These days it seems as if the employment world is moving faster than ever in terms of new technologies, job types and career pathways. Who would have thought that a whole range of new jobs such as Social Media Manager, Drone Pilot, Uber Driver or YouTube Star would be employing hundreds of thousands of people around the world?

My 14-year-old son is presently choosing classes for 2019, for an employment future that will be so different from today.

Robots in control?

Global management consulting firm McKinsey, recently published a fascinating study entitled Jobs Lost, Jobs Gained: Workforce Transitions in A Time of Automation, looking at future trends in IT and automation, and how this could significantly impact our future as a career-focused species.


Their findings included that "automation technologies including artificial intelligence and robotics will generate significant benefits for users, businesses, and economies, lifting productivity and economic growth".

However, about half of the activities people are paid to do globally "could theoretically be automated using currently demonstrated technologies. Very few occupations — less than 5 per cent — consist of activities that can be fully automated."

Bearing this in mind, the report states that between 75 million and 375 million people in the global economy may need to switch occupations by 2030, due to rapid automation adoption scenarios.

Jobs that are most susceptible to automation include positions that involve predictable manual tasks, as well as positions that involve a high level of data collection and processing, as these can be done faster and better with technology.

The good news

On a positive note, McKinsey says that "automation will have a lesser effect on jobs that involve managing people, applying expertise, and social interactions, where machines are unable to match human performance for now".

The report also states that jobs in unpredictable environments (for example roles such as gardeners, plumbers and those in child/elder care) will probably see a lower level of automation by 2030, as the roles themselves are technically challenging, and usually demand lower wages, making automation a "less attractive business proposition".

Looking at positive changes in job growth across all countries, McKinsey states that the roles with the highest percentage job growth (net of automation), include the following:


● Healthcare providers.

● Professionals such as engineers, scientists, accountants, and analysts.

● IT professionals and other technology specialists.

● Managers and executives, whose work cannot easily be replaced by machines.

● Educators, especially in emerging economies with young populations.

● "Creatives," ) a small but growing category of artists, performers, and entertainers who will be in demand as rising incomes create more demand for leisure and recreation.

● Builders and related professions, particularly in the scenario that involves higher investments in infrastructure and buildings.

● Manual and service jobs in unpredictable environments, such as home-health aides and gardeners."

Technology is rapidly changing the face of everything we do on a daily basis, which in turn drives exciting new career opportunities and jobs we can't even conceive of at present. We just need to keep ahead of the robots.

Contact Tom O'Neil and the team at CV.CO.NZ for a free CV or LinkedIn assessment or to be your personal career coach. Visit or to find out more.