The Bob Pritchard column
Seventy seven percent (77%) of US workers say they have heard the term automation, but only 30% say they know what it means. The more job seekers know about this growing trend, the more likely they are to seek more secure jobs. This is according to ZipRecruiters's State of the American Job Seeker report.
Sixty percent (60%) of job seekers believe that fears around robots taking away jobs are over-hyped, but nearly 2 in 3 job seekers (64%) believe workers in most industries will be replaced with computers or robots in their lifetime. Also, the more job seekers know about automation, the more it worries them. Of those looking for a job who heard of automation, 70% say they are looking for jobs that are less likely to be automated.
Automation is changing the way we work, and emerging artificial intelligence technologies will in some way affect the careers of workers in almost every industry. Change, however, does not mean that there won't be jobs, however, they are likely to be different jobs. Forecasts of the impact vary widely with some analysts predicting massive decreases in available jobs in some industries and others suggesting that technology has historically changed the job market, not eliminated the need for workers.
What's very clear, according to the ZipRecruiter report, as well as the related studies it cites, is that the skills needed to get a job are changing and will continue to change.
Technological job displacement has already begun, and it is essential that the workforce is prepared to adapt.
In the report, they found that cost was the top reason for not being able to acquire STEM skills or soft skills -- the two sets of skills currently considered safest from automation.
Change has already come and more is coming. Cost is a challenge for job seekers, especially those already saddled with college debt. The second most-cited reason for people not learning STEM or soft skills -- individuals not believing they need them – may be easier to solve.
To stay employed, or get a job in the first place, workers are going to have to adapt as the market's needs change.
For many, that will mean more training, being open to doing different kinds of work, and adapting before change comes in order to not be swept aside by it.