Only a decade ago, most of us never thought we would see this in our lifetime, but here it is: According to a new study out last week, 42% of Canadian jobs will be automated in the next 10 to 20 years (42% of Canadian jobs at high risk of being affected by automation, new study suggests). We are facing the next “industrial” revolution – or maybe we should call “the rise of the machines”?
In an economy with more than 10 million “discouraged workers”, the last thing we needed is happening all around us. Companies – from Apple, which is working on automation in order to have its cell phones produced by robots, all the way to McDonald’s, planning on replacing workers with robots, – are all looking into this, or even already doing it! After all, robots do not demand minimum wages, or better working conditions. They do not need days off, vacations, sick days, benefits, insurance or pensions. Heck, if machines are manufacturing something, they do not even need to have the lights on – I have personally heard witness testimonies of entire factories with machines working in the dark, to save on electricity!
According to the most recent study by the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship at Toronto’s Ryerson University, the following jobs are at giher risk of being automated in the near future: retail salesperson, administrative assistant, food counter attendant (think about the McDonald’s example above), cashier (consider the self checkout machines available in most large grocery and department stores), transport truck driver. Now, entire automated convenience stores are starting to appear all over the world!
So what are we to do in this case? What if in an already difficult economic situation, finding a job – just any job, in order to make ends meet, – is becoming nearly impossible?
Many would suggest that we all get a better education, and live the “life of the mind”. Some would say more engineers, programmers and robotics specialist will be needed. While that may be the case, it is a matter of fact that, first, not each and every person is cut out to be an engineer, or even to go to college; and, second, even if that was the case – there would only be so many jobs for people inventing, building, programming and fixing the machines and robots that will replace some of the most basic jobs that anyone – even people without a high school diploma – can do! When we even have machines building and producing other machines (Robot ‘mother’ builds babies that can evolve on their own), then what are all the rest of humanity to do?
This is one of many reasons why I tend to always repeat, how important it is to have as little debt as possible, and be as independant of the system as you can be! As I write in my book, every little thing that makes you more self-sustainable will help! Always evaluate your situation and check, what is best for yourself and your family!