Here Today, Tech Tomorrow

Perhaps we have all been a bit slow to recognise the impact of the digital revolution on the labour market. Well-intentioned but misguided parents are pushing for their children to pursue careers in medicine, law and finance. All the while these sort of careers are slowly heading down the drain.

It is suggested by Stuff.co.nz that the proliferation of technology, an aging population and increased food exports are significantly changing the career paths of future generations. And through all the changes in the career market only one thing has reminded constant: the proliferation of technology.

Tim Smithells, a Hamilton careers advisor says the next generation of workers will need to be increasingly dynamic and adaptable as technology influences their career prospects. As workplaces evolve, careers arise and die too.

But does this mean technology will eventually replace human work?

The career councillors say although technology is replacing many manual labour jobs in sectors like manufacturing, elsewhere it simply changes a job description.”Instead, every generation has to deal with new technologies which then impact on the ways many jobs are done.”

Unsurprisingly, this is most likely to affect those in manual labour or monotonous roles. “In a nutshell, technology complements, supplements and extends the scope of many tasks and jobs that hands-on workers, technical and professional people do in their work,” Tim says.

By looking at the Census data compiled for Fairfax Media on job trends between 2006 and 2013, we can derive some assumptions about where today’s children won’t be working.

“Technology advancement and cheaper offshore labour means it is highly unlikely today’s school children will end up working as textile and footwear production machine operators, service station attendants, printers, sewing machinists, timber process workers, keyboard operators, bank worker or meat boners.” Stuff.co.nz claims.

So where will children end out working?

Predictably, jobs in the ICT sector surged between 2006 and 2013 Census results. They are plentiful, high-paying and show no sign of slowing down.

Web developers and multimedia specialists grew by 119 per cent over the last seven years, while ICT business and systems analyst jobs jumped 38 per cent, to just under 10,000. Software and application programmers grew by 30 per cent to 17,000.

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Jason Duop

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