The pandemic is speeding up the roles automation and artificial intelligence (AI) play in the workplace.
As an August 2020 Time magazine article reports, the deployment of robots as a response to the coronavirus has been rapid.
What are the jobs or career paths people should consider if they want to AI-proof their job prospects as much as possible?
While it is true AI is changing the face of the job market, the future isn’t as bleak as it is sometimes painted to be. As several professionals from a variety of industries say, there are many options for people seeking AI-proof jobs and career paths.
“AI has been taking over a lot of jobs around Wall Street,” says Brian DeChesare, of Mergers & Inquisitions and Breaking Into Wall Street. “But AI can’t make friends. AI can’t network.”
DeChesare says jobs in sales, financial advising and consulting are examples of positions that require close human interaction — and therefore, safe from being taken over by AI.
In a positive take on the arrival of AI, Chris Laan, founder of Designer Sheds, says workers should embrace the shift to AI. “An algorithm is only as good as the data it receives — you’ll always need people to analyze, label and interpret the data that goes in.”
Darrell Rosenstein, founder of The Rosenstein Group, also says that many careers in the tech sector are poised to grow rapidly in the coming years — especially those in development, machine learning, network security and IT.
“No matter how complex technology becomes, there will always be a need for people who are able to build, maintain and improve it,” Rosenstein says.
John Li, co-founder of Fig Loans, says the biggest takeaway is that people should adapt as much as possible to the technologies being implemented in their industry of choice.
“Systems are depending on AI, but integrating the human aspect along with these advancements would put you ahead of any automated implementation long term,” he says.
Automation-proof career options
“Careers in marketing and writing will probably stay human-based,” says Mark Perlman, founder of TheDealExperts. “There doesn’t seem to be an influx of robots creating content in the marketing realm yet, so you should be safe with any type of creative job.”
Certified human resources consultant and career coach Ricklyn Woods points out that HR and safety and risk professionals have been on the front lines during the pandemic, “ensuring that organizations are compliant with the ever-changing COVID-19 guidelines and serving as the conduit for communication between employers and employees.”
“There are many different types of roles within human resources and safety and risk management,” Woods says. “And there are numerous certifications available that can help individuals gain knowledge and credibility in both fields.”
“If you’re worried that your job will be replaced by robots, you may want to consider a career related to social work, including counseling and therapy,” says Ian Wright, CEO of Bequests. “These jobs require empathy and building relationships with people, which are essential for providing emotional support to patients or trauma victims.”
“Licensed professionals such as physicians, dentists, attorneys and certified public accountants will still need staff that understand specialized requirements that cannot easily be replaced by robots/AI,” says attorney Jessica Smith Bobadilla.
Wright also points out, “While AI will help professionals like physicians, nurses, dentists and psychiatrists carry out their jobs, it won’t replace them because the medical industry requires compassion in providing health care to patients.”
AI infused in everything
AI and COVID-related robots were among the top trends at the virtual 2021 CES gadget conference.