With the world becoming more computerized, it’s difficult not to see the bad with the good in regards to jobs. While everyone can look back on renting videos from Blockbuster with a feeling of heartfelt nostalgia, it’s definitely much more convenient to rent the video straight from your Netflix account or through an OnDemand service. These little conveniences that have been added to daily life may be a great addition, but it’s also a bit disturbing when you think about all of the jobs that were taken away in the process. From the store managers to the clerks to those involved in providing the Hollywood display décor, this advancement in technology put a great deal of people out of work.
The world is only getting even more dependent on computerized aspects of daily life, and companies are already thinking about the next big thing to revolutionize certain businesses. It’s exciting to think about all the new concepts that will come to fruition, especially since the world is always looking at The Jetsons in the hopes that one day we will finally feel like we’re living in the age of science and technology. Although we aren’t at the point where everyone has their own spaceship, there are other advancements that are already in the works for the near future. While they will undoubtedly come up with some great new inventions to put us one step closer to The Jetsons, there will inevitably be a number of professions that will be affected by these advancements as well. Check out our list of the 15 jobs that computers will take over by the year 2030, and see whether or not your position is in danger of being taken over due to advanced technology.
15. Photograph Process Workers
Photography has advanced by leaps and bounds due to computer technology. From Polaroids to wind-up cameras to digital marvels, nowadays the cameras featured on smartphones are the go-to camera that everyone uses for casual photos. Gone are the days where you would take rolls of film to be developed at the one-hour photo kiosk since everything has been digitalized. The fact that there are no longer spools of film to be developed has paved the way for photo kiosks to do all the work in developing photos. Yet, more advanced printers have also been introduced to allow people to print their own photos at home. On top of this, photo creation sites like Shutterfly allow people to do more advanced printing without the help of any photograph process workers. People can make customized photo products, scrapbooks, or any variety of different photo gifts with the convenience from their home computer. In the future, more and more advanced photo processing services will ensure service workers will no longer be needed.
When it comes to eating healthy, the ultimate help a person can have is a nutritionist at their beck and call. Actors, music artists, professional athletes, and anyone with the right amount of money can seek out a nutritionist to help them maintain a healthy diet. This is actually a pretty prestigious career for some, especially if they are able to pull double duty as a personal trainer or dietician. Yet, the advancements in computer technology with apps will undoubtedly change the need to have an actual person to take on that position. There are already nutrition apps that fulfill the same duties as a nutritionist, including making up grocery lists and providing recipes for daily consumption. By the year 2030, the apps regarding nutrition will undoubtedly be even more advanced, and thus the need for this position will be obsolete. Why would someone want to hire a nutritionist when they could get all the same tips and motivation through their handheld electronic device?
13. Meter Readers
Working with the electric company as a meter reader is a job that had pretty good advantages. While it might have been a bit taxing during colder months in areas with frigid temperatures and large amounts of snowfall, the advantage of having a steady paying job with good benefits outweighed whatever amount of walking and cold temperatures you’d have to endure. Yet, energy companies are starting to implement computer technology into their meters, which is cutting out the need for meter readers. ComEd already features a SmartReader that uses state-of-the-art cryptographic technologies to eliminate the need for an actual human being to read the gauges. Instead, the meter transmits the information digitally, and there are also some energy efficient factors that make it even more desirable for customers. Things like calculating the best times that will ensure savings and sending the information to customer’s smartphones is just one way these SmartReaders are becoming the new norm. By the year 2030, there will be absolutely no need to have a meter reader worker going around to each individual house to jot down the numbers.
12. Insurance Underwriter
The insurance industry is often overlooked when it comes to lucrative positions that earn real money. Yet, it’s actually a profession that has huge returns and can provide a more than comfortable lifestyle. A great example is Vicki Gunvalson, one of the original cast members on The Real Housewives of Orange County, that started off selling insurance from her home and has transformed into a multimillionaire with a huge insurance business. Yet, her staff may be sized down considerably by the year 2030. The role of an insurance underwriter is to help price insurance policies and evaluate risk throughout the life of a policy. Yet, there are supercomputers that are already being introduced to make this position obsolete. IBM’s Watson is a supercomputer that can actually “learn” through the data it processes. It can analyze without human error, research in-depth without ever tiring, and process information without becoming emotionally compromised. Why would an insurance company need to hire and pay salaries for underwriters when they could have a more cost effective supercomputer that could do the job with the utmost clarity?
