Oct 23, 2018

Jobs for humans in the robot age

Reproduced from a Cognizant chart; Chart: Axios Visuals
Reproduced from a Cognizant chart; Chart: Axios Visuals

Maybe you didn't grow up dreaming of being an "augmented reality journey builder" or "master of edge computing" — or a "cyber calamity forecaster." But someone will.

The big picture: Jobs of the future will be heavy on the use of algorithms, automation and AI; customer experience; environment; fitness and wellness; health care; legal and financial services; transport; and work culture.

  • Why it matters: This is the sunnier side of the apocalyptic argument that robots are going to eat our jobs.

That assessment comes from a report — released first to Axios by Cognizant, an IT firm based in New Jersey — identifying 50 "jobs of the future" to replace the many current occupations that are being vaporized.

  • "Work culture," which grew at a "frothy" rate over the past year, includes training and development specialists, career counselors, and industrial-organizational psychologists.
  • "These specialists are using technology to do a better job, and helping employees do the same," the report says.

Cognizant keeps a quarterly jobs tracker that tries to determine whether new jobs will efficiently replace those eliminated.

  • So far, so good: Since early 2017, the index's "jobs of the future" have been growing faster than all jobs.
  • The report says that the only job category to fall over the past year was health care, which includes everyone from biomedical engineers to registered nurses. Reasons include financial pressures in the industry, and uncertainty about U.S. health care policy.

Jobs that grew the most in the past year:

  1. Personal Care Aide: +295%
  2. Genetic Counselor: +222%
  3. Transportation Supervisor: +204%
  4. Fashion Designer: +148%
  5. Video Game Designer: +102%

Jobs that fell the most:

  1. Solar Energy Installer: -55%
  2. Alternative Energy Manager: -48%
  3. Home Health Aide: -37%
  4. Registered Nurse: -31%
  5. Aerospace Engineer: -4%

Be smart: Surprisingly, "a lot of the jobs of the future are jobs [that are being done] today," said Benjamin Pring, director of the Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant. "That everyone would be a computer scientist is unrealistic."

  • In fact, some traditional job categories will grow as they add a digital component.

This launches Cognizant's tracker. Axios will follow it each quarter to see how the creation of jobs of the future is pacing with the automation of traditional occupations.

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