Here’s the question students should ask to compete against the robots stealing their future jobs

Automation has taken hold in pretty much every single industry, whether it’s robo-investors on Wall Street or automated analyses of x-rays in the medical field.

This automation can cause disruption, changing the way certain jobs are done and eliminating the need for others.

To compete against this threat, college students would be wise to ask themselves one question as they set out to pursue their academic careers, says CEO of HiringSolved Shon Burton.

“Students should be thinking, ‘In 20 years, where does the human add value?‘” Burton, whose company leverages AI technology to make job recruiting more efficient
, told Business Insider. “They add value in places where we want to interface with humans, certainly they add value on the strategy and creativity level, and in any places where we can look out and say, ‘I don’t want to deal with a machine for that,'” he continued.

Consider, for example, you are a patient waiting to be diagnosed with an illness at the hospital. Perhaps an automated process would be able to more quickly produce the diagnosis, but humans still will likely prefer to have the a conversation with a doctor to learn about the prognosis and treatment options.

“What you need to find is the place where if you foreshadow 20 years from now, the question is not: ‘Can we automate it?’ The question is: ‘Will we want to?,'” Burton said.

The best thing a college student can do to ensure they will succeed in an automated workplace is to chose an industry they love, and ensure they focus on learning creativity and communication skills, things automated processes cannot do, according to Burton.

“The important thing if you’re coming out of school is to think about where your edge is, you think about doing something you really want to do,” he explained.

Then he asked, “where does the automation stop?” When you’ve figured that out, you’ll be in good shape to compete against automation in your industry.

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