Is AI Taking Over? — The Future of the American Job Market

robot symbolizing the future of jobs where robotics and machine learning will play a crucial role
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Overview

Whether it’s politics, climate change, or the debate on whether a hotdog is a sandwich, there are many polarizing topics in modern society. One thing that everyone can agree on though is that the way we work is going to look very different in 5-10 years than it does today.

In fact, we’re already seeing this trend — particularly in the information technology industry. Programmers are in such short supply that tech giants like Google, Apple, and Facebook are fighting over them.

The latter of which is even building an entire village to incentivize developers to work at Facebook by offering a shorter home-work commute. Closer proximity to work is becoming increasingly appealing as the problems with private shuttles come to light.

Why are software developers so sought after?

You’re probably wondering why these multinational corporations would offer six-figure salaries to employees who just spend their days sitting at a desk and coding. The answer simply comes down to supply and demand.

The demand for programmers continues to rise because companies in the space need to continue growing or they’ll fade into obscurity. On the other hand, there’s a serious shortage of software developers.

This means that companies who want to hang onto their market share rather than lose it to competitors will have to put out very attractive offers that potential hires can’t refuse. Another thing to factor in is the fact that coders have more career freedom than ever before.

There’s a myriad of companies to choose from, and developers can easily switch from one Silicon Valley job to another without having to relocate to a new city or state. Proximity, supply, and demand are just a few things that make programming a top career for the future.

Finally, the disparity between supply and demand will only continue to widen as universities struggle to hire computer science professors — you know, because they’re all too busy getting giant salaries at FAANG companies to consider a career in education.

Three jobs that will increase in demand by 2025

Trying to figure out what you want to do with your life is one question that’s as important as it is difficult to answer. Getting things right from the start and developing your skillset has a lot of advantages over having to switch career paths in a few years (which can feel like starting from the very beginning).

Here are three jobs to consider that are bound to grow in demand:

compass symbolizing the choice of jobs of the future

Robotics

Ever since SoftBank — founded by Japanese billionaire Masayoshi Son — acquired Boston Dynamics from Google, media outlets have taken notice of the inevitable dominance that the robotics industry will have in the future job market.

Many people think that robots are going to take jobs away from humans in this “fourth industrial revolution,” but it’s actually the opposite. We’ve already done a full piece on why robots are saving our careers, so be sure to read it for a more in-depth view on the topic.

Covering it briefly, robots in production lines may replace factory workers but they create new jobs because they need to be maintained. Furthermore, they also take over the repetitive manual labor tasks which will free flesh-and-bone people up for creative roles.

On the AI side of things, algorithms are able to speed up the talent acquisition process while simultaneously lowering recruitment costs. This incentivizes companies to hire new people more frequently.

Like Lensa founder Gergo Vari says: “machine learning and AI will work in harmony alongside humans to reduce menial tasks and free our brains for invention and innovation.”

His statement is a reminder that AI isn’t inherently harmful to the job market and can actually be a tool for improving one’s career when used proactively.

Speaking of AI…

Artificial intelligence and machine learning

The list of industries that AI has penetrated in the past years has only continued to grow. Even telephony providers RingCentral and Vodafone — two of the highest-ranked names in the GetVoIP database — are investing heavily in the future of artificial intelligence.

Companies in multiple sectors have been increasing their internal education budgets to cover product enablement programs that boost AI familiarity amongst their employees. This ensures their workforce stays up to speed on the rapidly evolving landscape of business operations.

From mobile assistants like Siri to Netflix’s film recommendations, there are virtually limitless applications for artificial intelligence. Machine learning is equally useful and a key reason why TikTok was able to pass Instagram in popularity despite being founded six years after the latter.

Even navigation apps like Google Maps rely on machine learning to plot out the fastest route for their users. If companies want to continue capitalizing on both AI and ML, then they are bound to scale their recruitment efforts up in the coming years.

Cloud computing

Whether it’s Zoom’s growth of over 600% in 2020 alone or the fact that other cloud companies like Twilio, Cloudflare, and Shopify are projected to increase share price by 3-4x in the next five years, there’s no question that this sector of the larger tech market is extremely lucrative.

The number of job postings that Google Cloud put out rose by 1,337% between October 2015 and October 2019. Competing providers such as Azure and Amazon also increased their job posting output during this period; albeit to a lesser extent.

When you consider the impact that the pandemic has had on the global economy and the subsequent shift towards digital mediums, it’s likely that demand is going to continue growing at the same pace — if not faster, seeing as the spike in Google Cloud’s hiring was pre-COVID.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, commenting on how COVID-19 impacted the tech industry, said that there has been “two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.” Future job trends will likely be driven in large part by the cloud computing sector.

 

How these trends are going to change everything

It’s paramount that we don’t just look at the trends themselves but also the wider impact that they’re going to have on where we work, how we work, and why we work. Investment, insurance, and safety are three areas where sweeping change is bound to happen.

Human capital development

As robotics and artificial intelligence make it possible for corporations to automate trivial elements of the day-to-day workflow — therefore reducing costs — executives are going to have more cash on hand that they can reinvest into their employees.

