All of us should prepare now for the jobs of the future. We are facing the biggest labor shift since the early 1900’s, all due to the core topic we examine here at Things Cyber, the role of advanced technologies.
New research from the McKinsey Global Institute helps provide context on the dynamics facing the future workforce. Over the next 15 years, nearly 15% of the global workforce will need to shift job fields in disruptive ways. By 2030, up to 375 million workers will change occupation categories completely. Another 800 million globally could be displaced entirely by robotics and artificial intelligence.
We already live in a world filled with technology promise and peril for the work force. Cars that drive themselves, automated equipment that mines for minerals and farm the land and oceans, robots that mow our lawns and clean our floors, voice enabled AI that commands our home IoT, machines that read and more accurately interpret medical reports and x-rays, and powerful big data analytics that run over all enterprise data to drive decisions are but a few examples.
Projecting the impact these AI and Robotics gains will have on the workforce is hard. McKinsey applies focused research, grounded fact-based examinations, and scenario-based review of these topics in their projections.
Some insights to keep in mind for your personal planning:
- About half the things people are paid to do globally can theoretically be automated.
- But few occupations, less than 5%, consist of activities that can be fully automated
- In about 60% of occupations, one third of the constituent activities can be automated, meaning big changes are going to occur within occupations including having fewer people doing certain things.
- Robotics and AI will lift productivity and economic growth, but millions will need to shift jobs
- Activities most susceptible to automation include physical ones in predictable environments, like operating machinery and preparing fast food or collecting and processing data.
- Expect less impact on jobs that involve managing people, applying expertise and social interactions. Jobs that work in unpredictable environments will also see less automation
- Expect large shifts in the workforce over the next 15 years. Many people will need to find new jobs.
- There will very likely be enough work in the future. But the shifts will not be smooth for all.
What should the forward thinking individual do about this situation? Here are suggestions from Things Cyber:
- Consider your own skill level. Learn what you can about technologies of robotics and artificial intelligence so you can help apply them to your position and can help anticipate how they will shift the dynamics in your field
- Consider how you should be retrained personally and consider new education for yourself and your family.
- Read broadly. Reading helps prepare you for situations you have never encountered.
- Interact with politicians to ensure they are thinking about the broader workforce. They can help ensure there is more business and labor-market dynamism, including worker mobility. Governments can also help ensure there is income and transition support as the workforce shifts
- Stay current on all Things Cyber.
Regarding this last point, be sure to engage with us on all these topics on Twitter at @ThingsCyber.