Global Study Says One in Three Canadians See Technology as a Threat to Their Jobs
September 4, 2014
Posted by: Alison Hermansen
Is your job under threat from computerization – do you fear robot overlords looming to rob you of your career? According to the latest Randstad Workmonitor study, which surveys employees in 33 countries around the world, one in four Canadians believe their jobs could vanish in a few years due to the rise of technology.
Advancements in technology have always threatened certain industries, today is no different. From giant corporations to university libraries and start-up businesses, employers are using rapidly improving technology and workers are concerned they will be competing against machines that will continue to become more powerful, cheaper and easier to use. The survey found 68 per cent of Canadians see the impact of technology as an opportunity while 32 per cent see it as a potential threat.
According to Tom Turpin, President, Randstad Canada, although some jobs may disappear overtime because of technological advancements, innovation can offer exciting and stimulating opportunities in all types of industries. "As an example, computerization may have reduced the demand for typists and switchboard operators, but also increased the number of more highly skilled and computer savvy administrative assistants,'' says Turpin.
"Technology has also burgeoned entirely new industries and occupations such as app designers, digital marketing specialists, big data architects or social media managers.''
So what can be done to help workers ride the wave of technological change? According to Turpin, these facts and figures do not need to be treated as doom and gloom, but instead, should make us become more aware of skills necessary for future work.
"No matter how important technology has become in our lives and businesses, the human touch is always needed. A computer's ability to accomplish a task quickly and cheaply depends upon a human programmer's ability to write rules that direct the machine to take the correct steps in each scenario," adds Turpin. "The jobs of tomorrow are on the drawing boards of today – being aware that innovation is occurring and making the effort to understand and grow with those innovations will help you grow and maintain your career."
How can employees stay ahead of the curve? Here are 3 tips to avoid being made redundant by new technologies.
- Take advantage of internal and external training programs: If your workplace is offering advance training, or certifications in your line of work, volunteer for them. Federal and local government programs are available for funding advanced training; research what your workplace is offering and apply or ask for the opportunity.
- Stay engaged in industry innovations: Whether it is through reading a trade publication, or attending industry conferences you can see what innovations are on the rise. This can help you direct what training or career shifts you may need to address in the future.
- Be first to introduce new tools, systems or processes: If you know about innovations first, you can introduce them to your organization. Taking advantage of innovations can put you in a leadership position, bring added value to your work help maintain your role's security.
Source: A complete press report, including detailed regional differences, is available onwww.randstad.com/press-room/research-reports
The Randstad Workmonitor:
After the successful introduction of the Workmonitor in the Netherlands in 2003 and more recently in Germany, the survey now covers 33 countries around the world, encompassing Europe, Asia Pacific and the Americas. The Randstad Workmonitor is published four times a year, making both local and global trends in mobility regularly visible over time. The quantitative study is conducted via an online questionnaire among a population aged 18-65, working a minimum of 24 hours a week in a paid job (not self-employed). The minimal sample size is 400 interviews per country, using Survey Sampling International. Research for the second wave of 2014 was conducted from April 16 to May 6, 2014.