Not only will investing in human capital increase satisfaction and retention within the company but also augment efficiency. For instance, setting up a mentorship program can build rapport between veterans and youngblood.

This will make it easier for teams to communicate with one another effectively while collaborating on joint projects since there’ll already be an established relationship between employees — even those who were hired decades apart.

Ultimately, if employees see the company putting time, money, and effort towards their professional development, they’re more likely to engage with the core mission and stick around for a while instead of jumping ship as soon as they get a better salary offer.

Insurance disruption

While the advances in technology are creating jobs in a blazingly fast manner, it’s also bound to disrupt certain industries. The insurance world is one such area that is facing new challenges due to the progression of AI, robotics, and the transition to coding-based jobs.

Ever since the Tesla Model 3 got the highest safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, companies providing auto insurance have a newfound concern for whether or not they’ll lose customers in the foreseeable future as a result.

The same goes for commercial truck insurance seeing as Tesla’s Cybertruck reveal is on the horizon. If it’s anything at all like the Model 3, its sheer safety could make justifying high insurance premiums that much harder.

As if all that wasn’t enough, Tesla Insurance is also eyeing market share. We’re talking about the same company that had a 425% surge in share price during one of the deadliest pandemics in recent history and an annual revenue growth rate of 30%.

Safer workplaces

Safer cars diminish the need for car insurance and safer occupations curtail the demand for disability insurance, but safety is about more than just money. The rate of workplace injuries and fatalities are bound to drop as people work at a desk instead of an oil field or sawmill.

This couldn’t come at a better time since there are over 376 million work-related injuries annually, with approximately 2.8 million of those being fatal. The days of employees settling for dangerous jobs in the pursuit of high salaries are finally fading away.

Furthermore, apps like iAuditor also help businesses follow the best safety practices and avoid creating a hazardous environment. The CDC actually has an entire division dedicated to releasing workplace safety apps known as NIOSH.

In essence, software developers aren’t just reducing their own risk by pursuing a career in tech but also making the future of work safer for those in other professions that may have more exposure to occupational hazards.

The numbers game

Chart showing the growth of ai and machine learning jobs over the past three years

Notable examples from household names make for good indicators of where the job market is headed. However, raw numbers can really help drive the point home. As of October of 2018, there were 8263 recruitment posts for artificial intelligence and machine learning roles.

In October 2020, the number of job posts on Lensa for the same role increased 5 times. We see a similar story in the data analyst category, which went from 40,327 posts in January 2018 to 63,073 in October 2020 — a 56% increase!

Robotics has always been a bit more niche than AI or data analytics, but it has actually seen the highest growth. In January of 2018, there were only 128 robotics job posts but that number more than quadrupled to 567 by January 2020.

All the data above comes from our internal analytics. Lensa uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to pair candidates with the job openings that are most relevant to them. The algorithm looks at multiple factors such as your professional strengths, skillset, and career path.

Where will demand be in two years?

Assuming these three fields maintain their growth rate from the past couple of years, it’s truly stunning to see how far they’ll go in the next two years. The demand in the artificial intelligence and machine learning sector will rise to about 41,863 openings.

Data analytics will near the six-figure mark with 98,649 job posts around the same time. Robotics will reach 2,512 which is a huge leap from the 128 opportunities listed back at the start of 2018.

It’s also reasonable to expect these growth rates to accelerate rather than maintain a linear nature, so we have no doubt that the job market will be able to fly past our projections. In all honesty, we wouldn’t mind being wrong about such a positive development.

Analysts agree that those in the machine learning and data science group will see the highest demand for their skill set out of the main six groups in software engineering. LinkedIn, who published the results, used millions of profiles to make their calculations.

Growth is perhaps the most characteristic aspect of the tech space and will continue to be.

Conclusion

There’s nothing static about the way humans interact, both in a personal capacity as well as professionally. SMS may have been dominant in the days of the Nokia 3310, but nowadays, it’s more common for people to send a LinkedIn connection message to business associates.

The good news is that there’s nothing ambiguous about the direction that the market is moving. That makes it easier to plan ahead if you want to snag one of the “jobs for the future” that we’ve covered in this article.

According to Forbes, 11.5 million Americans will need to acquire new skills to adapt to the AI-integrated terrain that humanity is en route to. China is in for a tougher challenge as 50 million of its workers will require retraining.

Change can be scary. Riding in a horseless carriage or flying through the sky in a pressurized tin can would’ve been seen as an insane proposition before cars and planes caught on. At the end of the day, one constant holds true: no species is powerful enough to halt progress.

Finally, the most important thing to remember is that a hotdog is not a sandwich because the bread is joined rather than two separate pieces. That’s all for now, stay safe, and good luck on your next job hunt!

Jake Lizarraga

Jake Lizarraga

Jake Lizarraga is a freelance writer who covers a wide variety of niches but has a special spot in his heart for software. He has been published on top sites like JotForm, Business 2 Community, and more. In his free time, Jake binges YouTube videos and trains Muay Thai.

That’s, of course, when he’s not spending time with the love of his life: Mykaela. Check out Jake’s website to read his other articles about productivity, marketing, and achieving a healthy work-life balance.

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