We have entered the Age of Agility, an exciting, unsettling time in our nation’s history. Going forward, workers and businesses will have to adapt continuously to rapidly changing circumstances caused by the accelerating adoption of workplace automation and artificial intelligence.
This new age might offer great benefits to individuals and businesses, or it could displace hundreds of thousands, even millions, of workers over the next couple of decades. PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates 38 percent of U.S. jobs will be automated by 2030. To put that in context, kids in sixth grade today will be entering the prime of their working lives then.
And despite popular misconceptions, it’s not just jobs on factory floors that are imperiled. Truck drivers, medical technicians, and even lawyers could find their jobs disappearing. White- and blue-collar jobs alike are vulnerable, though lower-paying jobs are likely to vanish first and in greater numbers.
More than at any time in recent history, it’s impossible to know what future employment will look like, in terms of the structure of work, the tasks involved, and the specific expertise required. This would seem to offer great opportunity, if we can prepare ourselves to seize it. How do we address upheaval of...