You spend years acquiring a specialized skill. You go to school, land the coveted internship and then, your professional coming-of-age. You get the gig. After some time in the field, there’s some technological breakthrough. It’s exciting, historic and … it puts you out of a job. Sound familiar?
With the breakneck clip of technological advancement, how can you even keep up?
The McKinsey Global Institute in May published a report titled “Disruptive Technologies: Advances that will transform life, business, and the global economy” about advancements that will shake up the market and society as a whole. The study shows that some of the biggest victims of that disruption are laborers currently considered part of the skilled workforce.
“The relentless parade of new technologies is unfolding on many fronts,” the report reads. “Almost every advance is billed as a breakthrough, and the list of “next big things” grows ever longer. Not every emerging technology will alter the business or social landscape—but some truly do have the potential to disrupt the status quo, alter the way people live and work, and rearrange value pools.”
Those in the automation knowledge industry, people with college degrees, will lose out to new softwares that replace their human know-how. Advanced robotics could replace people in the manufacturing sector as well as hospital employees.
People working in the fields of advanced genomics and energy storage stand to lose a lot of ground to artificial intelligence.
Those are just a few examples. Here’s a visual look at 12 advancements considered “disruptive technologies” that put the livelihoods of today’s high-skill workforce at risk:
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(Photo Credit: McKinsey)