Reports of automation and robots taking jobs away and causing mass unemployment have caused some panic in the American workforce. It’s important to take a closer look at exactly what is going on before jumping on the panicked bandwagon. While automation and artificial intelligence are certainly transforming jobs, they are actually taking over very specific tasks and functions, namely manual tasks. The real threat of automation to jobs lies with jobs that are 100 percent manual. The best thing workers can do to continue developing their careers is to take proactive steps to upskill and reskill themselves.
The Future of Automation
According to the Future of Jobs Report, half of all surveyed companies expect to reduce their workforce by 2022 thanks to automation. The report also indicated that 54% of all employees will need to reskill or upskill to meet future demands.
In 2018, 71 percent of task hours across all industries were performed by humans and 29 percent were carried out by machines. By 2022, it is predicted that 58 percent of task hours will be completed by humans and 42 percent by machines. However, many employers surveyed said they would be adding new, productivity-enhancing roles stemming from automation.
So, while some growth is expected, those jobs will only be attainable for people who take the time now to build critical skills.
The Skills Required to Continue Growing Your Career
If your job is 100 percent manual labor or requires only basic cognitive skills, now is the time to upskill. According to the 2018 Skills Gap Study by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, there are five main skills that will be essential to succeed in the Fourth Industrial Revolution:
- Technology and computer skills
- Digital literacy and competency
- Working knowledge of tech-enabled tools and techniques
- Robot and automation programming
- Critical thinking
It should come as no surprise that the most important of these are technology skills. While machines may take over manual processes, humans will be required to calibrate, operate and maintain those machines. But how do you gain those skills, especially as a working adult?
How To Upskill and Reskill Yourself For the Future
First and foremost, take advantage of any type of training programs your company may offer. If they are not offering any type of upskilling training, research whether they reimburse employees for taking classes or earning degrees and certifications.
If taking classes is out of reach or unrealistic, start building your soft skills and leadership skills and work towards a promotion to a supervisory or management role. Jobs that manage people will be some of the last to be impacted by automation.
Are You Looking for New Job Opportunities? Reach Out to The Reserves Network!
If your job does not offer much in the way of career development, upskilling or opportunities for growth, now is the time to look for an opportunity at a company that does invest in their employees’ futures. If you are looking for a job with futureproof opportunities, The Reserves Network can help. Browse our current job openings or contact us to learn more today.