How to future-proof your career in the age of robotics
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation is becoming increasingly powerful, cropping up in self-driving cars or smartphones that recognise their owners’ faces. While it’s not yet at the point of taking over our jobs, the future of AI in the workforce is unavoidable. So, the question on everybody’s lips is ‘how do I prevent robots from taking over my job?’
Make yourself adaptable
Show those robots who’s boss.
The simple answer is: you can’t stop robots from taking your job. Adaptability is going to be your best tool in kicking those job-stealing bots to the curb. Jobs that have some type of repetitive activity are more at risk of automation, as machine learning algorithms can be easily programmed to complete recurring or mundane tasks.
Pro tip: Want to know the jobs most susceptible to automation? This survey examined 700 careers to find the top 12 most at-risk jobs:
– Data Entry Keyers
– Library Technicians
– New Accounts Clerks
– Photographic Process Workers and Processing Machine Operators
– Tax Preparers
– Cargo and Freight Agents
– Watch Repairers
– Insurance Underwriters
– Mathematical Technicians
– Sewers, Hand
– Title Examiners, Abstractors, and Searchers
These jobs are more likely to be stepping-stone jobs that lead to greater opportunity within that career field. With these foot-in-the-door opportunities lost, you’ll need to be ready to adapt your skills to other roles.
Pro tip: Want to know the jobs least susceptible to automation? The same study has found these 8 occupations to have an automation likelihood of 0.35% or less.
– Recreational Therapists
– First-Line Supervisors of Mechanics, Installers, and Repairers
– Emergency Management Directors
– Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers
– Occupational Therapists
– Orthotists and Prosthetists
– Healthcare Social Workers
Develop your soft skills
Don’t try this at work.
The common denominator of the careers least likely to be automated is ‘soft skills’. ‘Hard skills’, or the skills you learn at university or work that are career-specific will still be important; however, as automation takes over certain tasks and redefines job roles, the hard skills you need to have will be ever-changing. This may mean undertaking a second degree or participating in ongoing training at work.
Soft skills will remain relatively constant throughout your career. This is because soft skills are the abilities we have to relate to other people, communicate or empathise. They are the skills that make you easy to work with, and make employers want to invest in you. Human connection is the hardest thing to imitate through robotics and will help you stand out from the automated crowd.
Pro tip: Check out this crash course in how to improve your soft skills, for a better, more employable you.
Find a stable career field
In the year 2030, there will be 300 million more people over the age of 65 than there were in 2014. It’s a staggering statistic that gives us an insight into the world’s ageing population. And what does an ageing population spend more money on? Healthcare.
Healthcare is already an increasingly understaffed profession that offers job security and longevity. Better yet, it relies on a lot of the soft skills that are difficult to automate. Healthcare jobs also account for a large proportion of the jobs least at risk of automation, as listed above. With a job in a stable field, you’ll be kicking career goals in no time!
Get a leg-up on unstable robots.
Pro tip: Read our latest copy of Careers with Health magazine for all the inspiration you need to kickstart your career!
– Eliza Brockwell
GIFs via Giphy.
Author: Eliza Brockwell
Eliza is the Digital Producer for Careers with STEM. Eliza is passionate about creating content that encourages diversity of representation in STEM.