By Craig Erwin, Ph.D.
Robots are everywhere. Why should we care? Because they are changing everything about how we live and work. Some make cheeseburgers to order. In grocery stores they identify and warn employees and customers of spills and hazards, track and manage inventory, and fulfill customers’ online orders.
Should you be afraid that a robot will take your job? Maybe, but it’s probably more likely that robots will change your job, at least in the short term, making your job easier. Robots are certain to eliminate some jobs, though, such as brick laying, driving cars and trucks, teaching, babysitting, dog walking, refereeing, preparing food, and delivering packages.
Robots used to be cost-prohibitive for small businesses, but that is no longer true. Small businesses can now rent robots, making them affordable. As a result, far more organizations will use robots, eliminating some jobs, but creating new ones.
Retirees are not likely to be affected as much by robots as those just beginning their careers. Still, many of the jobs that retirees commonly hold are likely to disappear, such as greeter, cashier, event usher, driver, sales representative, tutor, and tour guide.
If you are a student, you need to think about how robots and automation will affect careers. Avoid careers in which jobs can easily be automated. Stay flexible; don’t choose a major that may pigeonhole you. Consider a double major or combine a major with two minors. Your goal should be to acquire a variety of skills useful in as many industries as possible and to avoid careers where jobs are likely to be automated. Of course, you might pursue a career in robotics. With the widespread adoption of robots, someone needs to design, develop, build, test, install, troubleshoot, and repair robots. That could be you.
How do you feel about automation? Are you concerned that your job is at risk, due to automation? If so, what can you do to make yourself more attractive to employers.
For more information on jobs, careers, and the economy, click on the following links:
Leave a Reply