Technology’s Effect On The Future Of Jobs

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Who could question that technology is evolving at a rapid pace? Technology has revolutionized the way we shop, bank, communicate, and navigate. It has long been a staple in the workplace, but in its advanced form, it stands to do far more than offering a screen and keyboard for completing daily tasks. The tech of the future stands ready to dramatically revolutionize and replace some longstanding jobs, changing the face of the global workforce forever.

Growth in Remote Work Opportunities

Technologies such as cloud computing and video conferencing have made remote work opportunities increasingly accessible. Co-working facilities are popping up to accommodate the new breed of freelancer or teleworker, offering offices and desks for rent on an individual basis.

Remote work options offer a wealth of benefits to both employers and employees. Around 30 percent of telecommuters feel the arrangement makes them more productive, and 82 percent experience less job-related stress in this arrangement. Employee turnover falls by 50 percent when companies offer remote work opportunities, and operating costs often declines by millions of dollars. This trend seems to work exceedingly well for all involved.   

Automation for Monotonous Tasks

McKinsey & Co. estimates that about half of the activities for which people earn wages could be automated using technology that already exists. Turning these tasks over to automated technologies would account for around $15 trillion in global wages. Simple, repetitive tasks are the most likely target for automation. While few jobs could be entirely automated, most jobs could become at least partly automated.

Easily automated activities are most common in the following industries:

  • Manufacturing
  • Retail
  • Hospitality
  • Food service

While automation may seem scary, it’s not entirely unprecedented. Technology has long been stepping in to take over various tasks. Calculators replaced manual calculations, and computer algorithms stepped in to improve upon calculators. Those who keep up with the pace of technology and familiarize themselves with the latest tools of their trade can evolve along with the technology in their changing professional roles.

The Extinction of Traditional Jobs

While most jobs will simply evolve with technology, some are ready to disappear as high-tech alternatives take over. Delivery drivers may soon cede their business to drones. Widespread use of automated long-haul trucking is fast approaching, and over a quarter of truck drivers believe that technology will make it harder for them to a find a job within the next five years. Online booking sites do the work of travel agents. Bookkeeping software can act as an accountant, and language interpretation software may someday replace translators.

Although a need will still exist for skilled workers to make, install, and maintain the technology that’s taking over traditional jobs, professionals from within that industry won’t necessarily be those who fill the roles. Software developers and engineers will step in to tend to the high-tech replacements for many positions.

With the future seemingly uncertain for many professions, the most important takeaway is that those who are comfortable with technology have the best chances of succeeding. Keep up with the trends and stay tech-savvy to set your place in this changing world.   

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