10 Fast-Growing Jobs Robots Can’t Do

Methodologies and Sources

SOURCES

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Technology has helped us to improve our lives in ways we never thought imaginable fifty years ago. It has driven communication forward by leaps and bounds, making the world a smaller place, allowing us to have conversations from one end of the world to the other and to learn about different cultures without having to leave home. It has also opened up higher education opportunities such as paving the way for busy people to earn a degree of their choice through online degree programs.

Technology also has its downside. According to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), automation is expected to replace 800 million "human" jobs worldwide by 2030, affecting one-fifth of the global workforce. A 2017 McKinsey study states that 375 million people may need to switch occupations and learn new skills due to automation.

But here's the good news.

The McKinsey study also shows that technology can actually create new jobs. Consider these examples:

  • The introduction of ATMs actually led to a 43 percent increase in the opening of new bank branches in urban areas; and the hiring of more tellers in each new branch.
  • The advent of personal computers created 15.8 million new jobs in non-technology-related sectors like call centers and finance.

While some of the more mundane or repetitive tasks can be replaced by technology, humanness is unique. It's found in everyday things like telling a joke to lighten the mood or a sympathetic pat on the back. These (not-so) simple things we take for granted all require that special undefinable factor that makes us human.

While technology can create new jobs, plenty of occupations already exist that technology is not likely to replace. Here's a range of 10 interesting occupations that require the human factor. And what's more … these jobs have a higher than average demand in the job market.

1
Physical Therapists
Physical-Therapist

In 2016, researchers at Georgia Tech tested Darwin, a robot designed to help physical therapy patients meet their fitness goals. While some may see this as a cause for worry in terms of job replacement, Darwin's function as an aide doesn't replace the customized recommendations by a physical therapist for the types of exercises a patient needs to perform. Physical therapists need to take into account each individual's different pain threshold and response to treatment. It is doubtful that a robot would be able to make a diagnosis with a nonspecific description from a patient like, "It isn't exactly hurting now but my knees twinge when it rains."

The need for physical therapists is increasing partly due to the aging baby boomers who are more active than previous generations, but may need help recovering from strains or injuries or in maintaining an acceptable level of flexibility, strength, and mobility.

See how an online degree program in physical therapy can help you join this growing healthcare profession.

Featured data points:

  • Number of jobs in 2016: 239,800
  • Mean annual wage in 2017: $88,080 per year
  • Education: Doctoral or professional degree
  • Projected job growth, 2016-26: 28 percent
2
Civil Engineers
Civil-engineers

While artificial intelligence can, and does, aid civil engineers in their jobs by making calculations and organizing data, innovation itself is a human trait. Civil engineers also need to be able to manage a large number of variables from governmental bodies, funding agencies, contractors to labor. Projects may also come across hiccups that need to be dealt with in an innovative manner in order to meet deadlines. Managing a civil engineering project involves managing people, something robots, in all probability, are unlikely to be able to do in the near future.

The field of civil engineering is expected to grow as old infrastructure needs replacement or repair and to meet the infrastructural needs of a growing population. Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that renewable-energy projects will likely require the services of civil engineers.

Find out how you can become a civil engineer through an online degree program.

Featured data points:

  • Number of jobs in 2016: 239,800
  • Mean annual wage in 2017: $91,790 per year
  • Education: Bachelor's degree
  • Projected job growth, 2016-26: 11 percent
3
Meeting, Convention and Event Planners
Meeting-Convention-and-Event-Planners

Event planners need a large amount of creativity and interpersonal skills -- skills robots do not yet possess. They also need to coordinate with a vast number of vendors and contractors in order to put together various aspects of an event. The organizational skills needed for coordinating the large number of variables that go with event planning makes it highly unlikely that robots will be taking over the event planning industry anytime soon.

The event planning industry is huge. According to a 2018 study by the Events Industry Council, it supported more direct jobs in 2016 than many large manufacturing industries. This trend is expected to continue. For example, industry-focused conventions can still provide valuable opportunities for geographically separate people to get together in person. And nonprofit organizations are likely to continue to host fundraising galas to help them meet their financial goals.

Get behind the scenes and learn how you can become a part of this exciting industry with an online degree in event planning.

Featured data points:

  • Number of jobs in 2016: 116,700
  • Mean annual wage in 2017: $52,630 per year
  • Education: Bachelor's degree
  • Projected job growth, 2016-26: 11 percent
4
Chefs and Head Cooks
Chefs-and-Head-Cooks

While there are several robots in the culinary world, two of the most famous examples being Flippy -- the burger flipping robot and the robotic kitchen making waves in Spyce, Boston, they still need human chefs to feed them recipes and give them the flavor combinations that a human palate can enjoy. Chefs are the creative minds behind some of our most memorable culinary experiences -- whether it's the diner down the road or the latest fine dining establishment. Not only do they add their own spin on existing recipes, but chefs often come up with exciting new ones of their own.

The demand for chefs is expected to rise for several different reasons: there's greater consumer interest in eating healthier but still flavorful meals, and the trend to dine out continues to grow as work and family schedules can mean that people have less time to prepare their own meals.

Learn how you can take some of your culinary coursework online.

