Technology has always strived to make our daily lives a little more hassle free. Ideas, concepts and developments are being pushed through at an unprecedented rate and many innovations in the work place have helped to make tasks and jobs much simpler and convenient for consumers and employees alike. However, as always seems to be the case when we are faced with ground-breaking transformations, critics have popped up proclaiming that the role of the human being in the workforce is in jeopardy as computers with much greater efficiency are drafted in. But is this a fair statement? Is rapid technological innovation good or bad?
Cynics have been very vociferous in their opposition, with some even forecasting that by 2025, 30% of the current workforce in the UK will have been ousted by robots. They fear that hard working individuals, especially those with a vocational, skills-based repertoire, will soon lose their livelihoods, creating mass unemployment and inducing several other terrifying negative economic consequences. However, the innovators themselves paint a different picture and actually suggest that the advent of new technologies has, and will in fact, create millions more jobs than it will cost.
It is of course true that many occupations such as administration, areas of farming and agriculture, and even laundrettes for example, have been radicalised by these technological changes. Advances in manufacturing and automation have resulted in the loss of more manual and cognitive jobs roles. Secretarial and more labour intensive roles have decreased but this has only benefited businesses and consumers. Job reduction in one sector has opened up opportunities in others. The healthcare industry in the UK is in need of mass influxes of employees to help keep up with an ageing population. No matter how many check-out assistants are replaced by machines, the human touch is irreplaceable. Teaching, welfare, and housing are also suffering from supply shortages.
Innovations in other traditional sectors have also created demand for new roles. Knowledge- based occupations have become more commonplace mostly thanks to the incredible rate in which technology now allows us to share and communicate information in real time. IT experts have found new roles in traditional industries like accountancy and medicine over the last few decades, and as a bi-product a number of astounding breakthroughs have been made.
The arrival of the internet has paved the way for entrepreneurs to pursue ideas they never before would have been able to put into practise and a number of the world’s leading organisations have been created just in the last decade. With the introduction of faster internet connections and the growth of smart devices job seekers are only restricted by their ambition and imagination.
Take the gaming industry for example. Children growing up playing their favourite titles at one time would never have dreamt about making a career out of their pastime but now there are thousands of opportunities in the sector. Whether it’s developing popular casino-based apps like roulette, or developing the next Angry Birds phenomenon, new opportunities should be embraced and critics should realize that these new jobs would not exist if it were not for technology.