A recent article by “INDEED” discussed “Which Generation is Most at Risk of Losing Work through Job Automation?

Broadly speaking – management, professional and service occupations fall into the non-routine category while – sales, administrative, construction, transportation, production and repair occupations are considered routine.

So which generation shows the most interest in jobs which are more susceptible to automation?

Millennials and Generation Xers are significantly more interested than boomers in cognitive occupations.  The younger job seekers tend to be more interested in jobs that involve a lower degree of routine tasks, a characteristic that often makes them harder to automate.

The majority of job seekers in all three groups under consideration – Millennials, Generation X and Boomers – show interest in some routine occupations. However, the two end generations (boomers and millennials) show significant differences in taste

Boomers tend to be 49% more likely than millennials to show interest in a wider range of routine manual occupations that include installation, construction, maintenance and repair, transportation and materials moving, as well as personal care occupations.

With the exception of Personal Care, these occupations fall into the group of jobs most associated with a high likelihood of automation in the future.

Millennials have an above average level of interest in jobs in office administration and food preparation (routine) as well as arts, education and the life, physical and social sciences (cognitive).

With the exception of food preparation, all these occupations fall into the category of cognitive occupations, and three of them (arts, education, and sciences) fall into the category of non-routine cognitive — that is, jobs that have a lower likelihood of being automated any time soon.

Generation X jobseekers, tend to be interested in a handful of roles that are either ignored altogether or do not receive as much interest from the other two generations, with the best example being in the computer, ITC and mathematical, management, business and finance fields – again more cognitive occupations


Paths to the future

Automation and technological progress are going to impact different occupations at different times. While each generation’s interest is still almost equally split between routine and non-routine jobs, specific occupations are attracting different levels of interest from different generations and it is not unlikely that millennials may feel the effects of automation at a different time than Gen Xers or Boomers.

Disappearing jobs can be a frightening concept, but building up transferable, non-routine skills that are used in a wide array of occupations and are often a complement – rather than a substitute – to technology, can be an effective strategy for workers and job seekers who are looking to make their careers “future-proof”.