The Jobs Most Likely to Suffer from Automation

Published: Aug 15, 2016

 Job Search       Workplace Issues       
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In recent years, we've written a fair amount about the risk of losing your job to automation on this blog. (Like this post and this one, both within the last couple of months). And when we do, it's usually with one main goal in mind: to ensure that there is no-one out there who is serious about their career that doesn't see the continuing wave of automation coming.

Don't get me wrong: we're not doomsayers—we just don't want anyone to wind up on the end of the "I used to work as a print-setter or lamplighter" end of the spectrum.

The best way to do that: train for a career that requires the kind of knowledge and/or creativity that that only humans are capable of (at present anyway).

Case in point: this chart, which comes to us from Business Insider, who in turn sourced it from a note Morgan Stanley researchers sent to clients, who based it on data from a 2013 academic study that found some 47% of total US employees are at risk from automation.

Job Automation Chart

If you're in any doubt that job security is going to be increasingly based on skillset and knowledge rather than, say, picking a lucrative industry, check out the varying fortunes of lawyers and paralegals on the chart. While the former has an extremely low risk of being disrupted in any serious way by technological trends, the latter—whose work often involves relatively mundane, repeatable tasks—seems to be in great danger.

And if you're still not convinced, check out the profession right in the middle: computer programmers. While you might think that the people who spend their careers making computers do their bidding should have a risk rate much closer to zero, it seems that many of them may be coding their way out of a job.