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Jobs of the future and staying relevant in the era of AI

Jobs of the future and staying relevant in the era of AI

New report looks at the tech jobs that are emerging and how to deal with the rise in artificial intelligence and automation

Data and decision analysts, chief experience officers, online/cyber security chaperones – these are some of the roles that will dominate the workforce in the next few years, according to a new report.

CSIRO/Data61, Australian Computer Society, the Commonwealth Department of Employment, The Boston Consulting Group and ANZ Bank compiled a report that looks at the tech jobs that are emerging and how to deal with the rise in artificial intelligence and automation.

Wherever there is a lot of data being generated, there is a job. With sensors, social media content, e-commerce records, and smartphone geolocation devices generating data every second, there is an opportunity to better tap into that data and find the underlying messages it sends, the report said.

Data analysts are only going to continue to grow in future, according to the report. Everyone has a need to either boost productivity, optimise resources and assets, make smarter business decisions or find the root cause of problems through data analysis.

“There are likely to be big data specialists who have skills in machine learning, automation, cyber security, encryption and distributed [cloud based] systems.

“It is also likely that big data analysts with sectoral domain expertise will emerge in health, transport, urban design, retail and many other sectors.”

The move towards open data in government, where departments make their anonymised datasets publicly available, will also spur on jobs for data analysts, the report said.

“Research is showing that open data initiatives can lead to the development of new products and services which diversify industry, boost economic growth and create new job opportunities. As governments and companies turn to vast quantities of data in search of useful information, a new workforce is required.”

Decision analysts will also take off, according to the report. This role involves data analysis to identify best options or decisions in solving business problems and advise organisations in their strategies or decision making.

“The ability to turn fuzzy, messy, complex, multi-objective and multi-stakeholder issues into structured decision problems with a manageable and finite set of options will be highly prized.

“They are also likely to involve more stakeholders (with more perspective) and in a more complex regulatory environment to account for multiple objectives (e.g. social, environmental, financial, technological). All of this calls for greater skill and effort in decision making.”

Chief execs in organisations will have a much greater focus on the customer experience, with the possible creation of the chief experience/customer officer role, the report said.

“The CCOs [chief customer officers] and CXOs [chief experience officers] (and their departments) have removed all of the annoying and unpleasant aspects of shopping (e.g. finding a park, getting a trolley, finding the toothpaste…) and have delivered on experiential goods (e.g. learning about how to make an authentic Valencian paella and whether or not red wine is actually good or bad for health and in what quantity).

“To achieve transitions of this nature, supermarkets, shopping malls, hardware stores, banks, hospitals and many other service oriented organisations will have employed a workforce of creative, imaginative and perceptive customer experience experts.”

Another role that is emerging and will continue to grow in the next few years is an online chaperone. This cybersecurity role is about managing risks associated with e-commerce, social media and Internet usage.

“The Australian Government reports that 5 million Australians fall victim to cybercrime per year and 60 percent of Australians have been victimised at some point during their life.

“These professionals will have the capacity for rapid response and online support above and beyond the scope of government and law enforcement agencies. They may form trusted and long term relationships with their clients as do lawyers and doctors.”

When it comes to low-to-medium skilled jobs and the rise of artificial intelligent and automation, those that can complement their skills with machines will see better prospects than those that that don’t leverage this technology to become more productive in their roles.

“Job seekers of the future need to develop skills, capabilities and aptitudes which complement (not compete with) artificial intelligence, computerised systems and robotics.

"That’s the idea behind a ‘digitally enabled workforce’; it means a workforce where computers are increasing the productivity of workers giving them better and more rewarding careers along with increasing the productivity of the Australian economy,” said Dr Stefan Hajkowicz, senior principal scientist - strategy and foresight, CSIRO/Data61, and co-author of the report.

However, Brad Noakes, partner and MD at The Boston Consulting Group and co-author of the report, said 73 per cent of jobs in Australia will be substantially impacted by automation and artificial intelligence by 2035.

“Over the next twenty years, the job market in Australia is going to become much more dynamic, with a much higher rate of job destruction and job creation required. In fact, our view is that the rate of job destruction is going to be as high as it was during the GFC, but for a much longer and sustained period within Australia.”

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Tags IT jobsICT jobsAIhumans versus machines

More about Australian Computer SocietyBoston ConsultingCSIRODepartment of EmploymentThe Boston Consulting Group

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