The Future World of Automation and Robotics

The Chief Economist at the Bank of England has said that he believes 15 million jobs in the UK could be replaced by automation. This prediction is echoed with other reports that robots could take 4 million private sector jobs within 10 years. With the highly publicised arrival of self-driving cars and websites such as springing up, the world of work for some professions is looking uncertain. 

So, what about future teaching jobs?

Experts all agree that roles involving a high level of decision making, creativity, human empathy and interaction are least likely to be affected by advances in AI and automation.

As we know, teaching is a profession that requires a large amount of interaction, empathy and decision making and is therefore deemed to be at little risk of automation so you can all relax. Could you imagine a robot teaching Maths to a classroom full of kids? Not quite! So, although teaching can be challenging, you can rest assured that you have chosen the right career particularly if job stability is on your priority list.

Others roles perceived to be least at risk of automation are doctors, vets, chefs, scientists and social workers according to a survey completed by Reed. The top five jobs perceived to be most at risk from advances in technology are factory workers, receptionists, telemarketers, customer service professionals and librarians. 

There are parallels to what is happening now to what took place in the Industrial Revolution; advancements in technology during this period of history changed employment forever. New jobs involving operating machinery were created resulting in mass production of goods and economic growth but also caused great poverty and wealth disparity which has now come to be synonymous with Victorian Britain. 

We are in a digital revolution and, similarly to what happened in the past, some traditional jobs will still exist in years to come but there will be a plethora of new careers, ones we can’t even imagine yet. 

Interestingly, an article by the Guardian in 2010 predicted that careers in construction work could be at risk by 2020; with the amount of building work being completed in Kent, this career doesn’t look like it will be ending anytime soon so perhaps some predictions are falling short.  Another industry predicted to be significantly affected by automation is transportation, however, experts believe solely automated cars will not be used on mass for around another 25 years, enabling staff to retrain or upskill in time for when their job becomes fully automated.

Although these news stories may seem bleak for some, we are living in exciting times with technology improving dramatically year on year.  There are some pretty cool  job predictions in the future such as a DNA Editor, Digital Architect, Powered Exoskeleton Engineer  and Personal Food Shoppers to name a few. I quite fancy myself as a Personal Food Shopper if a robot takes over my job!

So, let’s look forward to what the future will bring; perhaps in future years you’ll have a personal AI assistant who does all the marking. Who said automation is all bad?!

Teachers can prepare their students for the future by promoting careers in science and maths. Let’s ensure our students are ready for the future and don’t risk losing out to Siri and his friends! 

Has this inspired you to future proof yourself? Then check out this article about learning to code.

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