Do you know which jobs will survive automation?
The impending "robopocalypse" won't eliminate all jobs; many will endure, defying predictions. Generations undergo cycles of industry transformation, a process lasting around 25 years. This cycle, observed since the first Industrial Revolution, has evolved due to the mainstream integration of computers and the Internet. This has led to the creation of highly capable robots and AI systems, accelerating technological change. Unlike the gradual replacement of old professions, entirely new industries appear almost annually.
However, labor automation won't uniformly impact all sectors. Societal needs will influence the pace of technological advancement, which suggests that various fields will resist automation:
Accountability: Highly regulated roles such as doctors, police officers, and judges, directly influencing public safety, will be among the last to be automated.
Liability: Legal and reputational risks favor human responsibility in companies due to potential failures or injuries caused by robots.
Relationships: Professions reliant on intricate relationships, such as sales, consulting, coaching, and leadership, remain difficult to automate due to emotional and social intelligence requirements.
Caregivers: Human-centered roles like caring for children, the sick, and the elderly, resist automation due to the need for empathy and human interaction.
Creative Jobs: While robots can produce original art, humans' preference for human-created art forms will persist.
Building and Repairing: Demand for STEM and trade skills, from engineers to tradespeople, will persist due to the complexity of particular tasks.
Historically, adaptable individuals have thrived. Societal evolution prompted specialization, but modern trends challenge this. Basic jobs are established; innovation arises at the intersection of previously distinct fields. To succeed, versatility is key. Polymaths with varied skills can solve challenges, making them valuable, cost-effective hires adaptable across industries.
Robots target tasks, not entire jobs. Repetitive tasks are automated, freeing humans to focus on creative endeavors. While many jobs will vanish, societal trends suggest new jobs will emerge over the next two decades.
The concept of survival of the fittest has evolved over time. Early humans needed diverse skills, but specialization grew with the advent of agriculture and industry. However, the reality today contradicts this principle. Basic jobs and industries are established; innovation emerges from the convergence of previously distinct fields.
To thrive in the future job market, a diverse skill set is essential. Polymaths who can navigate multiple disciplines are better equipped to solve complex problems, making them valuable hires across industries. This approach also ensures resilience in fluctuating labor markets.
Contrary to fears, robots aren't after jobs but rather routine tasks. Repetitive, monotonous tasks are automated, allowing humans to focus on creative, strategic work. For those in complex roles, automation improves efficiency and productivity, benefiting both individuals and society.
While many jobs are predicted to disappear due to automation, emerging societal trends suggest the rise of new employment opportunities in the next two decades. This potential wave of new jobs could mark a significant era of mass employment, offering hope for the future workforce.