Got skills? May not in a decade or two, depending on your industry. Either that or the skills you have will have become irrelevant as disruption reshapes the face of the global workforce. According to a recent report from McKinsey & Company, up to 375 million members of the global workforce will be out of a job due to automation by 2030. That’s some 15% of every working adult who may need to switch job categories and acquire new skills in order to maintain “relevant” in a world that seems to be progressing at exponential rates. Another 400 to 800 million may be replaced entirely by automation.
Historically speaking, technology has generally raised productivity and provided new jobs. Here in the United States, the number of agriculture based jobs experienced a sharp decrease between 1850 and 1970. Within the same duration, however, overall employment grew. With each new era in industrialization from steam to electricity to electronics to broadband and beyond, job displacement has been an issue. Rudolph Valentino and other giants of the silver screen lost work when the silent era gave way to “the talkies.” That’s not to mention the theater organists. With the rise of automation making entire job fields obsolete, the question will be whether people will be able to successfully compete in a brave, new world with strange, required skillsets.
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