Is your job safe from the ax of automation? Will your skills survive the age of Artificial Intelligence (AI)? What skills set do you need to hone now to secure a job in the post-automation world?
Although humanity knew all along that automation was inevitable, it’s all happening too fast.
Things that could only be possible in a Sci-Fi film are now changing every aspect of our lives, including the way we do business and work. In fact, a recent study by Oxford University[i] has revealed that the developed world can expect job loss rates to the tune of 47 percent in the next two decades or so.
The finding is also corroborated by another comprehensive study conducted by Pew Research Center. It asserts that AI and robotics will infiltrate nearly every facet of our daily life by 2025. According to the study, a plethora of industries will take a brunt of a beating from impending automation, including customer service, healthcare, logistics, transport, and homecare just to mention a few.
The bigger question, however, is: which industries, or rather professions, will face minimal or no threat from automation? If you are looking for an AI-proof career path, you have come to the right place.
We are going to walk you through 10 skills thatare not being automated. And by that virtue, these are must-have skills if you desire to stand out from the “machines.”
First Things First: Which Skills are Most Likely to be Axed by Automation?
Some might not seem obvious, but others are. Either way, stay away from these jobs/skills because they have a 99% chance of being replaced by AI and robotics (according to the Oxford University study[ii]):
- Telemarketing – what a no-brainer, right?
- Data entry
- Accounting clerks
- Process machine operators
- Photographic processing
- Tax preparation
- Freight & Cargo handling
- Insurance Underwriting
- Hand Sewing
- Watch repairing
The list goes on and on.
10 Automation-Proof Skills
We all know too well what will happen if robots or AI overrun our courts. Yes, we can use these mind-boggling technologies to facilitate research, fact-finding, and other trivial parts of our court system. However, they cannot replace the human touch when it comes to legal matters. They cannot simply take the place of judges, DAs, and lawyers. More specifically, automation won’t be able to mimic our innate ability to tell what’s right from wrong: judgment.
Conflict negotiation and resolution are two other skills that will remain intact in the face of AI and robotics. If you are gearing towards a law career, however, you must realize that not every position is safe. Paralegals, whose work involves searching for and collecting relevant legal data, will definitely feel the automation heat.
#2. Communication Skills
According to Statista, an average adult American spends nearly 12 hours consuming media. That’s lots of information, implying that communication skills will form an integral part of our everyday life in the future. That is not to say robotics have not been applied to authorship and proliferation of information. Remember the recent incidents of fake news?
The truth of the matter, however, is that people still prefer their news and information to be written in a compelling and sensible way. So, if you are thinking of a career in journalism, your skills will live to see another day.
#3. Content Creation Skills
On the same but lighter note, the ability to create original and captivating content will still be in high demand. In fact, it’ll be hard to automate original content creation – the art of being able to communicate about a given topic in a succinct and refreshingly unique way. As such, if you have a combination of the skills and expertise to churn out new knowledge, you will be able to keep robots at bay.
#4. Creative Skills
Having great imagination and a knack for creativity means that you will be able to invent new things and dream up concepts that don’t already exist. Of course, robots, when coupled with AI, can collect and analyze existing, and use insights to produce music, art, food, and whatnot. However, they cannot beat human creativity.
The good news is that creativity can always keep you a step ahead of the pack, including robots. Whether you have a way with words or a knack for creating innovative products, your skills and crafts are in safe hands.
If there’s something that makes us human, it’s empathy. True, robots can carry out simple human interactions like reply to an email or offer customer support via an automated answering machine. Even with top-level AI, they cannot empathize with someone. In other words, robots cannot truly understand nor connect with people on an emotional level.
#6. Athleticism and Physical Skill
From time immemorial, humans have always been fascinated by the utter physical skill of our minds and bodies. Athletics, for instance, is a profession that will always been appreciated despite the epic speeds, dexterity, and agility robots can deliver.
#7. Planning Skill
Being able to plan ahead fast and accurately is an incredible skill that can come in handy in just about any business or career. But that’s not something robots can do. Yes, they can schedule appointments, but they cannot anticipate shifts in priorities, unknown outcomes, and missing information.
#8. Tech Management Skills
It might seem counterintuitive, but it’s true. It is somewhat laughable because most at-risk skills are those associated with technology. But when all’s said and done, we still need someone with the skills required to manage and stay on top of the automation tech itself.
