Jan 20, 2020

Future Proofing Your Career: 5 Jobs to Consider That Won’t Be Replaced By AI

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The idea of a robot taking over your job role is not too far-fetched, given the advancement in the field of AI and robotics. According to a recent study by the World Economic Forum 5 million jobs across 15 developed nations would be lost by the year 2020. In fact, 25% of jobs in the U.S. are at high risk of automation.  With the 4th industrial revolution and the evolution of automation technology, organizations are increasingly leveraging AI to optimize efficiency, control costs and enhance productivity. For instance, at MetLife, AI acts as an adjunct manager enabling employees to enhance their productivity. Similarly, Amazon uses complex algorithms to track worker productivity in its fulfillment centers and IBM uses it to predict future performance of employees. However, AI cannot contribute to all roles and job types. Jobs that require advanced cognitive and complex emotional skills cannot be easily performed by AI enabled machines. Strategic thinking, co-ordination and communication, creativity and empathy are a few of these higher order thinking and emotive skills. Here are 5 jobs that require human cognitive skills and inputs and are difficult for AI to emulate. 

  • Managerial roles: Senior executive and managerial roles require a high amount of emotional intelligence and reasoning skills, and managers need to adapt quickly to new situations. However, they are also required to nimbly respond to feedback, inputs and changes in the environment – these could be from internal sources such as employees and vendors or external sources including customers and market conditions. Be it a human resource manager’s role or a PR or sales manager’s, AI is not quite ready to replicate these human forward roles. 
  • Creative jobs: According to the World Economic Forum, creativity is one of the top skills that will be in demand by 2020. The reason: creative jobs such as those of a writer, scientist, artist or a product designer require the ability to imagine, ideate and create relevant material. While AI can assist in refining the output, perhaps by suggesting relevant titles or replicating images, technology cannot help invent or create ideas from scratch.  
  • Data analyst roles:  Data is indispensable to modern businesses and making sense of big data is critical for organizations to succeed, even as they churn out massive volumes of data. IDC projects that revenues from big data and business analytics will surpass $210 billion at a CAGR of 11.9% in the next two years. This means data analysts will be in greater demand to collect, organize and interpret statistical information, enabling enhanced decision making. 
  • Software development roles: Software engineering and development requires specific advanced skills and the acumen to create and develop software products and application solutions out of abstract ideas, to help address customer problems and needs. While AI technology can perhaps replicate simple code generation, complex software development in itself is not something AI can take over. 
  • Event planning: Roles such as event planning and management require a unique combination of skills including creativity, managerial skills and organizational abilities. Event planners typically need exceptional people management skills to work towards tight deadlines, coordinating with multiple vendors, creative and logistical solution providers, simultaneously orchestrating many moving parts. While AI can assist with structured, repetitive jobs such as providing customer assistance, organizational and people skills are almost impossible to automate, requiring human intervention and management. 

AI is well equipped to take over repetitive and time-consuming tasks, that do not require much mental input. However, AI is far from replacing humans in roles that require empathy, strategy and creativity – essentially roles that necessitate human touch or managerial intervention. In an AI driven world, for your career to thrive, the key is to constantly up-skill and hone skills that are not only irreplaceable but also those that help, support and maintain AI operations. This will not only provide you with a safety net but will give you the necessary edge to succeed.