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AI, robotics, IoT, VR, AR, blockchain, 3D printing, cybersecurity, drones, BIM, Identity management, facial recognition, social media, Amazon, Alibaba, Uber and others are changing the traditional world of work.

Using evidence from 50,000 ICT surveys, we mapped the impacts of disruptive technologies on 400 business categories across 19 industry sectors. For some sectors and categories technology offers new opportunity, for others technology presents challenges and threats.

Opportunity or Threat?     Search the industries below to find out.

  • “What is causing the digital disruption?”

    Digital disruption is impacting the world of work, right across the planet. Some digital technologies displace workers, shifting them into other roles. But technologies such as robots and artificial intelligence automate tasks, job roles and activities, replacing workers completely.

    Robotisation, AI, IoT, VR, AR, blockchain, remote sensing, 3D printing, cybersecurity, drones, nanotechnology, big data, cloud services, BIM, cryptocurrency, Identity management, facial recognition, social media, Amazon, eBay, Alibaba, Uber and others are all changing the traditional world of work. 

  • “Where and who is it going to hit worst?”

    The music industry, newspapers, real estate, postal services, accommodation, video and film, advertising, travel and media have all been transformed by the digital revolution. Mining and manufacturing were both early adopters of robotics and automation. Agriculture is now following suit.

    But software is now impacting most sectors, automating an increasing number of administrational tasks as well. With the advent of machine learning and artificial intelligence, the automation of administration will continue to spread into professional services, education, banking, finance, rental and real estate, media and communications. In fact, many traditionally “safe jobs” will come under threat. So it is important to have a clear picture of the challenges.

  • “Which sectors and categories are safe?”

    The safest sectors are those that have already automated, such as mining and agriculture, or sectors where there is high degree of interpersonal relationship, such as health and social services, arts and recreation and food service, or where there is a creative or unique aspect to the task being delivered, as in house renovation in the construction industry, or design, arts and recreation, landscaping, architecture and engineering.

    Dumb tasks can be automated. Imagination, ideas and vision can’t be.

  • “What new jobs will be created?”

    Robots can’t repair themselves and will need designing, engineering and servicing. Software needs developing and updating. Tradespeople will need to enhance their traditional skills with software skills. The ever-increasing volumes of data generated by software activity need analysis and interpretation.

    STEM skills and STEAM skills (STEM plus Arts) are important, but individuals will also need to think about creating their own jobs, starting their own businesses, working and collaborating with friends, especially starting businesses in productive industries -agriculture, creative industry, defence, ICT, medical and health, manufacturing, METS, smart trades and tourism.

  • “What skills, subjects and attitudes will help manage the disruption best?”

    Creative skills and STEAM skills, aligned with lifelong learning, critical thinking, collaborative skills, flexibility and resilience are the best tools for finding work in a competitive job market.

    The traditionally secure job sectors of professional services and health – law, accounting and general practice are not as secure as they used to be. Many of the entry-level jobs in transport, manufacturing, wholesale, retail and administrative services are also disappearing.

    So employers have a lot more choice and seek people who will be reliable, flexible, polite and enthusiastic, and a good fit for their business. 75% of employers require applicants to have workplace experience.

  • “I can’t get a job without experience and I can’t get experience without a job.”

    Experience can be gained through volunteering, work experience placements, internships, traineeships, casual and part-time work, which can often lead to full time employment opportunities.

  • “What is the future of work and jobs?”

    The timetable of challenge from disruptive technologies is spread over decades, with some business categories like the taxi industry, having to deal with impacts today and others having years to plan and organise. The challenges to work in Australia are not solely dictated by technology, but also involve government legislation and regulation, vested interests, political will and influence, education and training, as well as the influence of multinationals and software vendors across the planet.

    But in general, disruptive technology is reducing the number of jobs internationally, and will exacerbate the inequalities in society between the “haves” and “have nots’ even further than today.

    If there are not enough jobs or meaningful roles in society, then inequalities will become more magnified. So managing the future of work and jobs, has to include solutions and roles for everybody, not just a fortunate few.

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