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It’s no secret that automation and artificial intelligence are about to shake up the world. Millions of jobs are set to be replaced by advanced computer systems and by robots.

In recent decades, repetitive manual tasks were the main target of automation, but in the latest technological revolution, white-collar jobs are in the crosshairs.

Researchers from Oxford University estimate that almost half of the jobs in the United States are vulnerable to automation in the near future. And as yet, no one has any clue what type of new work will emerge to fill the void.

So what can you do to avoid being left behind as the pool of middle class jobs begins to dry up? To start with, you need to know which jobs are likely to go.

Jobs Most Likely to Be Replaced

The Oxford team assessed 700 occupations in their study, and found that among those most at risk of losing their jobs to AI are telemarketers, title examiners, insurance underwriters, tax preparers, loan officers, insurance appraisers, sports officials, credit analysts, accountants, models, ophthalmic lab technicians, real estate brokers, and paralegals and legal assistants.

These Jobs Are Probably Safe

Least at risk of losing their jobs to machines are chiropractors, orthodontists, physical therapists, soil and plant scientists, civil engineers, special education teachers, marriage and family therapists, microbiologists, mechanical engineers, REN’s, forensic science technicians and preschool teachers.

How Can You Break Into the Safe Careers?

The first thing that you need to do is act now to get ahead of the pack. The penny hasn’t dropped yet for the majority of people, and they remain unaware of the scale of job disruption that’s on the horizon, but when that penny finally hits the ground, you can bet people will start scrambling for the best opportunities.

If you’ve already obtained relevant qualifications and have some experience in the field, then you’ll be able to calmly carry on and avoid the inevitable panic and distress that always accompanies job loss.

If you’re still in high school, you can use the Oxford study to help you figure out which college courses to take.

Don’t worry if you’re already working, there’s a route for you too. The education landscape has changed dramatically in recent years and many good schools offer online degree courses. As long as you can commit 10 to 15 hours a week of study, then signing up for a course is your way to future-proof your career.

For example, you could choose to obtain an online civil engineering degree. This would give you a wide range of employment opportunities in the private sector, and with federal, state and local government agencies. If you already hold a civil engineering degree, then you could upgrade your skills by studying for a masters degree in civil engineering to give yourself even more of a competitive edge. The infrastructure in the United States is in terrible shape, and civil engineers will be in high demand for a very long time to come.

My Say

Many people who are aware of the upcoming changes are fearful for the future. Don’t be like them. Take control of your situation now, so that you have plenty of options open to you. This is a time when adopting a wait-and see-attitude won’t cut it.

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A freelance researcher-writer who has continuously been in such field for more than 10 years. Know more about her here.

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