What Jobs Will Survive in the Future of Robots?

Everyone, at least once, had the terrifying “what if” thought about our future world controlled by robots. The craziest theories show future human beings literally as slaves of their own technological creations. Even if these are only theories, and probably quite overstated, we can’t deny that technology is inseparable part of our current and future reality. Those who don’t have technical competences will be excluded from the future society and its job market. Or not?

“We are at the tipping point, where in many sectors humans are becoming redundant. But that means a large number of people will be needed to design, build, and operate the machines that inevitably will take over our jobs. History has shown the loss of jobs to technology is moderated by the creation of new kinds of skills necessary for controlling the machines.”

Kevin Curran, IEEE Senior Member and Technical Expert

Most demanded jobs in the future will be ‘typical female jobs’

Surprisingly, the group that will struggle most finding a job in the future are young males – those who don’t have technical competences, specific education, or skill-set. The latest findings of O*NET OnLine sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor suggest that most demanded jobs in the future are ‘typical female jobs’ such as nursing in hospitals, helping old people, or teaching in kindergartens and elementary schools. Those jobs need a ‘human touch’, hence are hardly to be replaced by robotic workers. At the same time, they don’t require high technical competences. These jobs (and their mostly female performers) will likely survive and thrive well in the future job market.

OECD Employment Outlook 2016 provides data about unemployed men who spend their time on a couch while their biggest technical competence is the ability to play videogames. It’s not the saddest part of story. A big part of this group gave up on looking for a job and accepted this kind of lifestyle and social status – according to the research, they don’t mind to live on social support.

ROBOT – this definition was implemented in 90s to identify machinery that helps in production such as carrying heavy boxes to a line or transporting goods from point A to point B. The origin of the word ‘robot’ comes from the Czech Republic.

With technological advance, the meaning of the word ‘robot’ has transformed as the robots have been modified too. Contemporary robots are not only functional machines or means of war, they have become much more for the society and its development. The intelligent robots give to people an opportunity to spend more time with their family and take care of things that are more important for the present moment. However, there are professions that can’t be replaced by machines. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) have listed the skills that will become more and more valued in the future job market since they are unique for human beings.

  • Complex problem solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Creativity
  • People management
  • Coordinating with others
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Judgment and decision making
  • Service orientation
  • Negotiation
  • Cognitive flexibility

What jobs will pay best in the future?

Remote Operations

According to CSIRO, by 2035 jobs in remote operations will be one of the best paid – for the reason that remote airplanes, ships, and cars must be controlled by human factor. This type of job requires good understanding of computers, navigation, management, and brisk decision-making skills. Finally, such jobs require responsibility that in certain situations can never be given to machines.

Health Keeper

Another job that can’t be easily replaced by robots is health helper. Health keepers’ responsibilities are to communicate with individuals, help the others to overcome chronic diseases, improve lifestyle, and care of mental well-being. These job positions are designed for people from people; what matters most is not a simple fact of taking care of physical state of the patient. There must be professionals who are ready to advice and listen.

Online Security Guards

The next hot job in the future cyber world is online chaperones. With the expansion of virtual reality, social media, and online activity there is a huge risk to be attacked by hackers, and to ruin our goodwill in virtual space.

Czech job market in 2025

In the Czech Republic’s labor market, in the period from 2008 to 2013, number of jobs decreased because of the economic crisis. Especially the reduction of jobs in manufacturing and construction sectors was striking and continues nowadays putting these jobs in high risk of vanishing from the Czech job market. Based on CEDEFOP’s Skills Forecast, customer service skills, communication skills, innovation skills and flexibility will be in very high demand by 2025 in the Czech Republic. CEDEFOP (European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training) forecasts that the nearest future Czech labor market will be anchored in business and customer services, and the employment rate in these sectors will rise – around 22% of job positions will be opened for high level professionals in science, engineering, healthcare, business and teaching and around 17% of Czech labor market will be taken by technicians, operational managers, and employees in public sector.

Employment Trends by Sector, Average Annual Growth from 2003 to 2025 in the Czech Republic



Does future belong to robots?

Recalling the words from Kevin Curran in the beginning of this article, in the future people with technical knowledge, digital understanding and creative approach will very busy and well paid. Indeed, there is no worry for people who are flexible and mobile; the only thing they need to do is to be ready for innovations. Michaelia Cash, Employment Minister of Australia, made a good remark about people and robots. She said: “The future won’t be about people competing with machines, it will be about people using machines and doing work that is more interesting and fulfilling.”

Finally, we will mention a case study done by Xchanging – a provider of IT, business, and procurement services. Their study shows that the company’s staff perceives robots as a part of their team. In England, when the company received their first robot, employees immediately gave him a name – Poppy, and accepted him as a fresher. But the most interesting thing is that Poppy gets invitations to office activities such as parties and informal meetings, and actively takes part in a social life together with his coworkers.

Written by: Kamila Shodieva and Urszula Turowska

Cedefop 2015 at: http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/country-reports/czech-republic-skills-forecasts-2025
LSE 2015 at: http://www.lse.ac.uk/researchAndExpertise/researchHighlights/societyMediaAndScience/Will-robots-replace-humans.aspx
Internet Live Stats at: http://www.internetlivestats.com/internet-users/czech-republic/
Ministry of Digital Affairs 2016 at: https://mc.gov.pl/en/the-areas-of-our-activity
OECD 2016 at: http://www.oecd.org/els/oecd-employment-outlook-19991266.htm
O*NET description of future jobs at: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-21-best-jobs-of-the-future-2015-12/#21-elementary-school-teachers-except-special-education-1
The Guardian 2016 at: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/feb/26/future-of-work-remote-controlled-vehicle-operators-in-demand-in-2035
The Institute 2016 at: http://theinstitute.ieee.org/ieee-roundup/blogs/blog/what-jobs-will-humans-have-in-the-future
World Economic Forum 2016 at: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/02/these-scientists-have-predicted-which-jobs-will-be-human-only-in-2035/
Title image: Pixabay.com

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