As AI continues to advance, what future jobs are just over the horizon?
Despite fears of automation taking away jobs, the need for skilled humans to operate, utilise and advance technologies will remain unequivocally necessary.
While there are plenty of people who fear robots taking over their jobs, there are also many important positives to automation.
This starts with having robots in the workplace to treat like robots, and revaluing human employees as actual humans with a need for purpose and work-life balance.
Automation, and augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) all lead to the idea that human workers will be valued for their uniquely human skills, such as creativity and innovative thinking.
But, even with this knowledge, employees still worry about the risk posed by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Surely the advancements in automation will displace some jobs before new ones are created?
Alan Stukalsky, chief digital officer at Randstad North America, isn’t too concerned. “We’re still in the very early stages of AI,” he said.
“While it’s true that AI will displace certain jobs, it will also create a number of new jobs as well. In fact, according to Forrester Research findings, over the next 10 years, nearly 15m new jobs will be created in the US because of the evolution of AI.”
Stukalsky believes that this job creation will come from the need for skilled humans to control, apply and advance AI and machine-learning technologies, no matter how sophisticated it becomes.
Jobs of the future
According to Stukalsky, AI will create a whole new set of in-demand jobs that will pay well. “Most likely, they’ll be software and IT jobs, like robotics architects and AR/VR engineers, who will help design and develop systems that control robots,” he said.
“Other jobs such as cybersecurity roles, business analysts and financial analysts will also expand as a result of AI.”
Indeed, the advancements in technology and machine learning have already catapulted roles such as data scientist into the most in-demand jobs in the tech world right now.
Stukalsky believes that AR/VR engineers and AI architects will be tomorrow’s data scientist in terms of the hottest jobs in tech.
“This is not to say that the data science profession is losing speed; data scientists will continue to be in demand. But the most successful data scientists will be people who can tie business acumen to data science,” said Stukalsky.
Unsurprisingly, Stukalsky agrees with the general consensus that soft skills will be our saviour as the robots supposedly rise up.
“Soft skills include everything from excellent communication skills to top-notch teamwork and leadership instincts, all of which contribute to stronger organisations that are able to seamlessly blend the human and technology worlds,” he said.
‘Employee training should be considered a company investment, not a resource drain’
– ALAN STUKALSKY
While our own soft skills are what will set us apart in the future of work, Stukalsky still advises people to start upskilling now. Anything from signing up to an online course to engaging with every training opportunity your company may offer will help you on the road to success.
“Depending on an individual’s intended career trajectory, it’s important for people to do some research and find out what skills will be most in demand for their professions in the next decade and make sure to find avenues to get up to speed with them now,” he said.
“It’s also essential for employers to find ways to help their employees upskill in order to narrow the widening skills gap. Companies should strive to implement workshops or courses so employees are able to strengthen their capabilities without having to pay out of their pockets. Employee training should be considered a company investment, not a resource drain.”
Regardless of the new jobs, and the roles that will no longer exist because of AI, it’s fair to say that the workplace as we know it today will change dramatically.
Stukalsky concluded: “The people who have prepared by upskilling will find these types of adjustments easier to make, not to mention they’ll be positioned better to take advantage of new job opportunities.”