Robots Take Jobs But Also Create Them

May 23, 2017

By Barb Miller, Marketing Manager

A recent report produced by Pricewaterhouse Coopers states that 38 percent of U.S. jobs (nearly 4 in 10) will be replaced by robots and artificial intelligence (AI) by the early 2030s. With so many jobs disappearing, many futurists and economists are considering the possibility of a jobless future.

We’re more optimistic and don’t believe it’s all doom and gloom. While it’s true that some people will see their jobs become obsolete, there will be opportunities for workers to acquire new skills in order to obtain other well-paying jobs. Robots in the workforce will not merely take jobs away, but also create them.

Just ask Amazon. Robots are helping to create 100,000 new jobs over the next 18 months! Thanks in part to more robots in its fulfillment centers, Amazon has been able to drive down shipping costs and pass those savings on to customers. Cheaper shipping made more people use Amazon, and the company hired more workers to meet this increased demand.

At IBM, the arrival of “Watson,” a broad collection of online tools that use artificial intelligence to help diagnose disease, among other things, is considered a job transformation and not job replacement.  Watson is not stealing jobs. It operates alongside humans, not in lieu of them.

Yes, the robotics revolution is here. There’s no way to avoid it. We advise that you take advantage of this new era and consider robotics as a career path. There’s a high demand for robotics talent in all the major industries including agriculture, health & medical, retail & hospitality, consumer goods, infrastructure, security, energy & mining, manufacturing, and supply chain.

What are the hottest jobs in robotics right now?

Robotics Engineer: A robotics engineer has the responsibility for developing the robot on paper. It takes research and high technicality. Also, as a robot is being built, an engineer will oversee practically every aspect of the development of the robot.

Software Developer: Each robot has a computerized internal system that is written and coded by a software developer. Obviously, the software developer must be highly skilled and proficient in computing coding and software design.

Technician: Robotics technicians build, maintain, test and repair robots. They may also work on robotics-related automation production systems. Therefore, they must have a strong background in hardware, electronics, and circuitry.

Sales Engineer: This professional will prospect, qualify, quote and close business opportunities. They must also be able to consult with the buyer and make any changes in the design to satisfy their needs.

Operator: Robotics operators are needed to ensure basic and safe robotic operations and adjustments as required.  They often read blueprints and ensure correct machine settings.

What traits are essential for those entering the robotics field? According to ROBOTIQ.com , here are a few crucial ones:

Systems Thinking: The understanding of a robotics system by examining the linkages and interactions between the components that comprise the entirety of that defined system.

Problem Solving: The ability to foresee problems before they even arise and troubleshooting if they do arise.

Programming Mindset: Very essential skill for robotics. Robotic programmers will interact with hardware and electronics plus must be comfortable learning any new language.

Mathematically Inclined: To succeed in robotics, you will need a good grasp of at least algebra, calculus and geometry. This is because robotics relies on being able to understand and manipulate abstract concepts, often representing those concepts as functions or equations.

Good Communication Skills:  Roboticists are a channel of communication between the different disciplines. Therefore, communication skills are vital. Being able to use your speaking and writing skills effectively is important. Also, very helpful is having good instructing skills.

Technology Design: Being able to design things that work is a must. It also means being able to figure out why something isn’t working properly and come up with possible solutions and having skills in repairing.

There’s no doubt, robots and AI will change the landscape of the job market and a new generation of jobs will emerge. The robotic revolution will come with a new wave of hiring.

Has your job been affected by Robotics and AI? If so, how? Please comment in the box below.

Critical Tactics for Job Hopping

By Barb Miller, Marketing Manager, DRI & DCA

Job hopping is becoming more readily accepted in today’s workforce. The stigma of not staying in one position or at one company for very long, is fading away.  According to Mashable, 18 months is now the socially accepted minimum for staying at a job. In the past, staying for only 18 months would trigger a negative reaction and employers would ask for a reasonable explanation such as a company layoff or plant closing.

In May 2014, Career Builder surveyed 2,138 hiring managers and HR professionals and 55% have hired job hoppers and nearly one-third have come to expect workers to job hop. In fact, the stats show that by the age of 35, 25% of workers have held five jobs or more. For workers ages 55 and older, 20% have held ten jobs or more.

As you map out your career strategy that includes stops at several employers, there are a few critical tactics you should think about:

Have a large, resourceful network. Social and professional networks are more active, wide-reaching, and influential than ever before. Networking is vital in today’s competitive market.

Keep your range of skills honed. With each new position comes a new set of challenges. Take full advantage of development opportunities and be willing to learn from other respected professionals in your industry.

Know what you want to get out of every job change. Before making a move, have an explicit understanding of what the new position will add to your experience base, mastery, and personal maturity and satisfaction.

