continued to write about seniors and senior-related issues and those stories have become the platforms for my two caregiving resource books, Caregiver’s Guide for Canadians and The Successful Caregiver’s Guide (both published by Self-Counsel Press).
Rachel Craig works in Digital Marketing & SEO at Lamps USA.
“As someone who has recently changed careers to reflect the changes in the job market…”
I would say I’m extremely familiar with the global job market and changes within it. After having worked in Sales & Account Management across various sectors, I found myself lacking relevant skills after taking a sabbatical in 2016. So I reskilled to have access to more opportunities.
To ensure you give yourself the best career opportunities, you need to understand the mechanics of the Internet, and everything that falls within it. So get knowledgeable within technology fields, whether as a programmer, blockchain developer, SEO expert, UX designer, and anything else that relies on technology. Traditional roles are being replaced with technology, and if you don’t adapt to this, you’ll miss out.
Harrison Doan is the Director of Analytics at Loom & Leaf.
“The future will see us paying more attention to…”
Crossover work with transferable skills. We will see more well-rounded workers. Gone are the days where becoming a digital marketer doesn’t also include understanding the basics of social media, SEO, and direct marketing, for example. In order to adapt to a changing landscape, we will have to become better at looking at the whole picture and creating school programs and trainings that cater to a wider set of skills.
“The world of e-commerce continues to grow at a rapid pace, and the long-term global growth outlook is very strong…”
Consider the fact that mobile commerce has only been around for about 10 years. It will only continue to grow in the next 10 years as technology continues to advance. This has created a huge job market that didn’t exist previously. Careers in web development, content creation, graphic design, photography, digital marketing, data analysis, SEO, social media, and much more are all in high demand. E-commerce is here to stay, so taking a job in the industry is a very smart move.
Uwe Weinkauf is the CEO of MW2 Consulting, experts in Enterprise Application Development, Ecommerce, IT Outsourcing, and IT Operations that deliver valuable solutions for global business needs.
“In the coming years there is going to be a great demand for computer system analysts…”
Laura Handrick is a staff writer at Fit Small Business, specializing in the full cycle of Human Resource topics from recruiting to talent management. She holds SHRM certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), a Master’s in Educational Technology, and is certified as an International Franchise Executive through the IFA.
“The best jobs in the future will be jobs that require technical skills and can be done remotely…”
These jobs will allow individuals to work from wherever they’re at, by using cloud-based tools. They will be jobs that require a high-level of expertise, such as data mining, blockchain, or bio-technologies. They will pay the most due to the advanced skills required of the job seekers. They will also be in high-demand due to the flexible nature of the work itself, which need not be done in a traditional office environment. Examples include jobs in these areas: AI, Robotics, Virtual Reality, Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Online Sales (like Amazon), Online Marketing (SEO), and social media marketing (i.e., Instagram or Pinterest), web-based jobs like programming, online video editing, and even virtual hacking. Jobs will still be needed in retail, food-service, and management. But jobs with those job titles won’t pay the most, because entry-level, local workers are plentiful in most communities. Employers can find college students and retirees to fill those jobs, as well as other local jobs with part-time schedules.
Rae Dolan is the co-owner of AMI House Buyers, a Houston area real estate investment company that buys, renovates, flips, and rents homes in the Houston and Katy, Texas areas.
“In my experience, one of the most in-demand and unfilled sectors of the job market right now are tradesmen…”
I think that as a society we became so focused on sending our kids to college that we inadvertently created a shortage of qualified workers in the various trades.
According to the Associated General Contractors of America, 70% of construction companies nationwide are having problems finding skilled workers for available positions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates construction will be one of the fastest growing sectors in the country over the next five years. Trade schools are cheaper to attend, faster to graduate from, and for tradespeople who are both skilled and take pride in their work, the opportunities are nearly endless in most markets.
Nate Masterson is the Marketing Manager for Maple Holistics.
“There are a few jobs likely to be in-demand in the future…”
1. Application software developers
Everything tech related is a big deal, with regard to applications you’re taking the mass market approach to tech. The common classic ridiculous millionaire story is the pet rock, every application is the has pet rock potential. Right now, and for the foreseeable future applications, even dumb ones, thanks to the mass market scheme have huge upside potential.
2. Financial advisers
As long as social security looks like a pyramid scheme, and uncertainty plagues the economy, retirement savings is going to be in high demand. The current estimates are that are that you need to save 1.5 to 3 million dollars for retirement business can only get better if you’re in finance, as more people desperately find the need to get their finances in order.
