20 years ago if you wanted to book a vacation, withdraw money from your bank account, or get the latest movie you needed to talk to an employee.
Nowadays, you need only reach for your cellphone and entire professions such as travel agents, cashiers, and video store clerks have gone the way of the Dodo bird.
And it's only the beginning.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to either create or destroy millions of jobs in the next 20 years according to many of today's top futurists.
In this article, we'll look at what the impact of AI is going to be for millennials as they join, and attempt to climb the ladder within the workforce.
The Computers Are Going To Steal Our Jobs!
The truth is, that no one knows yet how AI will affect the job market going forward.
There are two schools of thought on the role AI will play for millennials in the job market.
First, there is a loud and extremely vocal fear of technology making jobs obsolete, just as there is a similar fear of those jobs being taken by immigrants to the United States.
A Gallup study predicts that 37% of millennials will have their job be replaced by artificial intelligence and a similar report by Mckinsey says that up to 50% of jobs could be replaced, these are still just predictions.
What isn't a prediction is that millennials, especially those just entering the workforce now or in the next few years during which the bugs are being worked out in the application of AI are going to be more susceptible to being replaced than older more senior staff .
In short, the more working years ahead of you; the greater the risk of redundancy,
On the other hand Millenials and others remain optimistic about AI creating new jobs according to this study by the World Economic Forum over 78% of millennials believe AI will create jobs with some reports predicting up to 500,000 new jobs being created by AI in the next 10 years alone.
What jobs are most at risk for being replaced by AI?
While widespread adoption of AI and Cognitive Automation have not yet reached widespread adoption, there are certain low level tasks that are prime candidates to be replaced by robotic process automation such as repetitive financial and accounting services like bookkeeping, and loan servicing all of which will be replaced by RPA services within the early stages of AI adoption.
What jobs are least at risk?
The jobs that are least at risk are those which computers will never be able to do completely such as critical thinking skills and human interaction.
The jobs least likely to be replaced by artificial intelligence are things like data scientists, nurses, lawyers and customer service.
The entire workforce is changing.
Gone are the days of spending 30 years of your life with one company, rising through the ranks of internal promotion and retiring with a gold pocket watch and a pension.
Millennials entering the job market are dealing with a variety of challenges from the emergence of the gig economy to companies taking advantage of degree arbitrage to underpay overqualified candidates.
It has NEVER been harder to get or keep a job.
And it's not going to get any easier anytime soon.
No one yet knows what the final impact of AI will be on millenials careers, but there is evidence on both sides. Some studies suggest that up to 50% of the work currently being done by humans can and will be given to the machines. Other studies and anecdotes from companies where AI is being implemented already suggest that AI will create more jobs.
Either way Millenials are the ones most at risk because they have the greatest number of working years ahead of them and are more likely to be applying for low level positions which are more likely to be automated.
If you're a millennial looking at a career in accounting or mortgage brokering you may want to reconsider as those tasks are high up on the list of tasks that can be done by robotic process automation or RPA.
We still don't know how AI is going to change the job market in the coming years, but it's never too early to start thinking about it and positioning yourself or your children to be prepared for a brave new world.