Your next move must be rational. Have a plausible explanation for each move you make. Employers will want to know why you are making a job change. Stay away from saying things like “it sounded like a good idea at the time” or you’ll raise eyebrows.

Be prepared to stay in each job long enough to learn something. This is where 18 months comes into play again. Staying 18 months is considered acceptable and usually the point at which you develop new skills, receive your first formal employee review, and possibly a salary increase.

You are what you were last.  Your most recent job and resume reflects your career path and what you want to do with your life.  When meeting a potential new employer, don’t veer from your story. Your resume and how you answer interview questions, should be in sync.

If you would like to mention another critical tactic when job hopping, please comment below.

What Today’s Employers Expect From Employees

By Barb Miller, Marketing Manager, DRI

These days, employers look for skills beyond the ‘academic qualifications’ of candidates. Many of them believe that academic qualifications and experience are something that can easily be found but the right combination of characteristics that help a company make money or save money, are hard to find.

With that in mind, here are 6 of the most desirable characteristics that employers expect from employees:

Taking Initiative. Initiative is all about taking charge. It’s having the motivation to accomplish tasks on your own. If you want to be great at what you do and be considered for a leadership position, you need to show that you are ready, able, and willing to get things done without being asked.

Positive Attitude. Many employers believe that having a positive attitude is more important than the knowledge an employee brings to the table. A positive attitude is infectious. It spreads to all others in the workplace. Also, if you’re a positive person, you tend to be more curious about things. As a result, your job performance is usually better than a negative person because you are always looking for new ideas that yield higher productivity levels.

Entrepreneurial Spirit. Entrepreneurs are innovators. They are always trying to figure out new ways to accomplish tasks. Entrepreneurs like change because change often brings a plethora of opportunities. The essence of the entrepreneurial attitude is that you are able to anticipate change and formulate innovative responses to change that will result in success.

Results-Oriented. Results-oriented individuals are focused on making things happen no matter the challenges or road blocks. This means you dig through projects and figure out how to obtain the desired result(s). In addition, you stay resolute and focused on each project, meet deadlines, and deliver value to the organization.

Team Player. Employers know that their employees are more productive and tend to be more loyal and committed to the organization when they see themselves as an integral part of a team.  Team players show a willingness to collaborate with others in order to execute work assignments and accomplish goals.

Dependable and Responsible. Being dependable means that you do what you say you will do. Employers value employees who come to work on time and take responsibility for their actions and behaviors. In addition, employers know that dependable and responsible employees value their job, job expectations, and their performance level.

Desire for Continued Learning. Continual learning enables employees to increase the contribution they make to the company. If you show a willingness to take advantage of training programs offered at work, attend seminars, read relevant books etc. you become more valuable to every assignment and ultimately the organization. Also, don’t forget to ask for advice from your team and manager on things you need to learn in order to progress.

If you are a hiring manager, are there any other characteristics that you consider to be “must haves” in your workplace?  Please share your comments below.

For Millennials, Job Hopping is Normal by Barb Miller, Marketing Manager, DRI

Millennials, also known as GEN Y, were born between the years ranging from the early 1980s to the early 2000s and are notorious job hoppers. Reports suggest they have a short attention span and the majority of this generation does not expect to stay with one employer for more than five years.

Companies are feeling the real costs of these job hoppers. Reported in the Chicago Tribune  30% of companies surveyed lost 15% or more of their Millennial employees in 2013; and 87% said it cost $15,000 to $25,000 to replace a former Millennial employee.

Is there any way to keep Millennials from walking out the door? Yes. But it may mean changing your company culture and/or implementing new and creative ways for employee retention.  Here are 5 suggestions:

1) Offer Job Hopping Opportunities Inside Your Company. Give Millennials an opportunity to have a wide range of experiences within your company. The ability to move between departments can lead to greater exposure and job fulfillment.

2) Leadership Development. Millennials pay close attention to whether their workplace offers leadership opportunities for them. Your company should develop and implement a variety of leadership programs that demonstrate a commitment to these young employees.

3) Mentorship Programs. Mentoring is very important to Millennials. Establishing an effective mentoring program is both a cost-effective means of facilitating connections, accelerate learning and send a positive message about their future with the company.

4) Current Technology. Millennials grew up with technology in their hands. They’re very comfortable with smart phones, IPads, Laptops, etc. and are keenly aware of the latest applications and improved mechanics. Make sure your company offers the state-of-the-art technology to help them work more efficiently and increase productivity levels.

5) Work/Life Balance. Millennials will work hard but want flexibility. Offer them remote connectivity and alternative work arrangements for community or family events. Also, offer a relaxed environment. It’s no coincidence that this generation admires the work environments of Google, Yahoo and Amazon. Gone are the days of wearing suits and ties as a more relaxed workplace is in.

If you’re a Millennial and change jobs often, please comment on how job hopping has been a positive for you.