A World Economic Forum report on the future of jobs showed that artificial intelligence, which has begun to lead to the automation of many repetitive jobs, may end up creating more jobs than it replaces. The report looks at and provides specific information about AI trends by industry and geographic location, and on the expected time frame when their impact will be felt on job functions, employment levels and skills.
The Possibilities of AI
Contrary to the expectations of many experts, the report found that AI may reduce jobs in many industries and career fields, but gains in other industries will offset these reductions. AI is already beginning to replace jobs in service industries like fast food, customer care and retail. Kiosks and chatbots are offering faster and more convenient service, reducing wait times, and saving companies money on labor costs (although initial setup costs for these automated options are high).
Offsetting these job losses are gains in jobs that require either technical or people skills, or both. No matter how far AI goes in automating many routine job duties, the human touch and sophistication of thought will still be needed for many jobs, as well as the skills involved in overseeing AI processes that are replacing some jobs.
Can the Tech Shortage Be Reversed?
This trend can be seen today in the severe shortage of tech workers that currently exists. Some reports now say that a full two million IT job openings stand unfilled in the tech sector; these need to be filled if technology is going to develop in beneficial ways.
It remains to be seen whether enough people can transition from non-skilled, service industry jobs to highly skilled, technical jobs. Incentives and paid training may help to get these positions filled, and some of these may already exist through current unemployment programs.
In the end, the advent of AI in the job market has great potential to improve many lives, since the income difference between non-skilled, repetitive jobs and highly skilled tech jobs is enormous. The average salary for an unskilled worker is around $30,000 per year, according to Payscale, while the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average salary for tech workers is $82,000 per year.
Also, tech salaries are expected to rise because of the shortage, making this a great time to gain tech skills or look to become employed in the field. While there may be some people that don't have the mathematical or scientific aptitude to do certain tech jobs like programming and coding, the variety of tech jobs available ensure that there is something just about anyone can do in the field.
Browse jobs available through GDH's job boards to see what tech openings are available for entry-level or experienced tech workers right now.