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Where will the Jobs be in the Future?


We live in a remarkable era. When people look back at this era 15 or 20 years from now, many will say that this was a golden era for jobs. Most people interested in working have jobs. Employment in Canada and the United States is at almost record levels. Looking ahead to the future, this could change dramatically. If you examine many of the core sectors and jobs in our economy, they are being transformed by technology.

Many manufacturing jobs are being replaced by robots, automation and off-shoring to counties with a lower cost structure. Low-skilled, repetitive factory jobs can now be performed by machines. Similarly, as products are being manufactured, robots allow companies to pack more products into their warehouses, and to speed up picking, so that they can put more products into rapid fulfillment. As an example, Amazon expects to hire another 100,000 workers in the next eighteen months, many of them in their fulfillment centers.

Autonomous and semi-autonomous trucks may soon be able to take most of these goods to their destinations. Many of the almost 4 million truck driving jobs in our economy, specifically the long-haul trucking jobs, could become obsolete.

Ecommerce is having a profound impact on both wholesale and retail jobs. Consumers can now place an order online and have the products delivered directly from the manufacturer to their homes, by-passing a warehouse and/or retail store. In a recent blog ( ), I highlighted the number of malls and stores being closed throughout North America. While some retail jobs may be replaced by warehousing positions, many will be lost.

The fast food industry is also a prime candidate for automation. Machines can now assemble and produce pizzas with minimal human intervention.

Automation is expected to have a large impact on professional services. There are numerous jobs in the medical, accounting and legal professions that are already in the process of being automated. Computers can do searches and prepare legal briefs or medical analyses much faster than humans. They can also cleanse, organize, sort, and analyze financial data quickly and accurately. Big data and predictive analytics are fundamentally changing the processes of data analysis.

To find the jobs of the future, one must focus on the needs of the future. These needs appear to be evolving along these lines.

• The need to save time

• The need to remove repetitive work

• The need to reduce cost

• The need to do things faster

• The need to deliver goods to consumers faster

• The need to make things easier to use

• The need to improve safety and reliability

• The need to reduce the impact on the environment

• The need to make things more energy efficient.

Jobs of the Future

Technology is in the process of creating a range of jobs.

The Home of the Future

According to, the next phase of automation will not occur in the factory, but in our homes, in our lives, and in the information that we use. The last wave of automation in the home mechanized simple repetitive tasks such as dish washing and clothes washing. The next wave of automation may help in preparing meals, cleaning the house, acquiring groceries, helping children with homework, educating children, ironing clothes and making beds.

Health Care Services

Health care workers appear on may searches of the jobs of the future. Nurses, health care managers, therapists, and dental hygienists all appear to have a solid future for the large, aging population.

Data Research Analysts

Even with big data and predictive analytics, there will be a requirement for people who can structure, lead and manage data analysis projects. Marketing and Operations research jobs are expected to be in high demand.

Last Mile Delivery Jobs

As online retail sales continue to climb, UPS, FEDEX, Purolator, Canada Post and USPS will have to deliver more packages. That is good news for local delivery drivers, pilots, and airplane mechanics. Home delivery has been on the rise and will continue to be driven by the need to save time. If home grocery delivery ever takes off, the demand for last mile delivery drivers and truck mechanics will also increase.

IT Jobs

 IT Jobs have a bright future Whether it is writing code, creating apps or managing IT projects, this will be a hot area for years to come.

Crafting a Plan for the Future

Rather than fight the inevitable, smart business leaders need to think about how to harness new and emerging technologies to provide their businesses and industries with a competitive advantage. Those companies that fight change are likely to leave the market because of their high cost structure and their inability to deliver their goods and services to market in a timely manner.

The best place to start is by creating a profile of the customer of the future and by looking at how technology can be applied to every functional area of the business to meet their needs. Each leader should create a roadmap of how they see their business evolving over the next twenty-five years. They then need to look at the range of skills that will be required to help them transform their businesses.

To stay up to date on Best Practices in Freight Management, follow me on Twitter @DanGoodwill, join the Freight Management Best Practices group on LinkedIn and subscribe to Dan’s Transportation Newspaper (



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