The Future of Employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerisation?

The threat of computerisation has historically been confined to routine, intensive jobs. However, developments in technology are now allowing the computerisation of non-routine tasks as well. This is likely to have a massive impact on the employment possibilities in many industries in the future.

A report from the Oxford Martin Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology entitled ‘The Future of Employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerisation?’ discusses this and suggests that nearly half (47%) of US jobs are at high risk of computerisation in the next two decades.

The article states that whilst there are a number of driving forces behind high unemployment, computer-controlled equipment is a possible explanation for recent jobless growth. We have already seen the computerisation of numerous jobs including bookkeepers, cashiers, telephone operators and many manufacturing roles, and with the rate of technological development there are likely to be more jobs made redundant because of technology in the future.

The report found that jobs that need a high level of social intelligence, creative intelligence, perception and manipulation are less likely to be automated in the next decade. These jobs include roles in healthcare, management and education, and in legal and engineering industries.

Jobs that are susceptible to computerisation include office and administration roles, transportation and logistical positions and production occupations.

The study found that “computerisation will mainly substitute for low-skill and low-wage jobs in the future”, with high-skill and high-wage occupations being the least susceptible to computer capital.

“For workers to win the race, however, they will have to acquire creative and social skills”.

Whilst the findings from this report relate to US occupations, “the implications are likely to extend to employment in the UK and other developed countries”.

To read this report in full, please click here.

Students need to be aware of this information as it could affect their employment options in the future. Therefore, being mindful of what skills will be needed in the future as well as labour market information about trends in employment e.g. the increased demand for skilled STEM occupations, can help them make informed decisions about attaining a sustainable career.

Such information can also motivate students to raise their aspirations and career aims.

Kudos Inspire contains an ‘Inspire me!’ section where students can see how career options broaden when higher qualifications are achieved. Knowing which careers are attainable, and which of these might be more sustainable, can help students focus on achieving the best they are capable of.

CASCAiD produce quality and impartial careers guidance and information software to help students explore employment and educational options to help them make informed decisions about their future.

To find out more about CASCAiD programs, please click here.

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