• Prasanthi Naidoo

Future-proof career paths that you can get into now

Many people fear the decline of traditional jobs as AI and automation play larger and larger roles across industries. The manufacturing and retail industries are feeling most of the impact right now. More of the support and services sectors will be affected in the near future as the technology evolves. Self-driving cars are going to have a staggering impact on jobs from taxi driers to truckers to public transit workers.

However, amidst these shifts, some roles remain constant while others are only increasing in demand.

The health-care industry in particular is currently experiencing some radical changes as more and more medical information transitions out of our hospital settings and into our homes and mobile devices. Wearable health trackers - Fitbit was an early example - are expected to be a part of the vast majority of employee wellness plans within next five years, and Artificial Intelligence is becoming increasingly accurate at diagnosing health issues and assisting with treatment and recovery plans.

However, technology isn't the only solution for looming healthcare challenges. As the Baby Boom generation arrives at retirement age, the percent of the global population that is going to be needing some form of care, whether medical or social, will increase in turn.

The United Nations has estimates that by 2050, there will be 2.1 billion people over the age of 60 globally. Of course, this generation of seniors will be healthier on average than previous cohorts, global health-care systems must prepare themselves for much higher demand for geriatric caregiving.

So, while technology can help caregivers meet the needs of aging people through providing them with real-time connectivity and increased independence, it cannot replace the human touch. This is particularly true when caring for patients with mobility and cognitive-decline issues.

So, when considering future-proof careers of the near future, roles such as personal-care aide and home health aide, which provide individualized support for seniors, are expected to undergo significant growth in North America, both in terms of demand and wages.

Statistics Canada is also reporting a shortage of more highly-skilled healthcare roles as well, including physicians, nurse practitioners, physical and occupational therapists and other medical experts who are trained to support our aging populations.

With all of this technology that has started to help support our healthcare experts, there is also an increased need for technicians, programmers, coders, and cyber security professionals to build and maintain them.

Bottom line: The healthcare sector is not immune to the impacts of AI and automation that are rapidly changing the ways in which people communicate and manage information. However, new technologies - along with demographic shifts - are creating shortages for key roles and emerging opportunities for tech-savvy professionals.


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