Make Your Career Robot-Proof

By University of Windsor Modified on April 05, 2018

The skills of tomorrow’s workforce are changing. Don’t be left in technology’s dust.

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In a world where drones deliver packages manufactured on automated assembly lines and ordered from online mega-sites, life can seem like a sci-fi film at times. While advancements being pioneered in the automation age are exciting, some fear the impact these revolutionary tools may have on the future of work.

In five years, 35% of skills important today are projected to change. With technology also expected to impact 35% of Canadian jobs in 10 years, it can be hard to predict what you can do now to compete.

To help make yourself automation-proof, start by focusing on these two areas based on McKinsey’s workforce transitions report:

  1. Creativity/Complex Decision Making

    While machines can outperform people in routine tasks such as clerical work, processing data, and operating equipment, they are not able to match human performance on abstract thinking and decision making. Those able to adapt to new situations, apply expertise, and think creatively will be less vulnerable to automation, such as engineers, accountants, R&D professionals, and analysts. Jobs in which actions cannot always be planned ahead, such as protective services, personal care, creative arts, and some trades, have also proven to be difficult to automate.

  2. Social Interaction/Managing People

    Machines are useful in simplifying processes and handling data, but in roles where social interaction is essential, a real human cannot be replaced. Automation will have a lesser impact on jobs that involve building relationships and recognizing social cues, like various healthcare, communications, managerial, and therapeutic positions that require advanced interpersonal skills robots cannot mimic.

  3. We cannot predict exactly where technology will take us, but being a skills-focused, lifelong learner can keep you ahead of the curve. So, as you approach this new technological frontier, stand-out from the bots by finding ways to learn and use the skills that make us most human.

    By Krista Kelly
    Career Consultant, University of Windsor