Current Events,  Mile High View

Relevant Jobs in a Technology-Driven Market

How relevant are you? In today’s market, technology and productivity are turning routine jobs into machine automated ones. When I graduated from high school, you could always work in a factory or as a ditch digger if you didn’t go to college. Now, many jobs with a reproducible input-output are being replaced by computers.

You might expect only manual labor jobs to be eliminated by technology, but every industry faces the same push for productivity. For example, lawyers face the same “relevancy” test. In 1978, a case study examined six million documents. It required an army of lawyers and paralegals, which cost more than $2.2 million. In January of 2011, Blackstone Discovery of Palo Alto, Calif., helped analyze 1.5 million documents for less than $100,000. That’s a lot of jobs replaced by computers.

What does this mean for job seekers? It means education will continue to be more and more vital in the job market. You’ll need more to earn a living than just the sweat off your back. Relevant technical skills will be a top priority for recruiters. In his recently released book, That Used To Be Us, Thomas L. Friedman said job seekers will need three qualities:

Think Like an Immigrant – Work like the world doesn’t owe you anything.

Think Like an Artisan – Look outside the box for new ways to accomplish tasks.

Think Like a Waitress – Always go above and beyond your job description.


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