This wave of automation isn’t anything like the previous one. Automation traditionally replaced blue-collar workers in factories. But now, because of generative AI’s capabilities, white-collared jobs are on the line.
AI’s ability to generate visuals and code snippets raises a question: Are tech jobs at risk of being automated? After all, AI may be putting people who write essays for money out of their jobs. And writing is a creative activity that we thought only a human was capable of.
The short answer is: it all depends on what kind of tech jobs we’re talking about. At the very least, the seven occupations below are safe – although their daily tasks may get enhanced with AI.
This occupation is an obvious one. After all, someone has to develop AI tools, build data training sets, and oversee the training itself. Someone also has to continuously improve those tools after the release.
So, it’s safe to say: AI specialists don’t have to worry about their creation replacing them. Instead, these jobs will grow in demand.
What’s more, new tech occupations are emerging in the field of AI. Prompt engineers are already being sought out, with proposed salaries as high as $375,000. AI ethicists and auditors are also becoming popular jobs on the market.
These people’s job is to integrate automation tools into businesses. It requires both tech skills and a great deal of understanding of the business processes the tool will serve.
For example, they may develop APIs to connect the company’s applications with AI-powered tools. Or, they may customize existing tools to match the company’s needs. Their responsibilities also include maintaining automation software in the long run.
Project Management Jobs
No AI can replace the communication and oversight required for completing a software development project. This means that the following occupations are unlikely to get replaced by AI, although they may get enhanced with it:
- Product managers
- Project managers
- Business analysts
- Analytics engineers
- Account executives
That’s because these positions are responsible for bringing all stakeholders together, pinpointing their goals and needs, and translating those into technical requirements. They’re also key to supervising and completing projects on time and within budget.
Data Engineers & Scientists
Generative AI can’t exist without vast pools of data fed into it. But collecting that data isn’t as simple as scraping it off the internet. Someone has to choose carefully what types of data end up selected and ensure data quality.
This is where data engineers and data scientists come in. Their task is to gain valuable insights from raw data using technology. They work not only for tech companies but also for government agencies, research institutions, and corporations.
Introducing AI-powered automation at any business requires the move to the cloud infrastructure. While 80% of enterprises already deployed a hybrid cloud in their organizations, there’s still work to be done.
Cloud engineers are essential in preparing businesses for migration and AI automation, all thanks to their cloud expertise, DevOps, and cybersecurity. Besides migrating enterprise systems to the cloud, this infrastructure has to be maintained and secured in the long run – by cloud engineers.
The increasing reliance on software in automating business processes may pave the way to increasing cybersecurity risks. That’s why companies will continue bringing cybersecurity specialists on board to ramp up data security and maintain it in the face of new adversities.
While some aspects of cybersecurity may be automated, the job itself often requires thinking like a hacker looking for an exploit. Since allowing AI to do exactly that comes with huge ethical risks (actual hackers may use it to automate their activities), it’s safe to say that cybersecurity jobs are not going anywhere.
With the rise of DALL-E and similar tools, every other company wants to get in on the game. Shutterstock launched its Image Generator, and so did Adobe and Canva. So, some designers find themselves wondering about their job security – understandingly so.
While design isn’t an inherently tech job per se, designers are intrinsic to many tech projects. They design user interfaces for websites and mobile apps (that’s UI/UX design), create animations (motion design), and, of course, make illustrations (graphic design).
The consensus is that creativity can’t be automated. While tools like DALL-E can streamline and facilitate the creative process, they can’t create a user interface prototype without a human’s guiding hand. So, designers’ jobs are safe – although they’ll change thanks to those tools.
What About Software Developers?
For now, the consensus is that software developer jobs won’t disappear altogether. Instead, coders’ day-to-day tasks will get enhanced by generative AI.
While the technology is relatively good at generating code snippets, it still needs human oversight to create the right prompts and double-check the results. This means, however, that companies will need fewer employees, putting some software developers out of their job.
The new wave of so-called citizen developers is one example of how developers’ jobs can be transformed with AI. Citizen developers use automation (e.g., robotic process automation/RPA) and low-code or no-code tools to deliver MVPs and other solutions faster.
Is your job at risk of being automated? It is – if it involves high volumes of repetitive manual labor that’s relatively simple and can be easily standardized. The good news is, not all tech jobs fit that bill.
While tech is one of the industries expected to be hit the most with job displacements, it’s worth remembering: AI will give rise to new occupations, as well. The emerging occupations already include prompt engineers, AI trainers, AI auditors, and AI ethics experts.