Summertime means blockbuster movie season. How many of these films focus on mankind battling the futuristic threat of highly advanced technology -- specifically, robots?
In a case of life-imitating-art, it seems each new year brings more concern that humans might actually be in competition with robots. However, this fight will be waged on the job market rather than in some techno-noir landscape.
Automation will change some jobs and industries; that's a simple fact. A professor from MIT Center of Digital Business recently explained that robots won't be the enemy in an evolving job market. Instead, the new-look 21st Century workforce presents some exciting opportunities. One estimate projects 15 million new jobs as a direct result of automation.
The key for job seekers in fields impacted by automation is to pinpoint the new skill sets required of an automated workforce. In most cases, the careers spun off from automation will be much different skills than those fields lost to automation. Thus, anyone in an industry potentially impacted by robots needs to take a proactive approach to prepare for any possible changes robots might bring.
The first and best place to start is seeking out skills that meet any preexisting training or aptitude. For example, a manufacturing job today might translate best to a career in maintenance in the future. Studying for the latter now may be your best course of action.
In any event, prior preparation is the surest way of being prepared when robots are more prevalent in the workplace.