Featured data points:

  • Number of jobs in 2016: 146,500
  • Mean annual wage in 2017: $49,650 per year
  • Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Projected job growth, 2016-26: 10 percent
5
Mental Health Counselors
mental-health-counselors

A large part of the therapeutic process is the attention counselors are able to give each individual patient, whether the patient is dealing with substance abuse, a behavioral disorder, or other mental health issue. While one may argue that computers are nonjudgmental, John Nuttall, Professor of Integrative Psychotherapy at Regent's University, London and Chair of the third sector service West London Centre for Counselling (WLCC) is firm on the fact that therapy requires human involvement, stating "Research shows that psychotherapy effectiveness is about the relationship that builds between two people." People may also relate to counselors who have overcome situations similar to their own, drawing inspiration from their experiences - something that make the human connection extremely important in their recovery.

The BLS predicts that the demand for counselors is expected to be good especially in rural areas where communities are underserved by mental health practitioners.

Find out about how you can become a counselor through an online degree program.

Featured data points:

  • Number of jobs in 2016: 260,200
  • Mean annual wage in 2017: $46,560 per year
  • Education: Educational requirements vary from a high school diploma and certification to a master's degree
  • Projected job growth, 2016-26: 23 percent
6
Computer and Information Systems Managers
Computer-and-Information-Systems-Managers

This technology-based occupation is one that cannot be replaced by robots. Also known as IT (Information Technology) managers, computer and information systems managers need complex skills like coding, designing websites and writing flows for new applications that require creative approaches to provide solutions. IT managers need to discuss organizational needs with their clients and design systems to suit them - all of this within a set budget. Programming a robot to write code or to account for all the variables involved in designing information systems is extremely difficult, not mention akin to programing yourself out of a job.

Firms across most industries are expanding their digital operations, and cloud computing and cybersecurity are amongst the hottest trends in business, so IT managers can rest assured that they will likely be needed for a long time to come.

If you are considering a career in IT, have a look at how online degrees in IT and technology can help you get there.

Featured data points:

  • Number of jobs in 2016: 367,600
  • Mean annual wage in 2017: $ 149,730 per year
  • Education: Bachelor's degree
  • Projected job growth, 2016-26: 12 percent
7
Preschool Teachers
Preschool-Teachers

While robots have been proven to be wonderful teachers' aides in helping children learn, especially in the case of autistic children, we are a far cry off from Rosie, the robot nanny from the Jetsons. While robots may make wonderful educational aides, they cannot help young children develop socio-emotional skills that children learn by imitating adults around them. Robots also do not have the manual dexterity needed to pick up a child that has fallen, nor do they have the empathy needed to soothe a crying child. Taking all this into consideration, it is fairly safe to say that preschool teachers are here to stay.

A rise in the population of young children and an increasing importance given to early childhood education are among the reasons why this profession is expected to grow.

Learn how you can play a vital role in the development of young children through online degrees in early childhood education.

Featured data points:

  • Number of jobs in 2016: 478,500
  • Mean annual wage in 2017: $ 33,590 per year
  • Education: Associate degree
  • Projected job growth, 2016-26: 10 percent
8
Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers
Advertising-promotions-and-marketing-managers

Robots are a good tool to analyze trends in the market or to send out mass emails. However, robots lack the creativity and human instinct needed to design a campaign that will likely resonate well with target audiences. A computer may be programmed to analyze data trends and patterns to come up with ideas for a campaign; however it cannot be programmed to design campaigns to elicit the appropriate emotions from consumers. Advertisers can use technology and data to aid how they craft and deliver messages, but it is unlikely that they will be replaced by it.

As organizations continue to market their products and services, in order to maintain their foothold and expand their business, especially in the digital world, the need for marketing professionals is expected to grow.

Find out how you can become a part of this growing field with online degrees in marketing or communications and media.

Featured data points:

  • Number of jobs in 2016: 249,600
  • Mean annual wage in 2017: $ 123,880 per year
  • Education: Bachelor's degree
  • Projected job growth, 2016-26: 10 percent
9
Actors
Actor

Actors have the artistry to play characters we fall in love with, who repel us, make us want to be them, or who just simply fascinate us. What do they all have in common? They are distinctly human. Granted there have been on-screen robots that make us invest in them emotionally -- think R2-D2 and C-3PO - but it is because they show distinctly human feelings. People want to be able to relate to on-screen or on-stage characters and draw parallels to their own lives and experiences. Unless you can imagine associating your life, emotions and feelings with those of a robot, it's fairly safe to say that actors will most likely be needed to entertain us.

The employment for actors is expected to grow due a continued demand for new movies and television shows along with the growth of internet streaming platforms.

Find out how an online degree in theater arts can help you become a part of the magical world of film and television.

Featured data points:

  • Number of jobs in 2016: 63,800
  • Mean hourly wage in 2017: $32.89 per hour (The BLS calculates wages for this profession as hourly wages since actors generally work on contract)
  • Education: Some college, no degree
  • Projected job growth, 2016-26: 12 percent
10
Fitness Trainers and Instructors
Fitness-Trainer

Fitness trainers and instructors not only help people achieve their fitness goals through exercise and nutrition, they also can provide the motivation they need to do so. Whether they work with individuals as personal trainers or with groups, fitness instructors need to keep an eye out and adjust planned routines to cater to different levels of fitness and skills within the group. They need to project high levels of enthusiasm and energy to keep their clients engaged - emotions that a robot would not be able to show. Trainers of professional athletes can also act as life coaches helping athletes cope with the highs and lows of competitive sports and the fame that can come along with it.

The growth in the fitness industry is expected to come from an increasing awareness of the benefits of exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Learn how online degrees in sports and fitness can help you aid people to live an active lifestyle.

Featured data points:

  • Number of jobs in 2016: 299,200
  • Mean annual wage in 2017: $ 43,720 per year per year
  • Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Projected job growth, 2016-26: 10 percent
Methodologies and Sources
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