Automation and AI: for many, they symbolize our bright future. For others, they spell the downfall of humans. On both sides of the equation sits this nagging question: will robots steal my job?
A new report by the World Economic Forum claims to answer that question, and the results are much more encouraging than you might expect. Yes, AI and automation will assume some jobs—specifically, 75 million of them, by 2022. At the same time, 133 million new jobs will be created: a net increase of 58 million jobs. So there’s a massive opportunity for people to upskill their work.
What AI can and can’t do
According to the WEF report, the jobs at risk involve skills like math, manual dexterity, quality control, time management, and technology installation. AI can perform those types of jobs with greater precision and efficiency than human workers.
But jobs that require critical thinking, creativity, and initiative are still safe. Here are the top skills WEF identifies for the 2022 job market:
- Analytical thinking and innovation
- Active learning
- Creativity, originality, and initiative
- Technology design and programming
- Critical thinking
- Complex problem-solving
- Emotional intelligence
- Leadership and social influence
- Reasoning and ideation
- Systems analysis and evaluation
The time to upskill is now
The only way to ensure the AI and automation revolution doesn’t leave you out of a job is to build up the right skills now. If the WEF report is right, then you only have a small window (2018 to 2022) in which to do that.
Even in a secure job—like web development or data analytics—you shouldn’t get too comfortable. As the job market adds new positions, 54% of employees will require significant training to upgrade or gain new skills, and 35% of these will require an additional six months of training. By 2022, everyone will need 101 extra days of learning in order to complete their job successfully. Start building those new skills now, and you’ll stay ahead of the curve.
Embrace the revolution
Rather than something to fear, the rise of automation and AI can be something to look forward to. Consider it your opening to new possibilities.
If you’re in a job that could be at risk, now is the perfect time to think about a career change. The top jobs in 2022 will include many data, technology, and development positions. Jobs for AI and machine learning specialists will also rise.
Meanwhile, there’s yet another element to consider. According to the report, many companies are unwilling to retrain existing employees. In fact, two-thirds of the employers surveyed expect their workers to pick up new skills on their own—adapting on the job or learning outside of work. While that certainly poses a challenge, it also creates an opening.
Employees who learn the essential skills ahead of time will be more than prepared when 2022 rolls around. They’ll have an edge on other employees, and they’ll be poised to rise.
Either way—whether you’re looking at a career change or the necessity of upskilling—you can ride the winds of change to new, exciting playing fields. If you prepare for it, 2022 may find you comfortably situated in a job that’s both satisfying and robot-secure.
So don’t fear the AI revolution. Embrace it.
Ready for a career change? Looking to upskill? Explore our programs in web development, data analytics, and UX/UI design.