How to Tell if You Will be Replaced by Robots

robots take your job

Stood in front of a class of year 10s, I’ve just finished telling students about what they should consider when choosing their next steps. It’s then time to bring out the stat:

60% of you will work in jobs that currently don’t exist

Those of you who know me in real life know that I love a good stat. This one, however, is a rarity for me as it’s not a good stat – it’s not that widely backed. In fact, looking online there are a wide range of figures suggesting how many new jobs a random group of teenagers will be doing.

Even though I know that the figure is probably very weak, the reason I tell them this is to get them thinking. The world is moving faster than ever and they can’t sit back and look at the careers available right now, thinking that they’ll still be around for sure in a decade.

They take a bit of prompting, but someone in the class is usually able to correctly guess AI, or robots, being the main cause for change in employment.

At this point, I bring out my dog-eared copy of the teaching magazine tes, with a fearmongering headline about robots taking teaching jobs. “See? Even your teachers are contemplating what their future jobs will look like. Would you prefer to be taught by a computer?”

We can see the effects of “robots taking our job” happening already. While it’s really handy to go to the self service checkout at the supermarket when you just don’t want to face a human, it’s hard not to wonder how many jobs are lost due to that convenience.

So how can we tell if our jobs will be next in line to be taken over?

Firstly, let’s look at what skills are going to be the most important in the future. According to the World Economic Forum, those skills are:

  1. Complex problem solving
  2. Critical thinking
  3. Creativity
  4. People management
  5. Coordinating with others
  6. Emotional intelligence
  7. Judgement and decision making
  8. Service orientation
  9. Negotiation
  10. Cognitive flexibility

The thing that these all have in common is that they can only be done by humans, not by robots. The downside is that with the pressures of modern life, it can often be really tricky to develop these skills. Arguing with someone on Twitter does not help you work towards great negotiation skills!

Even right now, the areas that we have the most job shortages in are those that require human input – like care roles (that require empathy), engineering (critical thinking) and operation theatre related jobs (judgement and decision making). Anyone brushing up and demonstrating these skills is going to be going far.

Most of us use at least some of the above skills every day in our jobs, so there are always ways to grow these transitional skills (ones that you pick up in a range of situations). Most of the time, it’s a case of putting yourself in new situations with people you don’t know so well. Dealing with people you don’t get on so well with, being flexible in your approach to the challenges, and thinking outside the box to solve the problems.

Whenever you do something that ticks off some of the future skills above, make a note of it to include next time you’re writing your CV – it might just push you into that non-robot job role!

But you’re here to learn whether a robot is going to take your current job though, right?

There’s a lot of speculation with this, with no two “top ten ROBOTS COMING FOR YOUR JOBS” lists being the same. I’ve seen lot of people talk about taxi drivers being at risk (it seems a Chinese Uber competitor is already looking into driverless cars) and another one that pops up often is telesales people. I already get a lot of automated nuisance calls so that makes sense.

So I’m not going to give you a list of the top jobs on the chopping block. BUT what I have found is this nifty website where you can search your job title and it’ll give you a rough estimate. Remember to take it with a pinch of salt – no one knows for sure, after all!

I’d love to know in the comments how your job did! Will R2D2 be coming for you soon?

robots ai take your job



  1. For mine it says “Start worrying” or 38%. My company is already looking into deep learning/machine translation and possibilities for offering post-editing of machine-translated texts in the future.

    • I still think you can’t automate translation. They’re ALWAYS bad! I think with this it’s quality over quantity; translation isn’t a transaction!

  2. Woohoo! I’m ‘totally safe’ with a 0.78% chance of being replaced by a robot. I figured as much, as a teacher I have to tick most of those skills you mentioned, plus Korea already tested out replacing me with a robot and the results were not promising 😛

  3. They don’t need a robot to replace me; they only need a very tiny shell script. LOL.

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