Are Jobs and Careers in the service sector vulnerable to automation and robotization? If so, how do we address that with adult learners?
Submitted by David J. Rosen on January 8, 2019 - 8:12pm
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An automated wok dumps finished food into bowl at Spyce in Boston. (Boston Globe, January 8, 2019) https://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/food-dining/2019/01/08/food-predictions-for/lwZt9PvZQVPRir2ETr4vDL/story.html?event=event12
Do you have students who work in restaurants and who believe, "I can always get a job in a restaurant"? Perhaps that's correct for some jobs, those that cannot be replaced by automation and robotization. However, like manufacturing, transportation, and many other industries that are facing rapidly increasing automation and robotization, the restaurant sector will be automated too -- in some cases, like the restaurant in Boston in the photo, and fast food restaurant chains, food preparation in restaurants is already being automated. Are you fascinated, surprised, concerned, worried?
How do you -- how does any teacher or occupational counselor -- advise students in an era in which so many jobs will soon be eliminated by robots? Some careers appear safe, at least for now, but what can be automated and robotized at a cost savings for companies, will be. Are automation and robotization a persuasive argument for your students learning how to learn? For learning critical thinking and problem solving skills? For figuring out what won't easily be robotized? For getting comfortable with digital technology? Is it an argument for a particular career pathway protected from robot invasion, or an argument against career pathways altogether, and for the kinds of strong basic skills that enable one to shift and quickly learn entirely new work?
As a field, how should we address the issues of automation and robotization so that our students are prepared, and can have lives with family-sustaining jobs? What are your thoughts?
David J. Rosen, Moderator,
LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program Management groups