While AI and automation are eliminating and changing jobs in almost all fields, some jobs should be safe for the near future. Martin Ford, author of Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future, believes there will be three types of jobs that humans will still do better than AI: jobs that involve genuine creativity, jobs that involve building complex relationships with people, and jobs that are highly unpredictable. Future-looking IT workers can learn new skills through non-traditional means to demonstrate their competency for AI-proof jobs involving creativity, complex relationships, and unpredictability.
Learn intangibles and non-technical skills
The Pew Research Center predicts that workers will continually need to cultivate 21st‑century skills, capabilities, and attributes. The most highly valued will be those that AI lacks: emotional intelligence, curiosity, creativity, adaptability, resilience, and critical thinking.
A survey of IT workers found that, while obtaining additional IT certifications or degrees was important, IT workers are also studying communication/interpersonal skills, customer relations, vendor and staff management, and other non-technical subjects to acquire soft skills.
Take advantage of online and practical learning
While these soft skills will grow in demand, most IT workers did not learn them in school. Fortunately, virtual reality, AI, gamification, and other technologies will make it easier to learn new skills for a job market being rapidly changed by AI.
Demonstrate your skills
While college degrees will continue to be important, the Pew Research Center reports that swift job-market changes and new self-directed learning methods will lead employers to accept credentials from non-traditional learning systems. In the future, proof of competency will come from your work portfolio, completed course projects, and internships more than your academic credentials. When it comes to your job skills, be prepared to show, not tell.
Apply for non-routine jobs
In America, non-routine cognitive (e.g. management and professional) and manual (e.g. home healthcare) jobs have grown steadily since the 1980s, whereas routine cognitive (e.g. sales and office) and manual (e.g. transportation and construction) jobs have been broadly flat. Future automation will likely eliminate many routine jobs.
In the IT field, data scientist, IT architect, mobile software developer, and security analyst jobs will be more in demand than mainframe programmer, systems administrator, help desk technician, and small-business IT manager jobs.
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Also published on Medium.