Automation is a hot topic. More and more companies are turning to robotics and technology to automate processes to increase efficiency and create safer working environments. So, what exactly is automation? Automation refers to any automated process that reduces or eliminates the need for human involvement.
After reading the definition, it makes sense to think automation will result in lost jobs. While it’s true automation will eliminate some low-wage repetitive jobs, it will also help create jobs in other areas. For example, companies need technicians to perform maintenance on robots, conveyors, and other automation-related equipment, thereby creating more high-paying technician jobs.
A report by the World Economic Forum titled “The Future of Jobs 2018” estimates artificial intelligence and robotics will create nearly 60 million more jobs than it destroys by the year 2022. The report finds that while automation technologies and artificial intelligence could see 75 million jobs displaced, another 133 million new roles may emerge, which equals 58 million new jobs created by 2022.
Some of the redundant roles that will decline include data entry, accountants, delivery drivers, and factory workers. The bright side is new jobs will emerge like robotics engineers, innovation professionals, solution designers, and people and cultural specialists.
Not everyone has to worry about being affected by automation. Oxford University researchers predict that 47% of American jobs may face automation over the next two decades. This means 53% of jobs will be completely unaffected.
And don’t worry, robots won’t take over jobs that require human interaction like doctors and teachers. However, jobs in manufacturing, transport, and administration are very likely to decline. This shift in the job market can be a positive change if you look at it this way: Some workers may lose their low-paying, often pain-inducing, repetitive jobs, but they’ll have plenty of opportunities to pursue entirely different careers in new emerging positions.