Finding a job today is much different than it was 25 years ago. For example, job boards didn’t exist, and people used the ‘help wanted’ section of their local newspaper to look for open positions. In the age of the internet, recruitment tactics have expanded. Not only do companies post open positions on various online outlets, many of these organizations now rely on technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) to bolster their recruiting and human capital management efforts.
Such technologies have revolutionized the way people find and gain employment, as well as the types of positions they obtain. Today’s job boards feature titles such as ‘Cloud Platform Sales Representative’ and ‘Principal Middleware Consultant,’ positions that would have sounded confusing just a generation ago.
The talent behind these job boards and recruiting efforts isn’t just human, much of the prospect filtering and sifting has been automated. Automation doesn’t stop in the recruiting department; many tasks once performed by individuals in the inventory management, IT, and financial departments are now being performed with the aid of AI. As technology progresses, automation and continual shifts in job functions are inherent.
Oracle CEO Mark Hurd understands this inevitability. His career started at a time when few front-line employees ever saw computers, let alone used them. Today, virtually every Oracle employee uses computers. The progress of technology has eliminated many jobs, consolidated others, and created a number of new roles that seemed like a science-fiction 25 years ago, especially in the IT arena.
Hurd made three major predictions at Oracle OpenWorld 2018, each focused on a different aspect of artificial intelligence. The one that should most interest job-seekers and HR professionals was Hurd’s final prediction: “60 percent of the IT jobs out there by 2025 haven't been invented yet.”
The jobs available today exist because technology progressed to where many job functions were simply no longer necessary. For example, accountants once had to calculate every single expense by hand, sifting through mountains of receipts to get it right. Today, business expenses can be submitted, recorded, accounted for, and reimbursed without anyone in the accounting department looking at a receipt. The old accounting duties have been replaced by software development duties, which frees up accountants to focus on high-level tasks and creates employment for software developers.
Hurd understands the nature of this progress quite well. To that end, Hurd has relayed the following data points:
Hurd believes AI will fundamentally change the way many of these professionals work, handling repetitive manual tasks and allowing people to tackle more complex challenges and solve bigger problems. Oracle’s product offerings aim to stay ahead of this trend; one can find embedded AI in SaaS application offerings, from ERP to HCM, customer experience, and autonomous database. Hurd thinks this will be a growing trend, stating, “By 2025...all cloud apps will include AI. The same will be true of Blockchain”
AI and other automation technologies will inevitably shrink the need for roles involving a large amount of repetitive processes or manual data entry in tomorrow’s workplace. For example, with greater automation, today’s social media managers might become social media strategists or content creators, focusing their talents on creating a more effective and engaging social media presence for their employers. Similarly, they might become chatbot creators or robot technicians and manage the outputs of their non-human contributors. Hurd suggested a similar opportunity within the pool of future IT jobs at OpenWorld 2018, saying “Everybody needs a boss, including robots... Who ensures the bots are performing the way you expect them to?”
User experience designers might likewise become “human-to-machine UX specialists,” another role Hurd envisioned for 2025’s IT professionals during his OpenWorld keynote. Instead of optimizing websites or mobile apps, these future UX specialists might ensure robot supervisors can easily tell their bot “employees” what to do through an intuitive control interface.
Although no one knows what the job boards of 2025 will actually look like, it’s safe to assume they will include positions that don’t exist today. Those emerging opportunities will be a result of today’s automation framing the job duties of tomorrow, likely demonstrating a departure from many of the low-level tasks people perform today. Automation, as Hurd said, “is going to free up people to work on higher-order tasks.”
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