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White-collar occupations are faced with large

numbers of jobs being automated. Sectors

such as HR management, procurement and

supply-chain management as well as some

finance roles will see more integration with

digital technology.

The focus on which job sectors will be

overtaken by AI technology seems to

dominate public debate on the subject -

and, naturally, with so much disruptive

change it is easy to look at the growing role

of technology in many occupations with

trepidation rather than seeing the possibilities

for growth. However, it isn't simply that AI is

taking jobs away, but that it is also changing

jobs and creating new occupations.

For example, AI, robotics and analytics have

become disciplines in themselves with data

use and evaluation already critical elements

to most professions. Contrary to popular

belief perhaps, technology has actually

created more jobs than it has destroyed so

far. According to an article on the Educause

Review website, automation is estimated to

have eliminated 800,000 lower-skilled jobs

while simultaneously creating 3.5 million

higher-skilled ones.

As occupations are remodelled, the skills

required to operate in the digital age are

rapidly diversifying and changing too. This

means that there is a growing skills gap

created by these new professions.

Consequently, expanding job sectors will

require many people to be upskilled and/or

retrained, and this is becoming a significant

issue in the current wave of technological


Encouragingly for readers of this article, the

Nesta, Pearson and Oxford Martin Business

School report mentioned above found that in

the US occupations in the field of training

and development are set to see an increase

in demand.

Perhaps this reflects attitudes towards

continuous professional development but

also the need for effective skills training.

Running parallel to arguments for

knowledge-based skills, there is now greater

emphasis on social skills and cognitive

capabilities - between 1980 and 2012 jobs

that require high social skills grew by almost

10% in the US, and this trend looks set to

continue. Share:

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