Researchers at Oxford and Deloitte concluded after a study that 35% of jobs in the UK are under threat of being replaced by robots or automation in 20 years. In the same way, a quarter of jobs in the United States face a similar risk, according to a report by Brookings Institution.
Reading all this news and studies brings a question into mind: will robots take our job? The answer is not so simple. Some jobs will likely never go away, but then there are some under threat. For instance, healthcare providers, nurses, police officers are safe, but the industrial and warehouse workforce and other jobs related to labor-intensive production and transport industries are at risk.
Let’s look at the scenario of robots taking over jobs to understand more and conclude!
Technological advancement is playing a massive role in every field. It’s helping humans manage and do work more effectively, be it with the help of gadgets or machinery. As the world is getting faster, it is moving towards automation, and robots play a pivotal role in it.
The corporate sector of developed nations is ready to dive into the robotic age. As much as it’ll help them cut workforce costs and manufacture and transport goods quickly and efficiently, it poses a severe threat to related jobs industry, and you can see the outcry already.
Jobs Under Threat of Automation
With the imminent threat of robots taking over jobs, you must know which jobs are at higher risk. So if you hold any such position, you can ‘upskill, reskills, or change jobs fast,’ as Mark, a senior fellow at Brookings and the lead author of the report, quoted earlier.
Under direct exposure are waiters, cashiers, cooks, clerical office workers, warehouse staff, etc. A Washington think tank report says that 36 million Americans have jobs with ‘high exposure‘ to automation. It means 70% of the tasks they do could be replaced by automation!
To give you an idea, this is how automation will replace jobs:
- Restaurants are shifting to self-ordering machines; some are experimenting with robot-assisted kitchens. (Waiters, cooks at risk)
- Google’s running pilot projects of integrating its digital voice assistant at hotel lobbies that’ll interpret in different languages. (Receptionists at risk)
- Self-driving autonomous vehicles and drones pose a threat to delivery drivers.
- Retails are preparing to move towards cashier-less stores. (Cashiers at risk)
So to say, elementary occupations like couriers, waiters, guards, cleaners, mail sorters, messengers and couriers, farmworkers, bar staff, etc., are at the highest risk. Next in line are people associated with process, plant, and machine operatives.
Jobs that Will Never Go Away
Need not worry. There are still a large number of jobs that are away from becoming obsolete. In no way you’re going to see a sci-fi-like future where robots are doing everything, leaving people to fight over a piece of bread.
While there are jobs at risk that you’ve already read above, numerous jobs are there to stay for long. These career paths remain far-fetched from the robotization movement and will remain there despite significant developments in the future.
Let’s start with healthcare providers. Although automated tools and machinery help healthcare providers collect data and conduct tests, tending to the sick’s needs and examining a patient requires interpersonal communication and emotional intelligence-which machines lack big time.
So to say, physicians, surgeons, nurses, midwives, and other highly skilled professionals remain unaffected by automation.
Next, police officials and security personnel will maintain law and order unless the world delves into chaos, and an apocalypse occurs. Naming a few jobs related to it are detectives, CCTV surveillance, military personnel, criminal investigators, prosecutors, and other jobs that contribute to the law enforcement sector in any way, be it training academies or judges and associates in criminal justice, etc.
The list goes on, and hundreds of professional paths are away from the ‘robots taking over jobs‘ threat. To name a few, although not limited to these, are legal assistants, judges, arbitrators, mediators, educators, curators, museum workers, IT engineers, roofers, traders, technicians, book-keepers, and associate professionals and executives, directors, senior officials, etc.
The list is never-ending, and while there are jobs at risk of automation, there are still many opportunities for you out there.
In a nutshell, automation makes it easier for the corporate world to cut production costs and increase profits, making it harder for people at these jobs to earn bread and butter. Although many jobs are still far away from the automation wave, not everybody can opt for it.
The viable solution seems to ‘upskill, reskill, or change jobs fast,’ as Mark of Brookings Institution said.