The first generation of robots performed factory jobs. Robots of the second generation are preparing for jobs in the white-collar sector. like people in some ways.
The maxim “go to a good school, get a good career, and make lots of money” is likely something you heard growing up. On the surface, that seems like solid advice. After all, those with a college degree make about $1 million more throughout their lifetimes than those with only a high school diploma.
Maybe someone told you you needed a professional degree to work as a doctor, dentist, lawyer, or other high-paying professional. A professional degree holder often earns more than $2 million throughout their career than the average college graduate, so this also seems like excellent advice.
But this is the time; that was then.
Robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence are rapidly advancing fields that are displacing people from their occupations. Additionally, automation is not just replacing blue-collar occupations. White-collar occupations are included. In the next 20 years, 47% of American occupations could be automated, according to a study from Oxford.
The high-paying, stable employment of the past is beginning to seem far less certain in the future. Before continuing, you should give it some thought if you are now employed in one of the following fields or are in school to enter them.
If there is one thing that Wall Street is notorious for, it is absurdly high wages and bonuses. Few fields have been better for people looking to become wealthy soon after college than finance. Unfortunately, one of the sectors most at risk from automation is finance.
The largest hedge fund in the world, Bridgewater Associates, stated late last year that it would be reducing staff in favor of increased automation. High-frequency traders in general and AI-driven hedge funds like Sentient are becoming more difficult to compete against, and a sizable portion of financial management services are now provided by Robo-advisors like Betterment and Wealthfront, both of which are expanding quickly.
Indeed, according to Angel List, there are already more than 15,000 finance startups actively seeking to disrupt the financial industry, many of which make use of automation and artificial intelligence. If you work in this profession or intend to, you might want to think twice.
What then, if not finance? Consider a career in data science if you enjoy working with numbers and are meticulous. Data scientists are the new rock stars of the IT industry, and their wages are rising quickly. Of course, if you wanted to ride the enormous transitional wave that’s coming, you could always try getting into venture capital, but being a VC isn’t all it’s built up to be either. In either case, the days of typical finance jobs are numbered.
2. Medical care.
Doctors perform extremely vital work, and they are typically handsomely compensated for it. Nevertheless, there are many areas of medicine that can benefit from automation and increased productivity. Medical imaging and the disciplines of dermatology, pathology, and radiology would be prime examples.
When it comes to using AI to analyze images and diagnose patients, IBM’s Watson is currently seen to be at least on par with a professional radiologist. What’s more, Watson can conduct this analysis considerably faster and with far more data than any person could ever hope to. For those in need of a diagnosis, this is excellent news, but it’s not so good for those working in medical imaging. If you’re already working in the sector or trying to break into it, you might think about switching to computer vision-related training or research. If you are unable to defeat the machines, you can always contribute to their improvement.
Numerous other innovations, including telemedicine and mobile medical devices, will also significantly disrupt this industry in the future. And while there will continue to be a big demand for some medical abilities in the future, you’ll need to be very picky about what you choose.
Lawyers, ah. The machines are well on their way to reducing the need for attorneys in the world, which could certainly use a lot fewer of them. Depending on your area of expertise, you can still earn a respectable living as a lawyer, but it’s important to keep in mind that they also spend a lot of time gathering and processing data, drafting or revising legal papers, and performing numerous other menial jobs. Most lawyers would say that practicing law is not glamorous.
More than 1,500 businesses are currently working to further modernize the legal industry. A lot of this manual labor has already been automated. While not immediately eliminated, this will result in a significant reduction in the number of lawyers and, particularly, paralegals needed to perform the same volume of work.
A nice alternative field might be programming because lawyers typically have outstanding attention to detail and are well-versed in reasoning. As with any contract, programming languages are based on logic and demand meticulous attention to detail. The best part is that there is a tonne of online courses available to you, including some from prestigious institutions like Stanford, MIT, and even Harvard.
Programmers are naturally extremely well compensated and in high demand almost everywhere. In case you decide to leap, here are a handful of the most popular programming languages.
Throughout history, there have been countless occasions when a sizable number of outdated professions vanished just to be replaced by fresh ones as new technology emerged. Sometimes the changeover from the old to the new takes a long enough period that a semi-smooth transition is feasible. This time around, that might or might not be the case.
This list only scratches the surface of the occupations that could be automated, therefore I urge everybody with a job to carefully assess the risk involved with their line of work. Start your retraining as soon as possible if your job is at risk of automation.