3. Nurse practitioner
In the wake of the current healthcare crisis, a bipartisan solution is in the works. The solution is to make nurse practitioners the new doctors. After all, nurses are qualified to handle 90% of patients; it’s the other 10% that we need doctors for.
Tom Hartel is the president at Valley Fire Protection Systems, LLC. He acquired his expertise by directing day-to-day operations of the business for over 20 years. Continuous hard work helped him become a nationally recognized speaker and expert on fire protection and plumbing systems.
“One promising job that will be in-demand in the future is…”
Handymen. Less and less people know how to fix occasional domestic repairs. Whether it’s a leaky toilet or a washing machine that stopped working, people will need professional help for these jobs. Whether it’s cars, computers, phones, or door locks, less people are able to fix them on their own. And, yes you can always buy a new computer or phone when the last one stops working. But you won’t be able to change doors or solve plumbing problems at home. The companies aren’t really interested in making unbreakable things because they want their new products to sell.
Konstantinos is an accomplished marketing and business professional at HVAC Experts. He has strong background in growing small- to medium-sized business. He’s experienced in working with C-level executives to create and execute on growth strategies.
“There’s no such thing as a specific career that will be for sure in demand in 20 years…”
Nobody thought that you could make money on YouTube, sell products on Amazon, Instagram, or other platforms by creating a niche website 20 years ago. For some people, it’s still difficult to understand how people make money on the Internet. But if somebody doesn’t understand it, that doesn’t mean it’s not happening. The main reason why people are able to make money in our day and age is not because they went to a fancy college; it’s all because they see an opportunity and they’re not afraid to take a risk. More importantly, these people are able to learn how to adapt new information fast. You can’t stop learning even if you have a steady job.
Sarunas is the owner of U.S.-based B2B marketing agency, Angle180. He’s committed to creating value-added solutions tailored to the customers business needs. Sarunas is a web design and marketing expert with over 300 projects under his belt. He is passionate about delivering extraordinary user experiences and exceeding client expectations.
“One job that’s sure to be in-demand in the future is…”
Sales people. Or in other words, people who have convincing ideas. There are loads of ideas around us, but only a few worth attention. It becomes more and more valuable to set yourself apart. I’m not talking about telemarketing or unskilled sales. The way people sell continuously changes, as well. And those who can’t adapt to the changes will unfortunately be left behind as well. It’s not about quantity calls anymore. It’s about carefully choosing your target audience and selecting marketing and then sales techniques that actually work.
Andrew Selepak, PhD
Andrew Selepak is a professor in the department of telecommunication at the University of Florida, and Director of the graduate program in social media.
“Just as automation killed off many of the manufacturing jobs in the United States, Artificial Intelligence and computers will do the same to even more jobs…”
We have already seen self-check-out lanes in the grocery store, Walmart, and Lowe’s replace workers, and the ordering kiosk is doing the same at McDonalds. For sports journalists, artificial intelligence is already capable of writing post-game stories after only being fed a few statistics and names from the game or match. And Artificial Intelligence can replace workers when it comes to online customer service. Artificial intelligence will also be better economic advisors and financial planners as they crunch more numbers and review more data than any human.
We are in the beginning of the AI revolution, but it is only the start. Jobs of the future will have to do what will take computers longer to learn, which is how to be creative. AI can go a post-game recap, but it cannot tell the story of how one play impacted the whole game. AI cannot explain how where a player grew up impacted their motivation to win. Artificial Intelligence cannot respond emotionally to an event. Jobs in the future will be those that depend on human reaction and human emotion.
A computer or even your Google Home device can listen to your problems, but it cannot empathize with you like a grief counselor. Machines can learn to play sports, but without the drama behind human failings on the court or field, the interest would wane. We can use computers to design websites, logos, targeted advertising campaigns, and movies, but it will be humans with a lifetime of experience and emotional instincts that will create the advertising, entertainment, journalism, public relations, art, and architecture that resonate with the human spirit.
Machines won’t eliminate all jobs, but they will severely reduce the number of jobs in some fields more than others. Those who know how to work with these machines and program them will be the ones with jobs long into the future. But it will also be those who know how to do the things that machines and AI won’t be able to do for some time, if ever, that will be creating jobs long into the future. Technology almost always wins. While it may be cheaper now in many areas to still rely on human labor to accomplish many jobs, machines don’t break down, they don’t take sick days, and they can work 24 hours a day including holidays. How we respond to this is what will matter.