11. Travel Agent
It used to be that booking a trip entailed a good amount of research, as well as some intricate knowledge of computer software, meant for travel. This is how Jonah was able to book himself a flight in Sleepless in Seattle since he hacked into the computer system, which culminated in Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks finally meeting and falling in love in the end. Becoming a travel agent was also the route Toula Portokalos took in transforming her life in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and she seemed to thrive in her new role in helping to book flights for those looking to go on vacation. Yet, the Internet has allowed everyone to book their flights, reserve their hotel stays, and even compare prices with just a touch of a mouse. Numerous one-stop sites have popped up to make booking a trip as simple as possible, which makes the position of travel agents completely obsolete. Rather than having to pay a travel agent the commission in helping to sell, the savings can allow hotels and flights to transfer these savings to the customers. In the future, there will be no need for travel agents to help facilitate bookings since computer technology has allowed for a much smoother transition, even for those who aren’t very tech-savvy.
10. Semiconductor Processor
Oftentimes, people think that there are certain professions that are immune to the trials that can come from advanced technology taking away jobs. While they may feel that it’s too bad that computers are taking over so many professions, those that service electronics will never have to worry about losing their jobs. Yet, that isn’t the case with semiconductor processors. Semiconductors are a critical component of numerous electronic circuits, and servicing them is something that was previously thought of as a well-trained profession that could be categorized as essential in this technology driven society. However, plants are already starting to implement automation processes so that semiconductor processors will no longer be needed as much. It goes to show that the profession will ultimately become obsolete in a few shorts years since the more advanced processes will increase productivity and cut down on labor costs. Plants will no longer need as many workers, and the materials required for semiconductor manufacturing will also be cut down significantly.
Nowadays, not many people still carry around cash. While there are still businesses that don’t take debit or credit cards, the majority are proud to offer plastic as a payment option. Even small businesses or startup businesses feature a Paypal account at the very least, and new credit card swiper products have been recently introduced to allow everyone to accept credit cards. The Square Magstripe Reader attaches to your smartphone and swipes a credit card while taking payment with ease, directly to your phone and account of your choice. Even if people are still walking around with cash in their pockets, the role of the cashier will undoubtedly be obsolete. Grocery stores are already implementing far more self-checkout lanes than manned checkout lanes, and people are seeing the convenience of not having to deal with the lines associated with cashier lines. In the future, there will inevitably be far more self-checkout lanes in more than just grocery stores.
8. Word Processor
Word processing jobs fall into the administrative assistant field but have always been considered a profession suitable for all ages and genders. Typists and word processors have the role of transcribing letters and documents for various businesses. However, the advancements in computer technology have produced a number of word processing software applications that provides the same service without employers having to pay the salary of the employee. While it is definitely hard to hear for those in the word processing position, it’s good news businesses hoping to increase production while minimizing costs. Voice recognition software allows industries to perform the tasks that were once required of word processors and essentially cuts out the middleman. Typists that are solely required to transcribe documents without providing original thought or opinion will be replaced by their digital counterpart due to computerized scanners, digital transcribing programs, and talk-to-text applications that will be far more advanced in the future.
7. Textile Workers
Globalization is a huge part of the decline in the textile industry, along with those working as a seamstress or tailor. People are no longer willing to salvage their belongings in this day and age, especially when clothes and other textiles can be purchased for such a cheap price. Imports from all over the world are being pumped out for a dirt cheap price, and people are more than willing to take advantage of buying new rather than restoring old. Putting an increased hardship on this industry is the emergence of automated equipment that can emulate the intricate work that used to only be accomplished through the hands of skilled workers. There will no longer be a need for assembly line workers manning the machines, and computerized machines will be able to recreate the intricate designs. Automated knitting and weaving machines will become the new norm, and textile workers will no longer be a viable option as a career path.
The farming industry is probably an industry that would least be suspected of being affected by computer technology, but new advancements in farming have helped to project decreased jobs in upcoming years. CNBC reported, “Farming jobs are currently expected to decrease by 19 percent by 2022,” largely due to technological advancements like drones and satellites. This will make it easier to monitor growth and accumulate more accurate data on fertilization needs. While globalization and trade will also play a large part in decreasing farming opportunities for workers, the farmers that won’t jump ship will undoubtedly be allowed to limit the help that is required to sustain their land. While farmers used to have to employ farmhands in order to maintain their lands, computer technology is being implemented to allow farmers to do the work without the extra labor intensive jobs as in the olden days. While simple tractors used to be the only equipment needed to get the job done, computers are revolutionizing standard practice in farming and will only increase in the future.
