Technology is killing jobs

Looking for a jobEveryone should read The Second Machine Age to get a sense of what new generations will experience in the years to come.

While we regularly benefit from technological advances positively impacting on our lives, at the same time it is evident how technology is progressively destroying jobs that won’t return anymore. Since 2009 I came to this conclusion, but refrained from sharing my views on the relationship between technology and employment due to my role in prominent internet companies.

Earlier this year Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew Mcafee released their latest work analyzing the impact and correlation between evolution in several industries driven by technological enhancements and the the repercussions on jobs and jobs creation. The conclusion doesn’t represent a big surprise for those who have spent some time assessing the impact of technologies in any field or sector: job losses over time.

Transport for London, the organization in charge of public transports, has planned to reduce the numbers of staff at underground stations as a consequence of the introduction of new, more efficient payment methods and a constant decrease in number of tickets sold in stations. As a consequence, a round of strikes hit the UK capital in previous months and more are expected before the Holiday season.

As software becomes more pervasive, sophisticated, and new hardware devices perform tasks only few years ago considered impossible, the combination of these two elements represents a formidable disrupting force replacing humans not only in physical activities, but overcoming our mental ones. This trend implies the constant erosion of low qualified jobs and a growing demand for talented software engineers on the opposite side of the skills and qualification spectrum. Besides this shift well summarized in the growing attention toward STEM topics, it is clear that from a quantitative point of view, it is an unbalanced equation.

The possible answer to try to ride the wave? Education, education, and education.

 

 

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smaruzzi

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2 thoughts on “Technology is killing jobs”

  1. Technology has Always changed the game, but more than shrinking the market (in the very short term) just changed the requirements to create new opportunities in the mid-long term. Technology kills older jobs to create new job Windows, but requires a growing and changing set of skills. The last 30 years have seen a tremendous growth in terms of IT and Telecommunications opportunities, compared to the last two centuries our technological growth has been tremendous and as technology speeds up so the workforce have to be more and more skilled to accomplish the new job market requirements. So education is the key to survive, every cent spent in education is a cent invested in our (and our children) future. The real problem could be that we should be prepared to the new technology leaps in advance, this means we should have invested in education years ago, (and hoping it is not too late we should start it right now). There is a cycle from the discovery of a new technology to its market application and the impact in the job market that require a certain period of time, this cycle is becoming shorter and shorter, the learning time windows is shrinking too so we have to quickly adapt our training and education system in order to accomplish the new requirements. In the 19 century workforces did not have as a requirement read and write skills, in the 20 century we started to require read and write skills and the frist IT skills, in 21 century Mastering those skills should be a “condition sine qua non”, we’ll se what the future will require

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