Job site Indeed has analysed its search data to uncover the careers least likely at risk of being made obsolete through automation — those requiring unique human skills such as creativity.
Among them, the combination of creativity and complex manual skills of the chef make their kitchen creations robot-proof.
Cybersecurity careers are also secure, and in demand, with job postings for roles in Australia up by 124% in the last two years
“The most promising careers for the future will be those that complement the work of new technologies or which rely heavily on ‘human’ qualities, such as social interaction or creativity, that cannot be easily replicated by a computer,” says Callam Pickering, Indeed’s APAC economist.
“In coming decades, many tasks traditionally performed by humans will be automated. This offers great opportunities but will prove disruptive for certain segments of the labour market.”
For example, news organisations are already using algorithms to write business stories and sports updates and previously safe occupations, such as accountants and underwriters, will come under pressure from the next round of automation.
“Younger Australians should keep automation in mind as they choose their future career path,” says Pickering.
“Choosing a job that is protected from automation may have a dramatic impact on their long-term prospects.”
Here’s a snapshot of Australia’s most future-proofed roles, according to analysis by Pickering:
1. Cyber security expert. Hackers are good at stealing data. “They have also helped fuel demand for cyber security professionals as well as cyber forensics experts, who figure out what went wrong after the fact,” says Pickering. Between 2015 and 2017, Indeed saw an increase of 124% in job postings in Australia for cyber security roles.
2. Data scientist. The demand for data science skills keeps rising. “Professionals who combine technical and scientific expertise with the ability to find the important stories hidden in the mass of information will be in especially high demand,” says Pickering. Job postings for this areas rose 185% between 2015 and 2017.
3. Healthcare. Australia is getting older. The Australian Bureau of Statistics say there will be 9.6 million people aged 65 and over by 2064. This means healthcare jobs such as caregiver and occupational therapist have a good future. “These jobs require high levels of empathy, perceptiveness and manual skill and are at little risk of automation,” says Pickering. At Indeed, job postings for Health Care Assistant increased by 33% in Australia between 2015 and 2017.
4. Marketing and design. Creativity rules. “Creative professions which focus on the complex interplay of ideas, words and images with shared cultural and social values are also likely to survive the rise of the machines,” says Pickering. “For instance, digital marketing has recently experienced growth and will most likely continue to do so—especially in high-potential markets where it is still underdeveloped.”
5. Delivery/logistics management. Drone may well one day rule the skies. “This does not mean that the logistics sector is ripe for total automation,” says Pickering. “Human workers will still be involved the oversight and management of today’s incredibly complex, globe-spanning delivery and supply chain processes.”
6. Human resources. Managing talent is a skill and good staff are an asset. “As the amount of information available to employers and job seekers proliferates, so the nature of HR will change,” says Pickering. “Candidate selection and recruitment will become more data-driven and as automated screening based on machine learning and the use of analytics tools will become more widespread. Those best poised to succeed as HR professionals in the future will combine soft skills and emotional intelligence with expertise in software and analytics.”
7. Gig-worker. Pickering says firms such as Uber have already revolutionised the so-called gig economy, enabling smartphone connected drivers to work flexibly on their own time. Australian interest in casual work increased by 196% between 2015 and 2017. “As this model becomes more widely accepted (and regulated) it will become even easier for more people to participate,” dsasy Pickering. “However some of the major gig employers (food delivery) are investing heavily in self-driving cars or drones—so this type of work may not last forever.”
8. Teachers. Knowledge is king and those who wield it will be in demand. “The explosion of online learning is opening up new possibilities as educators in one country can now teach classes to students based all over the world,” says Pickering. Harvard Business School is already using “virtual classroom” software to teach business courses to a global student audience. In Australia postings for teachers has increased by 14% since 2015.
9. Chef. People need to eat and they also enjoy going out with friends. “Chefs combine creative intelligence and complex manual skills in ways which are very difficult to automate,” says Pickering. In Australia, chefs are the 4th most advertised position on Indeed’s site. And pizza cooks are the second hardest to fill roles nationally with 80% of roles still open after 60 days.