Tag Archives: Career

Are 47% of US Workers at Risk?

AI
(See my other Robot related posts) – We have all heard a lot about robots and automation taking jobs from humans. The article “Are Robots Coming for Our Jobs? Careful, It’s a Trick Question” tries to dispel some of those fears. It is from 2019, but the points are still valid today.

Much of that concern was generated by the paper “THE FUTURE OF EMPLOYMENT: HOW SUSCEPTIBLE ARE JOBS TO COMPUTERISATION?“. It was published in 2013 by Oxford economists Michael Osborne and Carl Benedikt Frey. In it, they claim that their research identified 47% of American jobs at risk.

Those jobs most susceptible were “insurance underwriters, telemarketers, tax preparers and sports officials“. Automation is least likely to affect jobs “requiring creative and social intelligence“. These would be “recreational therapists, mechanic and repair supervisors, and emergency management directors“. Other professions likey to avoid replacement are “dentists, dietitians, and elementary school teachers“. There will be some short-term impact but after worker skills adapt to the technology they do well. British economic historian Robert Allen calls this the “Engel’s Pause”.

Since then Frey has published the book “The Technology Trap: Capital, Labor, and Power in the Age of Automation”. In that book, he addresses the 47% claim in detail. Part of his explanation is that just because 47% can be replaced, there is no expectation that they will.

Historically the introduction of new technology has created more jobs than it has destroyed. The long term employment picture should be fine. Frey does make a couple of suggestions. Companies should provide some sort of wage insurance. Governments should also take financial measures.

Schools and universities must plan for the future. They need to prepare their students with the necessary technical knowledge. Frey suggests that worker’s attitudes will dictate how much automation will impact us.

 

Further Reading

  1. Are Robots Coming for Our Jobs? Careful, It’s a Trick Question
  2. THE FUTURE OF EMPLOYMENT: HOW SUSCEPTIBLE ARE JOBS TO COMPUTERISATION?
  3. ENGEL`S PAUSE: A PESSIMIST`S GUIDE TO THE BRITISH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
  4. The Technology Trap: Capital, Labor, and Power in the Age of Automation

You get what you work for

While on the road a few days ago I was filling the car with gas. I noticed the woman at the adjacent pump wearing a sweatshirt with an interesting saying on the back. The more I thought about it, the more I liked the saying and jotted it down in my notebook. The shirt said:

You don’t get what you wish for,
You get what you work for!

That is something that I wish the public school system would ingrain into students starting in Elementary School through High School. And it should be continued in college.

Don’t get me wrong. Everyone should have goals. Those goals should be set to stretch and drive the individual for self improvement and achievement. But just because a person dreams of something it doesn’t mean that it will or should be handed to them. You get what you work for!

Automation Forecast to Impact Jobs

AI

 

(See my other posts on Robots & Automation ) – In the “Morning Brew” economic newsletter this morning was the following:

The Economist this week laid out just how quickly automation is taking over finance. Funds run by computers that follow human-set rules account for…

  • 35% of the U.S. stock market
  • 60% of institutional equity assets
  • 60% of trading activity

Last month, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and mutual funds automatically tracking stock and bond indices hit $4.3 trillion invested in American equities, surpassing the sum run by humans for the first time.

Technological efficiencies” will lead to about 200,000 job cuts in the U.S. banking industry over the next decade, Wells Fargo said this week. And PwC found last year that about 30% of finance and insurance jobs in developed economies will be at risk of automation by 2029.

Too often we think of automation just affecting manufacturing jobs. It will affect many other sectors. This trend is inevitable in a worldwide economy. Industries have to stay economically competitive and automation will be essential to compete. Those who want to succeed in the workforce will need the right skills.

What skills are needed for the years ahead? (also from the “Morning Brew”)

  • artificial intelligence
  • machine learning
  • data science

 

 

New Report Predicts Automation Will Increase Jobs

AI

Robots – A new report “Humans Wanted: Robots Need You” issued by staffing and recruiting firm ManpowerGroup predicts the use of robots and automation will increase the number of jobs. For this report ManpowerGroup surveyed 19,000 employers worldwide for their plans to respond to automation. The results in summary:

  • 87% of the employers (91% in the US) plan to increase or maintain the size of their staff
  • 9% of employers (4% in the US) plan to cut staff
  • of companies in manufacturing and production, 25% predict staffing increases while 20% predict reductions
  • many companies plan to invest in retrain their staff to work with robots and automation
  • 54% of all employess will need significant retraining by 2020
  • areas that will see largest job decrease – Administrative, Office, Finance, and Accounting
  • areas that will see the largest job increase – IT, Manufacturing, Production, Frontline, and Customer-facing

Based on this report the job outlook, at least in the short term, looks positive in light of increased robotics and automation.

