The world is always changing. Long gone are the days when you could make a living as a phone operator, or a toll booth attendant. This is the “information age”, leading into the “automaton age” where convenience has eliminated the need for many tasks that only twenty years ago were considered secure human jobs. Because of artificial intelligence, or AI, there seems to be a growing and unsettling ambiance surrounding the future of sustainable employment. However, as I recently learned, it is important to understand which direction things are heading in, in order to be better prepared for the coming changes, and to proactively adapt to secure your role in the future.
As I have been growing my career at TrainUp.com, I have also recently gone back to school. Juggling a full time work commitment with being a full time student isn’t easy, especially because I had been out of the classroom for about 10 years before returning. However, given this span of time that I had been out of the classroom, there has been an unforeseen benefit. In going back to school right now, I am now learning about the very latest innovations that weren’t around even just 5 years ago! This article is derived from the interesting conversations that we have in my classes, as well as at work, about the future and where things are headed next.
Last semester, my ‘Information Systems for Business’ professor stressed the importance of all of his students learning about new technology and being ready for what’s next. He made sure we understood the significance of technology in all industries and how it has, and will continue to change things forever. He knew from his own career in the telecom industry, having seen vast changes over time as it evolved from the mainframe era and simple databases, to now working with cloud technology, that you either adapt to new innovation or you become obsolete.
I sat there in his night class, digesting these words carefully. They linger with me still weeks after class. Should I be afraid? Should I be doing more to be ready? I understand that I should at least be keeping up with new tools and trying to at least have a basic understanding of what they are, how they are used, and how they can help me as I grow.
He would say things like, “I firmly believe that in order to survive this automation era we are verging on, you must embrace change and learn about new technology.”
As I thought about this some more, I did a little research into how this is expected to impact the job market. In fact, inc.com recently published an article about the industries expected to thrive within the next few years. These industries include the design and development of virtual reality, drones, and many other technology based innovations. This brings me to the entire point of this article: learning never stops, especially if you want to work in one of the thriving industries of the future!
The best way to remain valuable at your company is to keep up with technology and always be learning something new.
For example, in class we were encouraged to learn a programming language! I would say the at-risk job roles are those that are simplistic and task-oriented, those are the ones that could most easily become automated by AI within the next 5–10 years. You don’t want AI to push you out of your job, so seek out learning opportunities in order to continuously add value to what you contribute to your company.
A recent example of artificial intelligence replacing a repetitive, task-oriented job would be the evolution of grocery store check-out within the last ten years. Self-checkout eliminated the need for a great number of cashier employees, as did the new curb-side pick-up options now being implemented at Walmart and other grocery store chains worldwide. This service allows shoppers to purchase their goods online and simply drive up to the storefront to collect them later. Now we are even seeing this technology go further with Amazon’s breakthrough ‘Amazon Go’ stores.
We now even have replacements for jobs such as personal assistants, due to new technology from innovative corporations like Google. Thanks to their advancements in “deep-learning technology”, a robot could essentially fill job roles like that of Anne Hathaway’s character in the movie, The Devil Wears Prada. I enjoy thinking about this- Yes, now a robot could be the one terrorized by the dragon lady! This new technology is known as Google Duplex. Check out the video!
Of course, the younger you are, the more you need to think about future changes.
As my professor often mentioned, your entire life is what’s left ahead of you- with many breakthrough technological advances still just a gleam on the horizon. Yet, I feel this is true regardless of your age if you are still in the workforce with many years to go before retirement. There is a refreshed need for highly educated professionals within new developing technology sectors. However, if technology is not your passion, there are still industries out there looking for you! Some unique job roles allow you to bring distinctive value to the workforce that an algorithm could never replace.
However, no matter which industry you are in, technology is still going to play a critical part in how you do what you do, how you access information, and much more. Even if your current business isn’t a pioneer in the technology sector, that doesn’t mean you should not be learning about the latest advances. Businesses must adapt to work in parallel with new technology. New information systems can enhance your role, rather than threaten it. They streamline processes and communication. To ensure positive growth, companies are working hard to integrate new technology, while simultaneously creating new job roles concerning the maintenance of these new systems.
The important thing here is an ever present need for employee training.
Lucky for you, you have landed on an article from TrainUp.com-The web’s largest training marketplace. If there is something you would like to learn, or if you are considering a career change and you would like more information about training on IT or on a specific software product, we are your best resource for that. Browse our training categories and utilize our instant chat feature with any on-the-spot questions- I am pleased to report that a human being still controls our instant chat feature!
If you seek an even higher level of human interaction, give us a call at (866) 540-9677 for advice from our dedicated training experts. Humans answer our phones too- better yet they are training experts! Together we can find the right training pathway to help you stay ahead and reach your specific learning goals. Just, uh, please don’t have your robot assistant make the call for you.