It’s only a matter of time before a robot wins the Adzuna Table Tennis Tournament…
Are You Applying For Robot Friendly Job Vacancies?
In case you haven’t heard: the robots are coming for us. Or our jobs at least.
Over the last year or so report after report has reminded us that we’ll probably be out of work 20 years from now because machines can do our jobs better than we can. Depending on which expert you listen to, robots will be responsible for making as many as half of current jobs obsolete by 2035 (which, coincidentally, is the year I, Robot is set).
Today Adzuna has released new data which adds to these reports – but instead of looking at the jobs people already have that are at risk, we’re looking at vacancies that haven’t been filled yet.
100,000 current vacancies lost within 20 years
At the beginning of February we analysed over 1.2 million job vacanvcies listed on our site to find out how many current vacancies were for jobs that are likely* to be taken over by robots by 2035. We found that across the UK there were over 100,000 job adverts for roles with a high risk of becoming automated, which represents around 1 in 11 vacancies. These included roles with a high number of vacancies across the country such as HGV drivers, couriers, receptionists and accountants, as well as much less common jobs like billboard installers, tree trimmers and tractor operators.
*Greater than 75% chance according to a University of Oxford study
London and Edinburgh the most future-proof cities?
We also took a look at the difference in the rate of at-risk jobs across 56 UK towns and cities. We found Exeter had the highest rate of jobs likely to be automated, while Plymouth, another Devon city, wasn’t far behind. Meanwhile, London, Reading and Edinburgh had the lowest proportion of high-risk vacancies, with only around 1 in 20 adverts being for a job that a robot was likely to take over.
While the proportion of robot-friendly jobs in London might be low, the high number of vacancies in total meant that there were still 13,000 at-risk jobs in the capital. Outside of the 56 towns and cities we looked at in detail, we found that the number of jobs at risk of robots rose to 1 in 9.
Can you stop the robots?
Smart jobseekers have always assessed the long-term prospects and job security of a role before accepting a job, but the need to plan a career path that will help you to remain relevant in the job market in decades to come has never been stronger. That means developing skills that robots aren’t likely to master any time soon: negotiation, persuasiveness and empathy are skills that can set you apart from robotssocial perceptiveness just yet, so it might be worth brushing up on these more ‘human’ skills. Jobs that require creative thinking and value-judgements that go beyond logical reasoning should also be more safe from automation.
This doesn’t mean you should necessarily avoid jobs that can be automated like the plague – but if you’re not planning on retiring within the next 20 years you should be aware of the need to develop skills and take every opportunity to gain experience in areas that will set you apart from the upcoming robot uprising.