5. Newspaper/Media Workers
There was once a time when the news was on for only one time during the day, and people had to wait to hear all about what was going on around locally and around the world. Nowadays, 24 hour news channels bring around current events on a constant basis and the Internet is always at the ready to ensure everyone stays up to date on everything from celebrity news to world tragedies. Newspaper companies have declined so substantially that some have closed their doors and others have had to considerably downsize their employee numbers. Writers that once held highly coveted positions have had to seek out other ways to earn an income since the general public is no longer investing their money into newspapers anymore. By the year 2030, it will be incredible if any of the big newspaper titles will still hold strong, especially since so many people are choosing to get their information via their handheld electronic devices. News outlets are providing their information via their websites, and have had to modify their articles to adhere to online readers. It’s proven that online readers have a shorter attention span for reading articles, so it’s a change from the newspaper style. This will equate to fewer writers, fewer media workers, and an obsolete newspaper industry in the future.
4. Postal Service Worker
Postal workers have traditionally had job security, and it’s always been thought of as a profession that will always be in need. Yet, the age of computers have put a new spin on people’s needs in regards to mailing and shipping. Many people choose to pay their bills online or opt for automatic withdrawals directly from their bank accounts, which cuts down on the amount of mail in general. Shipping companies like FedEx and UPS have cut into the postal service in regards to packages, and even the flat rate postal service boxes haven’t helped to bring customers back from outside companies. Yet, it’s not just the fact that the employee numbers working the streets will decline in the future, but also the workers within the post office. While Men In Black II showed how one man could sort and distribute the mail with ease, it also proved that only an alien could do all of that work. With advanced computer technology, there will no longer be a need for postal employees breaking their backs to deal with all the inner workings of the post office. Instead, it will all be automated and hyper-efficient for the amount of work that will be needed.
3. Home Chef
The issues surrounding food consumption has given rise to a number of different elements, from childhood obesity to the cost of trying to eat healthy. While home meal plans like Blue Apron and HelloFresh have been a plus for those looking to eat healthy while cutting down on waste, the delivery service doesn’t actually cook the meals. Although the world hasn’t quite reached The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy robotic ship that produces anything you’d like at the touch of a button, the Moley Robotic Kitchen has created the next best thing. The prototype used the hands of Master Chef Tim Anderson, winner of the BBC Master Chef, with hand mimicking technology to recreate the full motions of his abilities while cooking. The design of the kitchen includes two fully functioning robotic hands that operate via a touchscreen or through a smartphone. While not in use the hands retract to hide from sight, and glass screen glide across the unit to enclose it while in use. The unit is set for consumer use as early as 2017 with an iTunes’ style library full of different recipes. Yet, by the time 2030 rolls around, there will inevitably be even more recipes to choose from and more chefs to choose. While celebrities all have their own personal chefs to prepare their meals, the newest thing will be robotic kitchens. This could also translate into the fast food industry since the robotic kitchen would ensure uniformity with each meal.
2. House Maid
When Rosie, the robot maid, from The Jetsons zipped around cleaning up after the family, it seemed like a dream to think that there could one day be a robot that would keep your house in order. Yet, that dream is coming to fruition sooner than you might think. The iRobot Roomba has long been trying to create a hyper-functional vacuum cleaner that can keep the house sufficiently clean, but people still aren’t satisfied with the results. Dyson recently came out with their own version of a robotic vacuum, the Dyson Eye 360 Vacuum. It boasts twice the suction of any other robot vacuum, and has a much larger design than the same old flat, disc form. However, by the time 2030 comes, the robot vacuum will inevitably be much more advanced. Another company that is one step closer to Rosie is Scorio, which combines the fun of video gaming with the vacuum cleaner. The Scorio Robotic Vacuum Cleaner has done away with the disc design altogether and has given arms to the robot to help clean. By the time 2030 comes, cleaning companies and maids will have to find a new profession to make way for their robot counterparts.
In today’s world, the Uber and Lyft apps are ruling transportation services. While people were once limited to public transportation and taxi cabs, now anyone with a car and a cellphone can make money from giving people a ride to wherever they may want to go. This is seemingly a great invention for those looking to make a little extra cash, even though it is undoubtedly harming the taxi cab business. Yet, by the time 2030 rolls around, it won’t just be the taxi cab industry that will be harmed. Autonomous cars are in the works by nearly every single car manufacturer, including Chevy. The Chevy FNR is slated to be in full production in the year 2030, and features a sleek design that will allow its occupants to be driven around while relaxing. This will be a great time to get some much-needed rest while on a long commute or can allow for some extra work time before heading home. Who needs an Uber driver or a costly taxi when all you will have to do is tell the car to drive you home?