Artificial Intelligence Changes Job Market Demands

The world isn’t changing. It has changed already. And no one can deny that artificial intelligence, one of the big changes and disruptors, has lead the change. Artificial Intelligence has impacted our lives in many ways, and as the new becomes familiar, more changes will come along. What is important is that artificial intelligence becomes a force for continual learning and positive change.

The recent World Economic Forum addressed the issue of artificial intelligence and automation. Towards a Reskilling Revolution: A Future of Jobs for All sums up the future saying “individual workers will have to engage in life-long learning if they are to achieve fulfilling and rewarding careers.”

Americans are looking at this future with mixed feelings. Generally they feel that AI brings positive change, but they aren’t sure how to get the skills to work with it. A recent Northeastern University /Gallup survey showed that 76 percent of Americans believe that AI will impact how they live and work in the next decade. Of those, 77 percent believe the impacts will be positive.

There is no doubt that many of the impacts, whether positive or negative will be on people in the job market. Already AI and automation have changed or eliminated some jobs and created others. Seventy-three percent of Americans believe AI will eliminate more jobs than it will create, but only 23 percent of people fear losing their jobs to AI. At the same time only 22 percent of Americans think their degree has provided the skills they need to work with artificial intelligence. However, 53 percent of Americans think they would be able to get the education they need to if theirs is eliminated.

Oxford University predicts that almost 50 percent of jobs will change in the next 20 years for a couple reasons. First, 41 percent of companies are adopting artificial intelligence and robotics, according to Deloitte Human Capital Trends report. Second, longevity is impacting the length of time people will stay in the job market. Workers may have careers that last 60-70 years; these older workers will be an important part of the job market with birthrates that are below the replacement rate birthrates in developed countries.

Technical changes and long careers mean that people will need to redesign the concept of a career, says John Bersin, founder of Bersin by Deloitte. “We will also have many careers in our life,” he says. “As a surfing analogy describes it, we have to get ourselves to paddle back out to catch the next wave and make time to reinvent ourselves on a regular basis. Many call this continuous learning. I call it continuous reinvention.”

Whether it is continuous learning or continuous reinvention, the solution is the same. Workers will need to continue their educations beyond their initial degree or training. For businesses that need continually need workers with new skills and workers who need to learn the skills, tuition assistance programs are more important than ever. About half of the respondents to the Northwestern/Gallup survey said they would seek retaining from their employers.

Tuition assistance programs are vital in rapidly changing job markets. The World Economic Forum report says that by 2026, artificial intelligence will change or disrupt 1.4 million jobs. Other predictions say that the changes will start as soon as 2020 and will involve 1.8 million jobs. Calling this a “reskilling crisis,” the report says that only 2 percent of workers could immediately take a new job with their current skill set, and 16 percent of workers would have no opportunity to transition to a new job.

TAP will make it possible for businesses to build a workforce that works effectively with AI. TAP will provide the opportunity for workers to learn skills that help them become “robot-proof,” says Joseph Aoun, president of Northeastern University. People need to learn the skills that make it possible for them “to do the jobs only humans can do.” These are skill such as collaboration and critical thinking that allow people to work with artificial intelligence rather than be displace by it.