Since the end of the year, the conversation around science, technology, work, education, and just about everything else has been dominated by discussions of the pros and cons of the rapid evolution of artificial intelligence and its impact on society.
AI chatbots such as ChatGPT-4, for example, are capable of generating content by scraping the internet and constructing content that relies on and mimics content researched, analyzed, and written by humans. The results can be impressive, but can also be cherry-picked and contain misinformation and inaccuracies.
Continued advances in generative AI – algorithms trained to generate content from specific databases – have the potential to disrupt the labor market in a big way.
A recent study from Goldman Sachs suggests that two-thirds of current U.S. jobs are exposed to “some degree of automation.” But, say the report authors, “Although the impact of AI on the labor market is likely to be significant, most jobs and industries are only partially exposed to automation and are thus more likely to be complemented rather than substituted by AI.”
MIT economist David Autor studies the impact of technology and artificial intelligence on the labor market and points out that 60% of today’s workers are employed in occupations that didn’t exist in 1940. His take is that AI will indeed change how we work, but exactly how is too soon to know. It will eliminate some jobs, but create others.
Earlier this month, I spoke with Vilas Dhar, the president of the The Patrick J. McGovern Foundation philanthropy, while at the Changemaker Forum, part of the Global Inclusive Growth Summit in Washington, DC.
Dhar agrees that “AI could potentially transform every job on the planet. AI might come in and take some of the skills that are necessary to succeed in today’s world and make them obsolete. (But) it may come in and create new pathways for humans to be productive, to be creative.”
He adds that as we look at AI’s potential in the workforce, we also must “center ourselves in the fact that we need to build a future where every person has dignity in their work.”
You can listen to my conversation with Dhar in this episode of the Work in Progress podcast at www.workingnation.org, or wherever you get your podcasts.. While you’re at it, check out my interview with Ida Rademacher, vice president of the The Aspen Institute, on what “inclusive growth” looks like in today’s society.
Before we change topics completely from AI, the impact of artificial intelligence on education was a huge point of discussion last week at ASU+GSV 2023 in San Diego, as well.
There, I sat down with Annie Chechitelli, chief product officer of Turnitin; John Fillmore, president of Skills Learning at Chegg; and Rohit Sharma, senior VP and general manager of Global Workskills at ETS to discuss the future of education. I’ll share those conversations in my podcast in the coming weeks.
Jobs Today & the Skills You Need to Get Them
For the past two years, the Wall Street Journal has held a virtual WSJ Jobs Summit to help people find good jobs and good careers. And for the second year in a row, WorkingNation president Jane Oates has taken part in the live event to answer questions from job seekers.
So what are the hot jobs right now in 2023? Jane says they are still in “Tech, tech, tech.”
“While tech as a sector may be laying people off, tech as a horizontal – tech in health care, government, education, tech writ large – is growing. There are huge advances there. People who got laid off from Microsoft, for example, are not going to have a hard time finding another position.”
Speaking of health care, Jane also points out that what’s really hot is “the change from RN and BSN to nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants.” She adds that if you are in nursing right now, “it is a fabulous time to continue your education to get a job that has a lot more autonomy. And you could go into private practice and do the kinds of things you would like to do in patient care, and make the same money you were making in a hospital.”
And one more important piece of advice from Jane, pay attention to what you are including in your resume. “Make sure you really have things on there that talk about your skills, particularly your leadership skills and project management.”
You can get more advice from Jane on today’s job market by watching the video below.
Let me mention a couple more notable appearances by my WorkingNation colleagues. Our chief content and programming officer Joan Lynch guested on the Jazzed About Work podcast recently, discussing how the Infrastructure and Jobs Act is creating a bid demand for skilled workers. She shared details of public-private partnerships that are helping train that workforce, some at no cost to the job seeker.
Joan and our executive producer of digital Melissa Panzer were guests on the Work in Sports podcast to talk about all those great jobs in sports that no one ever talks about. Find links to these podcasts here, at our website.
Please Join Us for a Live, Virtual Event May 11
WorkingNation is super excited to share news about a brand new video we have coming out in May, Glory in Overcoming.
You might recognize those words as part of a quote from Molière – “The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.”
When it comes to obtaining the right skills for good-paying, in-demand jobs, there can be many obstacles that get in the way – from cost to time, especially when you’re an adult of limited means already trying to provide for your family.
So, did you know that Goodwill® is the largest nonprofit provider of jobs training programs and career services in the United States and Canada? These programs are helping people overcome those obstacles through affordable training.
Glory in Overcoming tells the uplifting story of three single mothers who found their way into in-demand careers in the tech industry through one of those training programs – the Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator® (GDCA) which was funded by a grant from Google.org.
I don’t want to give too much of their stories away here.
Instead, we invite you to join us on Thursday, May 11, at 10 am PT | 1 pm ET, on YouTube for a LIVE preview of the video.
Bookmark this link: https://bit.ly/WorkingNationLive.
We’ll be talking with Goodwill, Google, and one of the women whose life changed dramatically and for the better thanks to the training she received through GDCA.
You can RSVP here: https://bit.ly/WorkingNationLiveRSVP
We’ll see you there.
One More Thing…
Summer’s coming! And our WorkingNation coverage plans have us traveling all over the country. Literally.
We’ll be reporting from major workforce and education conferences – look for WorkingNation Overheard from JFF Horizons in June, Disability:IN in July, and the NASWA Veterans Conference in August – and shooting new video stories about programs helping workers learn the skills that employers are looking for.
Look for more details in the next WorkingKnowledge newsletter in May.
Until then, visit our website at www.workingnation.org for your daily dose of answers to today’s employment questions.
Ramona Schindelheim, editor-in-chief, WorkingNation (not a robot)