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/