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  • How Automation is Impacting Highly Skilled Workers

    OKLAHOMA CITY - December 31, 2019




    How Automation is Impacting Highly Skilled Workers


    A McKinsey study on the impact of automation revealed that around 60% of occupations could have 1/3 of their current activities automated just by implementing current technology. 12-31-2019 That massive change sparks big questions for many workers. 

    But two questions for workers specifically in skilled trades remain: how will these changes impact their roles and what does the future look like?

    Automation Leads to More Jobs, Not Less

    This study is quoted often but that doesn't make it any less impactful. In 2015, Deloitte studied the impact of automation on the workforce in the United Kingdom over a 15-year period. Their findings revealed that more than 800,00 jobs were lost, but nearly 3.5 million new jobs were created. And on average, each job created paid approximately $10,000 more per year than the low-skilled job it replaced. 

    The future of work is not going to include fewer jobs; it's going to include fewer low-skilled jobs and more highly-skilled jobs. Those robots taking over the automated, repetitive tasks, will need someone who can keep them running smoothly as they age. That way the company isn't investing hundreds of thousands of dollars every few years to replace technology.

    Future of Skilled Work

    With those automation worries set aside, we can move on to what the future holds. How are highly skilled jobs going to change, or perhaps more importantly, what are the new roles that will be created and need to be filled by trained workers?

    It's entirely possibly that there will be many jobs that need to be filled in the next 10 years that didn't exist before. Which means more opportunities for the future workforce to learn skills and systems in a variety of industries. 

    Fifteen years ago, jobs like an App Developer, SEO Analyst, Drone Operator, 3D Printer Technician, and Cloud Architect didn't exist. Now, workers who are trained in these areas and have earned any necessary certifications have their choice of job opportunities. Now is the time to research and become involved in the areas of the economy that are prime for innovation and change that will need new skills and training. 

    How The Pieces Fit Together

    Automation and the changes it will bring as it plays a larger role in business will require collaboration between companies, education systems, and the workforce, including those preparing to enter the workforce.

    If all three aren't committed to working together to make sure new job opportunities are filled with educated and trained workers ready to jump right in and put the advanced technology to use, we're likely to face a specifically-skilled labor shortage and stunted growth. 

    For those workers already in a skilled trade that is seeing change move in quickly, disrupting how things have been done, now is not the time to stand on the sidelines and let innovation move past you. Dig your heels in and be a continuous learner. Soak up all the knowledge you can about the technology that is coming into your industry or specific skill so you can be ready for new opportunities before they arrive.

    Express Employment Professionals places 560,000 job seekers annually in a variety of positions. Contact one of our more than 800 locally owned Express offices today to learn more about opportunities available with the more than 86,000 client companies we work with each year.

    Express also offers a free educational video series on selecting a career path and succeeding in that role. To access this resource visit YouTube and search Job Genius or visit