#9. Teaching Skills
Proliferation of technology has made it possible for millions to access information and educational materials in a snap. However, teaching as a skill calls for understanding the context. That’s why talented tutors, coaches, and teachers will remain the cornerstone of our education system despite automation.
#10. Leadership and Social Skills
Nothing will change the fact that machines/robots are soulless. That’s why their interaction and connection with us will always feel “fake” and cold. As such, they’ll not cultivate or exercise leadership. Good leaders, as they say, have an affinity for caring, empathizing, and connecting with others on a personal level. Nothing of the same can be said of robots.
There you have it, skills that automation won’t replace in the foreseeable future. Coincidentally, these are innate human skills that borrow an emotional leaf in one way or the other. For all intents and purposes, AI and robots might actually help us sharpen these skills, but won’t replace them.
[i]Scott, P. (2017, September 27). These are the jobs most at risk of automation according to Oxford University: Is yours one of them? Retrieved from https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/09/27/jobs-risk-automation-according-oxford-university-one/
[ii]Scott, P. (2017, September 27). These are the jobs most at risk of automation according to Oxford University: Is yours one of them? Retrieved from https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/09/27/jobs-risk-automation-according-oxford-university-one/
Research exposes the £68.8 billion opportunity for UK retailers
- Modelling shows increasing the proportion of online sales by 5 percentage points would have significantly boosted retailers’ revenues during the first lockdown
- 72% of Brits want retailers who started an online service during the pandemic to continue operating it full time
New data released today by global payments platform Adyen, outlines the economic gains that could be accessed by getting more UK retailers online.
Economic modelling conducted by Cebr for Adyen indicates that if the retail sector increased the proportion of turnover stemming from online channels by 5 percentage points, £68.8 billion would have been added to the economy during the first lockdown.
While retail turnover stemming from online sales has grown significantly during 2020 – from 19% to 28%, there is still considerable room for growth.
Myles Dawson, UK Managing Director of Adyen comments: “The UK retail sector is facing an incredibly tough quarter, so creating the link between physical stores and online channels is more important than ever. With the festive period approaching and many shoppers unable, or uncomfortable leaving their homes, establishing and maintaining a positive online experience is a billion-pound opportunity for retailers.”
The research of 2,000 UK consumers found that 31% are less likely to shop in physical stores now because of positive experiences shopping online during the pandemic. Furthermore, 72% of these consumers want retailers who started an online service during the pandemic to continue operating it in the long term.
However, making the process of shopping online as frictionless as possible will be key to unlocking the opportunity presented by online channels. 70% of Brits say that when shopping online, the ease of use is as important as the quality of the product, and 72% won’t shop with a retailer whose website or app is difficult to navigate.
Myles Dawson concludes: “Many retailers did amazing things during the pandemic in terms of adapting and creating new experiences – it’s a testimony to their agility that 57% of Brits said their expectations of the retail sector has improved during the pandemic. The challenge now is to consistently meet these expectations going forward. With local lockdowns in place, online channels will be key to serving many consumers in the short term. However, retailers need to see the shift to unified commerce as a long-term trend. The sooner they can demonstrate agility and jump on board, the longer they’ll reap the rewards.”
2 Research conducted by Opinium Research LLP
Want to serve your customers better? An effective online strategy is what financial institutions need
By Anna Willems, Marketing Director, Mention
A strong online presence matters.
Having a strong online presence, that involves social media is now a crucial part of all business strategies. Whether they are retail brands, sports teams, libraries or even restaurants, most companies are investing more and more in developing their digital brand image and online presence – financial institutions are no exception.
When it comes to market trends and innovation, financial institutions are first on the line. After all, we — people and companies — trust them to manage our money to the best of their abilities. And even more so than any other market, we demand secure, trustworthy, fast and user-friendly services.
Reaching such high expectations is not a given. To this point, banks and other financial institutions have no other choice but to have a perfect understanding of their market, their audience, and their needs. What they need to get there is a fail-proof online strategy.
Gaining a deep understanding of your market
One of the best things about using social media to learn about your audience is that people give unsolicited opinions. They speak their mind and share their thoughts candidly.
This is the key to help any business to learn about themselves. They get to analyze their audience’s challenges and aspirations without having to ask them directly or serve them time-consuming surveys and polls.
