All posts by terop

About terop

Futurist and IT Strategist. Public speaker, PhD (Industries of the Future), author ("Jobs. Future. You."), teacher (IT, leadership)

People Skills Are In

You might have noticed in the news, on social media, or in your talking with various people that the job market is changing.

Blog Post - People Skills

You might have heard that a lot of jobs are going to disappear. Particularly routine manual and routine cognitive jobs.

However, it is not all doom and gloom, for one of skills that will experience increasing demand is the skill of dealing with people.

Think of sales managers, supervisors, project managers, team leaders and so on. Where the skills of directing, controlling and planning are central to success. These are the management and supervisory jobs. And with these jobs the critical component of success is the ability to manage and lead people.

One example of this is the replacing of checkout staff with self-serve machines at major grocery stores. While the routine checkout jobs are cut back, staff with people skills are needed all the more. For these self-service machine supervisors are having to deal with more complexity (they are watching over multiple machines) and having more complex interactions with people (ie, item lookups, ensuring all products are scanned, ensuring queues aren’t increasing, etc).

In this changing job market, whilst some “standard” jobs are being lost, ones with a different mix of skills will be in demand.

For the student in your life, it is advisable to maintain a clear-eyed consideration of the changing job opportunities.


For more of what I have to offer, visit Dellium Advisory, follow on Twitter, connect using LinkedIn, review my IT Strategy blog, subscribe to my YouTube channel, or buy my ‘Jobs. Future. You.’ workbook.


Routine manual jobs are on the way out.

You might have picked up on the news that the nature of the job market is changing.

Blogpost - Factory

Now, while it is true that the economy has always changed over time (for example, do you remember that Australia used to ride on the “sheep’s back”?) it seems that the rate of change is increasing.

And you can put that down to the impact of computers.

The impact of computers on jobs over the coming years was highlighted by Frey and Osborne in their 2013 “Future of Employment” study and CEDA, in their 2015 “Australia’s future workforce” report, further developed this understanding. However, the real discovery was by an MIT Economics Professor (David Autor). Through an investigation into the amount of human labour used by USA companies for jobs dominated by manual tasks, he found that demand for this type of labour had declined by about 10% over the 50 years from 1960.

Now, while companies were still producing things that required manual tasks, they require fewer men and women to do that manual work.

The impact is that some entry level jobs are lost and that jobs for the lower skilled are harder to find. It means that career choices must be made with more consideration.

So, for the student in your life, a clear-eyed consideration of the changing job opportunities must be paramount.


For more of what I have to offer, visit Dellium Advisory, follow on Twitter, connect using LinkedIn, review my IT Strategy blog, subscribe to my YouTube channel, or buy my ‘Jobs. Future. You.’ book.

The future of work and technology

2050 might be a bit too far away, but by gazing that far into the future we can see current trends, events and “signals” as perhaps harbingers of what may well become our lived experience.

The “Millenium Project”, gathers thoughts/intelligence/wisdom from over 3,500 futurists, scholars, business planners, and policy makers who work for organisations, governments, corporations, NGOs, and universities from across the globe.

A recent project looked at “Future Work/Technology 2050”. That is, what will the economy look like for our children and grandchildren?

They came up with three scenarios that are likely to occur.

To put this further into context, here is the background that the scenarios were based upon:

“Future artificial intelligence that can autonomously create, re-write, and implement software simultaneously around the world is a unique historical factor in job displacement” says Jerome Glenn, CEO of The Millennium Project, and adds that, “the Internet is also a historical factor in job creation. Information and means of production are far more open and distributed in the forthcoming biological and artificial intelligence revolutions than they were during the industrial revolution and the information revolution; hence, the frontiers for work may be greater than the information age revolution.”

Here are there three scenarios. Which one do you hope for, which one do you dread, which one do you think will happen?

  • 2050 Scenario 1: It’s Complicated – A Mixed Bag. A business-as-usual trend projection of the increasing acceleration of change with both intelligence and stupidity characterized decisionmaking. Irregular adoption of advance technology; high unemployment where governments did not create long-range strategies, and mixed success on the use of universal basic income. Giant corporation’s powers have often grown beyond government control, in this government-corporate, virtual-3D, multi-polar world of 2050.
  • 2050 Scenario 2: Political/Economic Turmoil – Future Despair. Governments did not anticipate the impacts of artificial general intelligence and had no strategies in place as unemployment exploded in the 2030s leaving the world of 2050 in political turmoil. Social polarism and political grid-lock in many forms have grown. Global order has deteriorated into a combination of nation-states, mega-corporations, local militias, terrorism, and organized crime.
  • Scenario 3: If Humans Were Free – the Self-Actualization Economy. Governments did anticipate the impacts of artificial general intelligence, conducted extensive research on how to phase in universal basic income systems, and promoted self-employment. Artists, media moguls, and entertainers helped to foster cultural change from an employment culture to a self-actualization economy.

Although it is a while away, if we look we can see the seeds of each of these tomorrows around us today.

For more of what I have to offer, visit Dellium Advisory, follow on Twitter, connect using LinkedIn, or review my IT Strategy blog, or subscribe to my YouTube channel.