Robots as warehouse workers in packaging and picking

How To Protect Your Career Against Automation

Sometimes it seems like workers can’t catch a break. The Southern Regional Education Board estimates that the replacement of employees with machines is accelerating; 30% of current jobs in some states may be automated by 2025.

“The covid-19 pandemic has accelerated automation by 5 years,” the SREB report says.  

The industries hit hardest will be the ones that traditionally employ the most people, it notes, suggesting that…

  • 46% of jobs in food preparation and serving
  • 28% of jobs in sales
  • 58% of jobs in production 
  • 43% of jobs in office administration, and
  • 42% of jobs in transportation 

… could all be automated in just a few years.

California isn’t one of the states the SREB covers, but the same trends towards automation apply here too, even if the numbers differ.

The Solution: More Training For Better Jobs 

“Adults with lower levels of education are more vulnerable to technology advancements,” the report says. That’s the key to helping people through this: as “old economy” jobs are increasingly automated, whole new fields with jobs that didn’t exist just a few decades ago are growing fast and need workers. These new jobs pay better, are more upwardly mobile, and are more resistant to automation.  

These jobs are hiring. Companies are desperate to fill positions in fields like IT support, CRM administration, and Cybersecurity. Helping workers in vulnerable industries obtain the skills to get hired and thrive in jobs like these solves two problems at once: it reduces the harm done by automation, and helps companies grow.

Calbright is designed to do just that.  

A New Approach for Non-Traditional Students

The SREB report shows that the people most vulnerable to automation are also the most likely to be non-traditional students. The systems we come up with to support vulnerable workers need to be accessible to them, and able to fit their lives.

Calbright is open to all Californians, and designed to support non-traditional students. Our programs are free to all adult Californians with a high school degree or equivalent; online for easy access; flexible so that people can take classes on their own schedule; and fast. Instead of traditional degrees, we offer certificates for skills in high tech fields that are hiring. These certificates can be earned in less than a year, meaning students can enter new job markets ready to work many times faster than they could at a traditional college.

We can use innovation and new technologies to support people whose lives are disrupted by innovation and new technologies. Workers can, in fact, catch a break.

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