UK-based Asto, a company that is part of the Santander Group, is committed to helping small businesses have access to financial and non-financial tools. Asto was looking for something that could help them discover what their target audience was talking about and find opportunities to add to the conversation. Mention enabled Asto to keep on top of reviews and customer comments, which has helped us provide a better service for our customers.
Which platform suits your offering the best?
There’s no point choosing to create campaigns on TikTok if your customers don’t use it – you need to think about who they are and work back from there.
You do this by automating the process using a social listening tool. A social listening tool will help you to view your market as a whole and identify where the key conversations are happening — and, therefore, where you should be. What’s more, you will never miss any relevant mention of your institutions, products, services, or competitors.
Handling a crisis
Financial institutions need to watch carefully for negative press – social media is the first place people will go to if they feel they’re not getting the service they need. In theory, rogue employees or unhappy clients can post anything they like online to try and hurt your brand. And if their messages gain traction, you’ve gone from one person saying bad things, to thousands.
That’s why listening needs to be part of any crisis management plan. Now, sometimes, there are crises you cannot prevent. And those usually hit pretty hard.
Power of influencers
For an influencer marketing campaign to work for your financial institution, partnering with nano content creators may well be the best way to go. They’re ability to play a part in how they shape your brand story can make a huge difference when it comes to engagement and reason to believe in your service.
Many financial institutions are already leveraging influencer marketing. It’s an efficient strategy to: Build trust and gain credibility, reach out to new audiences and share engaging stories.
The online review conundrum
94% of consumers check online reviews before they decide to buy something or subscribe to a service. They need what we call social proof. It says that the more people say they use your service, the more it will look like a good service. In short, you need to show how happy people are using your service. But not all online reviews are positive.
Having said that, we find that financial institutions shouldn’t ignore negative reviews. Instead, embrace them as an opportunity to rebuild trust in your brand. Less delicately put, take the bull by the horns and turn them to your advantage. Always respond to relevant complaints (and as fast as possible). Take responsibility for what happened. Be helpful.
And ignore trolls.
Learn from the competition
Over the last two decades, a marketer’s daily life has greatly evolved. Most importantly, we now can measure everything we do, including the consequences of our actions on our business. Having said that, you can’t evaluate how well you’re doing without comparing against
Truth is that 77% of businesses rely on listening to keep an eye on their competitors. What this means is that 4 in 5 of your direct competitors are likely watching each and every single step you take. And you should do the same.
Setting the trend
From staying up to date with the latest industry trends and innovations, to keeping an eye on the competitors’ newest services, to being the first to know of potential brand crises – tracking relevant online conversations lets marketing and communication professionals working for financial institutions to stay one step ahead in an industry that is leading change and innovation.
Why the Boom is Long Overdue (and Here to Stay)
By Roger James Hamilton, CEO, Genius Group
Virtually every aspect of our lives has been taken over by tech, so why is it that our schools, that are educating the business leaders of tomorrow, are still operating in much the same format as they did 100 years ago?
The global pandemic put digital learning in the spotlight and an Edtech boom has ensued, with companies like Coursera, Quizlet and Udemy seeing unicorn style growth. And the market is not slowing down. The education technology (Edtech) boom will continue.
Resilience and Growth
Unicorns are defined by rapid growth. Traditionally, these companies are not overly concerned with early profitability, long-term sustainability or value creation as much as with putting their competitors out of business.
But something different is going on in the Edtech market. The unicorn has lost its appeal. When learning platform Quizlet achieved unicorn status this year, CEO Matthew Glotzbach was keen to play down the moniker reserved for start-ups valued at $1 billion or more, preferring to liken his company to a camel.
Unlike unicorns, camels are real, hardworking beasts. Respected for their adaptability to various climates, resilience, and abilities to survive for long periods without sustenance. These are all traits much better suited to weather the economic storms created by the pandemic.
Despite their considerable abilities to adapt to challenging conditions, the climate is looking particularly sunny for camels within the Edtech market. In fact, all creatures great and small have the potential to capitalise on unprecedented growth in this sector.
The nature of education makes it a traditionally slow-moving area, which renders it unattractive to some investors. Yet, the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent surge in remote learning this year triggered a flurry of uptake in e-learning platforms.
