Which Jobs Will Cease To Exist When Our Children Enter The Workforce?

  • Parents Only

By: Alex Harmon, ellaslist

When I was 12 years old, my dream job was video store clerk. I think it was the escapism of movies that had me, a small town gal, dreaming of *big* things. Had I pursued this as a serious career, I know now that I would most definitely be out of a job. Ironically, I ended up working in magazines, so it's kind of the same thing. 

But what about our future (hopefully more aspirational) generation - which jobs will be obsolete in 20 odd years? We keep hearing about "the robots taking our jobs", computers automating the workforce, and driverless cars that are going to leave us all out of work, but is it really that drastic? 

In 1930, the economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that his grandkids would be working 15 hour weeks because computers would take away our time consuming, menial jobs. But this hasn't happened - if anything - we're working harder and longer than ever. Apart from elevator operators and video store clerks, there really hasn't been the career wipeout experts once predicted. 

Which Jobs Are Most At Risk?

Today, however, the workforce is changing rapidly. According to researchers at Oxford University, any job that involves repetitive and predictable tasks, such as telemarketing, tax preparation, cashiers, data analysts, data entry, account clerks, and library technicians will be the first on the chopping board.

Robots will also take over the more repetitive tasks in professions such as law, with paralegals and legal assistants facing a 94% probability of having their jobs computerised.

Then the driverless cars will take our transport related careers - in fact, if you live in the city, you may never actually teach little Johnny how to drive his first car.

Even things you might not have imagined, like roof repairers, experts say they'll be replaced by robots. That's right - a robot on your roof! Hard to believe, but true. And chefs - maybe not the fine dining, artwork on a plate types - but your run of the mill kitchen hand will most definitely be replaced by robotic hands slicing and dicing pre-programmed items on the menu for fully automated cooking. 

Jobs that require the human touch are the most safe, such as midwives, mental health nurses, social workers and occupational therapists - these careers will stick around to give us the bedside manners we so helplessly desire. 

Time To Up-Skill

We shouldn't really be thinking which jobs will be gone, but which skills our children will need to succeed in the evolving world we live in. All industries now involve some component of programming, therefore learning how to code is an essential skill for the future. That's why there is such a push to invest in teacher training in coding, robotics and STEM (science technology, engineering and mathematics) skills. It is estimated that 85% of all future jobs will require STEM skills - and to make it even more complicated, most of these future jobs don't even exist yet!

Your Friendly Robot Co-Worker

Robots aren't going to take all of our jobs, but we will be working with them in the future. How well you work with robots and Artificial Intelligence could be the key to your child's success.

Don't think that coding is just a silly fad, these skills are a fundamental building block of 21st-century literacy – right up there with reading, writing and maths. Be prepared for a very near future of helping your kids with their coding homework - or perhaps they will be helping you...


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