AI & Post-Pandemic @Work

AI & Post-Pandemic @Work

Nobody knows how this will all play out. What we do know is that a public health crisis along with an economic downturn will result in rapid innovation in a number of areas.  Disruption is occurring in industries such as education, healthcare, hospitality, travel, and manufacturing supply chains to name a few. Artificial intelligence implementation is predicted to accelerate leading to an increase in AI jobs.  International Data Corporation, a market research company, says it expects the number of AI jobs globally to grow 16% in 2020.  The urgency is apparent.  Another research firm, CompTIA said, “The pandemic has revealed a number of shortcomings in the data infrastructure of the U.S. health-care system, and also exposed similar gaps in supply chains, e-commerce, remote work capabilities and elsewhere.” 

If you think your current job might be easy to automate, search for courses and jobs where automation would be tough to duplicate.  Teaching, leadership, and social skills, communication, creativity, and writing skills all involve human emotion and judgment which AI lacks.  As rapid changes occur, jobs that can’t easily be automated are going to be something you’ll want to be aware of and learn about for your future.  As Daniel Pink said, “my generation’s parents told their children, ‘become an accountant, a lawyer, or an engineer; that will give you a solid foothold in the middle class.’ But these jobs are now being sent overseas and being automated. So in order to make it today, you have to do work that’s hard to outsource, hard to automate.”

Bachelors + More:

McKinsey & Co. conducted research about automation in the U.S. labor market and revealed that having an education emerged as the strongest demographic predictor of future success.  People who don’t have an undergraduate degree are more likely to be in a vulnerable population.  When executives were asked about reskilling their employees in another McKinsey & Co study, they were in favor of it since it helps with retention.  However, a majority of them admitted they didn’t know how to begin the reskilling process. Midlife professionals will need to develop their skills to prepare and position themselves for the future. Being aware of trends will help as well.

Jobs Trending Upwards:  

Beyond positions in the technology sector such as data scientist, developer, and almost anything having to do with artificial intelligence, there are positions that are in high demand currently and continuing to trend upwards.  If you know a foreign language, keep your skills sharp.  It turns out that interpreters and translators saw the greatest increase in need because hospitals were treating non-English-speaking COVID-19 patients. Number ten on the list is Writer/Author.  Other occupations experiencing a surge in hiring include respiratory therapists, general practitioners, psychiatrists, and epidemiologists. 

Reskilling, being able to adapt quickly and embrace new technology will help immensely when searching for a new job or pivoting to a new career.