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Feruzan Irani Williams
Associate Professor of Practice and Director, Human Resource Management Program and Rawls Summer Business Institute, Rawls College of Business, Texas Tech University
What types of jobs do you think are most threatened by automation/the rise of robots? What jobs are least threatened?
I believe that the jobs most threatened by automation are the ones that are heavily labor-reliant, especially those that are repetitive and require lower skill levels. As you know, organizations seek to constrain costs, and for labor-heavy industries, labor cost is paramount. Despite an initial heavy investment in technology, automation has the potential to substantially lower costs for these types of industries.
Conversely, the jobs least threatened by automation are those that are intellectually-based, and are heavily reliant on creativity, problem-solving, and other cognitive capabilities, all of which fall within the purview of humans, as opposed to machines. With the level of technology we have today, tasks that require decision-making based on nuanced and ambiguous information will still rely heavily on human skills. Although, at the rate that technology is progressing, these skills might be automated as well in the not-too-distant future!