We’ve seen the adoption rate for new technologies be accelerated by events like this before. For example, the SARS crisis of 2003 contributed to the boom in China’s ecommerce industry, as quarantines lead consumers to shop online. Of course, this market trend did not slow down once quarantine restrictions were lifted. Ever since, global online sales have risen exponentially. The same is set to happen in the Edtech market.
Providing a Solution
As with ecommerce in 2003, the demand for Edtech in 2020 was already there. It has been there for years. For the past decade at least, there has been a notable need in recruitment for qualified talent in data science, coding and digital. Edtech can bridge the skills gap, not only within formal education but also for adult learners upskilling and reskilling for today’s digital world.
Similarly, the financial crash of 2008 had the effect of fast-tracking the rise of the gig economy, requiring millions more to learn entrepreneurial skills. The idea of a job for life is now a distant memory. The Edtech sector can deliver the tools to equip students of all ages with the skills necessary for creating their own opportunities, as well as exchanging knowledge and collaborating in a digital economy.
Rising unemployment, as well as competition for jobs and government furlough schemes has seen interest in digital learning courses for adults also soar during the past few months. Figures show that the corporate e-learning market is set to increase by as much as $3.09 billion between 2020 and 2024.
The Edtech boom kickstarted by the pandemic is just the beginning in a paradigm shift in how we view education and work.
Over the next 10 years, with the rise of artificial intelligence, automated technology, and augmented reality, traditional, manual and customer service based roles will diminish and there will be less need for a large workforce when computers and machines can do the role equally well.
The need for a truly 21st century education system that reflects the needs of the job market is long overdue. Edtech companies are offering solutions to many of these issues that have troubled the economy for the past decade or more.
A Different Animal
Enter the zebra (back to our animal analogies). These types of Edtech businesses will be the ones to watch within the sector. With zebra companies, there’s a sense of community and collaboration, rather than competition. They understand that there’s room for more than one superstar in a market. Zebras are herd animals after all. The zebra believes that competition is healthy for everyone involved—something to watch and use for motivation and growth. It closely observes consumer trends and continually strives to solve new and developing problems for those consumers.
For zebra companies, profit margin is vital because it is necessary for steady growth and sustainability. Revenues hover between $5M and $50M, it serves customers within a specific niche, requires annual growth capital of $100K to $1M, and generally has more than four streams of revenue.
Zebras are both black with white stripes and white with black stripes – they have a fluidity in their approach and are camouflaged at the same time. This creates a double bottom line: Zebras want to conduct real business, by solving a pressing problem in a sustainable way, whilst reacting to contemporary challenges. This too could be said of the Edtech industry as a whole.
Research exposes the £68.8 billion opportunity for UK retailers
Modelling shows increasing the proportion of online sales by 5 percentage points would have significantly boosted retailers’ revenues during the...
Want to serve your customers better? An effective online strategy is what financial institutions need
By Anna Willems, Marketing Director, Mention A strong online presence matters. Having a strong online presence, that involves social media...
The rise of AI in compliance management
By Martin Ellingham, director, product management compliance at Aptean, looks at the increasing role of AI in compliance management and just...
Simplifying the Sector: How low code can aid digital transformation in financial services
By Nick Ford Chief Technology Evangelist, Mendix From online banking to contactless payments and Apple Pay, it has been well...
Why the Boom is Long Overdue (and Here to Stay)
By Roger James Hamilton, CEO, Genius Group Virtually every aspect of our lives has been taken over by tech, so...
5 Sustainability Lessons That Are Crucial For Business Success
By Michael Stausholm, founder of Sprout World (sproutworld.com) Sprout World is the eco-company behind the world’s only plantable pencil, with...
Why financial brands need to understand consumer vitality
By Carolyn Corda, CMO at data consortium ADARA Our day to day lives have been turned upside down. Office workers have...
Why and how a modern marketing strategy should put customer experience first
By Jim Preston, VP EMEA, Showpad In 2004, the Leading Edge Forum coined the term ‘consumerisation of IT’, defining a...
Leading from the front – why decision makers must embrace automation
By Jeppe Rindom, Co-founder & CEO, Pleo Ask any decision maker at a business about admin and you’re likely to...
Business first, not compliance only is the future for accountants
By Peter Bracey, MD at Bracey’s Accountants. The past few months have underlined the need for better business insight to reduce...