Is technology taking jobs or creating new ones? | Noelle Neff

Despite the mistrust seen at the time, the Industrial Revolution can stand as a sign of changing times not bringing the world to its knees.

  • Tuesday, March 13, 2018 11:47am
  • Opinion
Noelle Neff

Noelle Neff

Noelle Neff is an accomplished photographer and aspiring journalist based in Coral Gables, Florida. Her passion began with photography but she quickly realized that while a picture is worth a thousand words, those words still need to be written. She believes that as technology brings the world together regional news has an increasingly global impact.

In the 18th-century, England was the starting point for the Industrial revolution which would spark the transition to the modern world we occupy today. As any history teacher will attest to, the people of the 18th and 19th-centuries were initially unhappy with the transition to industrial and urban living from the traditional culture and rural lifestyle. Despite the mistrust seen at the time, the Industrial Revolution can stand as a sign of changing times not bringing the world to its knees as many believe is happening with the rising level of technology seen around the world in recent years. Educators will understand that use of technology can have both positive and negative effects and make changes to their curriculum to ensure students are prepared for an evolving employment market.

The finance and investment company, Deloitte has recently revealed the results of a new study detailing the effect of technology on the U.K. job market dating back to 1871. Using U.K. census records, Deloitte has looked to see how the job market in the U.K. has changed over the last few decades and found a large increase in disposable income available to the residents of the nation and a shift in the jobs sought out by U.K. workers; the major increases were seen in the creation of new positions as hairdressers, beauty specialists, and the leisure industry as jobs in the declining textile mills and factory-based production opportunities were limited. The findings from Deloitte back up the claims of many technology experts who believe the need for human involvement in all aspects of the technology industry and to manage machines involved in automation will also see an increase in better-paid positions for many.

The traditional career paths open to students will be changing in the coming years as increasing levels of technology allow new job opportunities to be developed online and out in the world. The boom in new jobs available to students after completing their education will include technology-based positions such as software debuggers, programmers, and natural disaster mitigation experts who will become sought-after professionals across major cities and in smaller areas of each country.

Needing to develop a new range of varied interests and skills is something all educators should be aware of as the changing job market will require an interest in a specific skill and the technology needed to deliver a product or service to customers.

Growth in the job market will not be limited solely to the technology sector because the increase in disposable income made available by the automation of tasks across many industrial sectors will lead to new jobs opening. One of the major areas of job growth in future decades will be a return to artisan-based products being developed as increased wealth allows individuals the opportunity to indulge their desire for unique artworks, furniture, and services offered by highly-skilled professionals.

The takeaway for students and educators of the rise in automation and the so-called “Internet of things” is not to fear the changes being seen in the job market because these are a traditional evolution of human endeavor. In fact, the only difference between our current levels of technological achievement and those of the past is the fast movement of the changes taking place. The job market requires human interaction and involvement and will do so for the foreseeable future as automation leads to a wealthier community capable of achieving new levels of success.

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