Automation: How Will It Affect the IT Labor Market?

Technology today is advancing at an unprecedented rate, pushing newer technologies and more efficient hardware, software and technical services into the marketplace faster than ever, revolutionizing the operation of major industries and the way we live on a daily basis. When artificial intelligence, machine learning, automation, and robotics are mentioned in public or private discourse, there’s often uncertainty, and sometimes fear. Fear of job replacement which can snowball into eventual unemployment or worse. Fear that your career and life could be derailed in the name of efficiency and productivity. These can be frightening thoughts about the not-so-distant future relationship between humans and technology.

Although these concerns are not entirely unfounded, many industry experts project the continued progression of automation, artificial intelligence, and similar smart technologies to consequently create more jobs than they displace. For example, automation is expected to provide an impressive $15 trillion boost to the world’s economy by 2030. As automation continues its industry by industry takeover, the need for more highly skilled technical resources will be required to develop, shape and maintain these systems – and that’s just the start. There will also be increased demand for analysts, executives, account managers, marketers, etc. who will need to enable, educate and support organizations regarding their automation needs.

As a job seeker, especially within the tech industry, it’s important to continue developing relevant skills that’ll best prepare you for the abundance of new roles to come. Diversifying your skillset to include tasks that are not easily automated is an advantageous way to maintain and/or grow your employability in the evolving marketplace. A short list of leverageable skills includes but is not limited to: complex problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, people management, emotional intelligence, etc. Sharpening relevant skills is a beneficial way to position yourself for new opportunities generated by these technological advancements.

Job seekers should be encouraged by the opportunities which lie ahead, and look to grow alongside the need for, and utilization of, advanced technologies. As the exponential growth and progression of technology will only continue, it’s up to you to choose how you’ll adapt.