Man presenting and talking on stage

IT and Future Jobs

Economist Andrew McAfee suggests that, yes, probably, droids will take our jobs – or at least the kinds of jobs we know now. In this far-seeing TED talk, McAfee talks through what future jobs might look like, and how to educate coming generations to hold them.

McAfee starts his speech by pointing out author George Eliot’s claim that “out of any mistake, prophesy is the most gratuitous.” In pointing this out, McAfee decides to nullify that mistake by making a really convincing argument about what jobs the future holds, or doesn’t hold. He has evidence! Pictures of cars that will be able to drive themselves; so less, and less truck drivers. He says we’re going to hook iPhone’s Siri up to IBM’s Watson and be able to computer generate things done by customer service representatives, troubleshooters, and diagnosers. We also have certain factories with several R2D2s that move shelving and packaging around making there less of a need for factory workers and fork lift operators. It is the brunt of The New Machine Age.

Let this not take on a negative air, however. “This is good news for the economy,” says McAfee. With droids doing many of the common blue collar jobs, we are free of drudgery. We will be given the freedom to use our minds at a completely new and higher potential for jobs that welcome it. What is among some of these jobs that welcome it? Jobs in the IT industry. We need programmers, engineers, architects, among many, many others. Thankfully, the outlook is good. McAfee recounts his experiences in Montessori schools at a very young age. The world is a vast space ready to be explored. That was the message instilled in his mind. Now public schools are prepping kids for a world filled with technology. We’re incorporating the world’s immense list of technological devices into every day learning. So, as McAfee and many other young, aspiring individuals feel as a curious individual, the world is growing into a larger space technologically. Exciting, scary, overwhelming, yet manageable all at the same time. Feel good about your job. Technology is your friend.