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May 21, 2024 - 7 minutes

The Future of Work: How Automation and AI Are Reshaping Job Markets and Skill Requirements 

The tech world is changing and this is what you need to know about AI and automation.

Ironhack - Changing The Future of Tech Education

Artificial Intelligence

We know that you’ve heard about artificial intelligence stealing jobs and listen, we get it. If there’s an all-knowing computer out there who’s capable of doing your job better and faster than you are, why wouldn’t companies take advantage of that? Before you panic, however, take a deep breath: the introduction of artificial intelligence and automation into the job market isn’t something that is going to wipe away jobs overnight and, in fact, will actually lead to the creation of more jobs. 

How? Well, that’s precisely why we created this blog post: we want to explain how AI and automation are changing the job market (that’s undeniable, after all) and skill requirements, leaving you with a clear understanding of what the future of work looks like--and what you can do to remain a competitive candidate in today’s ever changing job market. 

To do so, we’ll review exactly what automation and artificial intelligence have brought to the scene and provide some valuable tips and tricks for guaranteeing job security in the fast-paced world of tech. 

Automation and Artificial Intelligence in Tech

People tend to conflate automation and artificial intelligence, especially in the tech sphere, and that’s because their ultimate outcomes are similar: they provide faster and more efficient services to companies, without needing so much human intervention. But this doesn’t mean that humans are removed from the situation entirely; in fact, a new range of roles have emerged that deal specifically with making the most of AI and automation. 

Before we get right into the effect that these have in tech, let’s make sure we understand how automation and AI differ: 

  • When talking about automation, we’re referring to the simple programming required to schedule routine or simple tasks that don’t require a ton of knowledge to write. 

  • Artificial intelligence, on the other hand, demands a certain level of complexity reserved for tasks that require human intelligence or decision-making skills. 

Although lots of AI tasks can be automated, the two differ, especially when it comes to the professional behind it; automation tasks can typically be left alone once set up while AI tools will need extensive training to work properly–and someone behind the scenes to make sure everything is working as desired, constantly updating it, and feeding it more data to ensure the results are satisfactory. 

The impact of automation and artificial intelligence 

As you can probably imagine, there are quite a few effects of the introduction of automation and AI and we can’t lie and say they’re all great; we can, however, prepare you as best as we can for the realities of today’s job market: 

  • Jobs will be lost: especially as automation becomes more common, roles that were uniquely concerned with tasks that are now automated might be displaced--and while this may be a scary sentence to read, check out the next point. 

  • Jobs will be created: some jobs will be lost, yes, but even more will be created as needs shift and skilled professionals who can create these automating systems, check on them, and improve them for new business needs emerge. And as AI tools are entrusted with more tasks, the need for AI professionals who can build and maintain these systems will only continue to grow. 

  • Work as we know it will change: the tech world is ever changing and to stay relevant, workers will have to commit to continuously improving and growing to protect their job and adapt to new market needs. 

Reshaping the Job Market 

So, what does all this mean? Well, as we mentioned above, the introduction of automation and artificial intelligence have reshaped the job market, eliminating some jobs, creating others, and transforming the way we think about work. And here’s what this means for the tech job market. 

A rising demand for skilled tech professionals 

AI and automation tools aren’t born overnight and, especially in the case of artificial intelligence, require skilled professionals behind them to train them, check for bias or other issues, and keep them updated with the changing market. And as the introduction of AI tools is relatively new in the tech sphere, few current professionals possess the skills needed to tackle these concerns efficiently and immediately. 

Those who are wishing to enter the tech workforce will focus their sights on artificial intelligence and automation, ensuring they have the skills that the job market is so desperate for. And for those already in tech, they’ll focus on upskilling or reskilling to prevent redundancy.

Companies will try to be on the forefront of AI

Professionals aren’t the only ones looking to make the most of AI and as companies hire more and more experts who can create their own custom AI systems, they’ll prioritize making AI work better for them. This means two key things: they’ll need skilled AI professionals ready to dive into new areas and they’ll be keeping up with the competition to ensure that they’re moving at the same pace as other market players. 

The workplace environment will change 

While some workers are scared that relying on AI will mean they are replaced or their skills are overlooked, the reality is just the opposite: companies will favor employees that are also on the forefront of advancement and use AI tools to produce work better and faster. As professionals learn how AI can help them in their day-to-day and automate repetitive and tedious tasks to free up their time for more engaging and human decision-making required projects, they will be further protecting their role. 

How Can Professionals Adapt to the Changing Job Market? 

It’s truly not up for debate: all kinds of professionals will have to commit to keeping up with the changing job market and skill requirements to protect their job and livelihood--and being the best possible workers that they can be:

  • Committing to lifelong learning: the tech industry is moving too fast to sit with what you already know and hope it carries you along; as newer and better tools and technologies are introduced, professionals will have to keep up with what’s out there to protect their job security. 

  • Upskilling and reskilling: as the job market begins to demand new skills, workers will have to up or reskill their existing repertoire to ensure that they’re still offering what is needed. 

  • Researching the job market: we’re still in the early phases of the introduction of AI and automation and as the field expands and new demands come to light, professionals will need to play an active role in discovering exactly where to focus their efforts next. 

  • Investing in their education: depending on your exact skills and experience, you may be able to study a bit on the side to teach yourself new ideas or tools, but in some cases, especially if you’ll be making a larger shift, you’ll have to take one step further and sign up for a class or bootcamp to ensure you’re on track to play an active role in the tech job market. 

The tech job market isn’t for the weak: it’s competitive and fast-moving, but there’s also a ton of room for growth and development; if you choose to pursue a tech career, you’re setting yourself up for success. However, you need to be prepared for the constantly changing tech sphere and be ready to tackle new topics as they arise, which is exactly why we’re launching the first school dedicated solely to AI–AI School by Ironhack.

Take a look and ensure your tech future is protected with AI skills. 

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