Change the World

This is almost five years old now. The address was given in May of 2014 at the University of Texas Austin Commencement and published to YouTube that same month. My son sent me the link to this impressive speech.

These are the remarks by US Navy Admiral William H. McRaven a 1977 graduate of UT and the commander of U.S.Special Operations Command. He challenges the graduates to Change the World and relates aspects of his SEAL training to how we should approach the challenges of life.

It is five years old but is very much still appropriate. I encourage you to take the 20 minutes and listen to the talk.

Podcast – Manager Tools

I was riding to an IEEE meeting a few years ago with a friend. The trip was going to be about 45 minutes long so he turned on a podcast he regularly listened to, Manager Tools, to help pass the time. After listening during our trip, I was hooked and subscribed to the podcast myself. I regularly listened to it until I retired.

This is a weekly podcast begun in 2005 and presented by Michael Auzenne and Mark Horstman.  It focuses on how managers can be more effective and provides career planning suggestion. There are now over 500 episodes in their library. Each episode of this award-winning podcast is between 30 minutes and one hour in length.

I found this podcast to be very informative and useful. I recommend it to anyone in a leadership role. They can be subscribed to in iTunes.

 

 

How does Science Fiction Impact Innovation?

I came across the article “Does Science Fiction Really Drive Innovation?” this morning and found it very interesting. I would have said with more force that the answer was clearly “YES” before I read the article. Now, I am more likely to agree with the author – Science Fiction and Innovation really go hand in hand.

I still contend though that science fiction, in general, is likely to instill in kids and young adults reading or watching it an interest in science that ultimately contributes to innovation. It would be interesting to see how many students who pursue careers in science have read or watched science fiction as opposed to say those who pursued law or history. If that study doesn’t exist someone in academia should take it on.

Working Alongside Robots

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Robots – I came across the article “How Should Your Company Prepare For Robot Coworkers?” this morning. if you are concerned as to how AI and automation will be affecting your job or you company, you should give it a read. It is short only taking about 5 minutes.

The gist of the article is that we need to start thinking how to incorporate AI and robotics into the work place alongside existing employees. the key thing is to modify work flow to incorporate what AI and robotics do well and have humans focus on the less mundane, higher intellect part of the job.

Happy “Ada Lovelace Day”

ada-lovelace-day1-e1444675074519-804x382

It is the second Tuesday of October and that means that it is again Ada Lovelace Day. The day has been identified (per The Guardian) to:

. . . celebrate inspirational women in science, technology, maths and engineering, in the hope that by shining a light on such people and increasing their visibility, they can inspire future generations.

Ada Lovelace Day was founded in 2009 by Suw Charman-Anderson, and part of her reason for doing this was a worry that women in tech were invisible. The idea was a positive one – rather than highlighting the problem, highlight the unseen women and shout from the rooftops about all the amazing things they’ve achieved. Ada Lovelace was an obvious choice of mascot for such an endeavour.

Take this opportunity and join in some activity to recognize the contributions of women in technology. This would also be a good time to introduce or encourage a girl you know in STEM careers.

CapMac – In Austin, our local Capital Macintosh User Group is having a special program this evening. The featured speaker will be Rhonda Childress, the only Female IBM Fellow in Austin, the CTO of Security Services, a Sr. Certified I/T Architect, and an IBM Master Inventor.

Documentary – While not available today, there will soon be a documentary series, the Chasing Grace Project, about women in Tech.

The Chasing Grace Project is a documentary series about women in tech. It includes six episodes, each focused on a different topic within the women in tech narrative. From the pay gap, online harassment and female entrepreneurship to access to the best jobs, the decision to leave or stay in tech and the role of male allies, the series illustrate how we pave the way forward. Through story we can call out the adversities women face and illustrate how they’re navigating their own paths. The result? A series of blueprints for other women to find their paths, their way.

This may be something you will want to stay aware of

Professional Engineers Day 2017

Today is Professional Engineers Day. Licensing of engineers began in the US in 1907. Today is the second annual Licensed Professional Engineer day recognizing PEs in the various engineering disciplines.

Licensing began as a means to protect the public health, safety and welfare. In most countries around the world, a licensed engineer is required to oversee and be responsible for any construction project of significance. Before 1907, anyone could claim to be an engineer and perform work whether or not they were competent to do so.

I became a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) in Texas back in 1980 and have maintained my status since then.  Becoming licensed is not easy. In general the requirements are:

  1. Obtain a Bachelor’s degree from an approved university in engineering
  2. Successfully complete the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  3. Complete four years of qualifying engineering experience
  4. Prepare for, take and pass the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam for your jurisdiction