The nature and types of jobs in this age is significantly evolving. A few years ago some jobs did not exist that now exist today. Some jobs existed then but no longer exist now. Moving forward, those two things will happen again. There will be jobs that will disappear and those that will emerge. Most jobs will be redefined given the advances in science and technology. In this article, I want to look at jobs that will likely disappear by 2033. Notice I said likely because either they can disappear or they can simply evolve. So there is no need for being an alarmist.
The concept of self-checkouts is at an advanced stage in some countries. Back then it used to be a lofty dream to have self-checkouts in retail outlets. However, the concept is already being implemented in some countries. Going forward this trend will take root in retail outlets. Judging by how I have seen local supermarkets making do with just a handful of cashiers, the threat is credible. When you really look at it, you can see that a cashier can be easily done away with even with minimal tech innovation. If you can get stuff from self-vending machines, then it comes as no surprise how self-checkouts can become widespread.
I have spoken about the shared economy quite a lot before. The sharing economy has largely been popularized by the ride-sharing segment. Enterprises like Uber, Lyft, Vaya, and so on have shown that people can get rides anywhere without the need for taxis. There are of course sticky issues that still need to be ironed out. That is why most people still prefer to use traditional taxis, especially in Zimbabwe. Once the ride-sharing segment becomes streamlined and its adoption becomes widespread, traditional taxi drivers might be in trouble. At least they can have an alternative in the event they become obsolete. They can always decide to sign themselves up on ride-sharing platforms instead.
The truth of the matter is here in Zimbabwe very few travel agents are there. It is now commonplace for one to not visit a travel agency to book a holiday or vacation. Thanks to digital technology and platforms, bookings can now be done wholly online. The use of artificial intelligence, using tools such as chatbots means things will change even more moving forward. Physical travel agencies will become unnecessary and the ones who are still afloat will migrate online. This means an average travel agency will only need a few hands to carry out its business operations.
Judging by what is currently obtaining, these jobs can be replaced sooner than we think. Already in countries like China and Japan, there are now warehouses that operate with minimal human intervention. As companies seek to reduce operating costs from human resources, this is a route they will likely take. It is even compounded by the greater efficiency, precision, and speed that autonomous warehouses come with. I have at times spoken of vertical farming where a building as big as a warehouse can be turned into an indoor farm. I recall seeing one real-life example of a vertical farm that big that was manned by only 2 workers or even 1 worker at a time. So the threat to warehouse workers’ jobs is quite significant.
This is by a long shot but there is already significant progress in the development of self-driving trucks. There are self-driving concept trucks that have already been tested over long distances with success. There is still lots of work to be done to get self-driving trucks to a point where they complete whole journeys alone. Presently, for the most part, most of the existing self-driving trucks are still manned. However, as the uptake of autonomous trucks gradually takes root truck driver jobs will be heavily threatened.
So there is no need for alarm; these jobs will not fully disappear as far as I see it. However, it would be ignorant to think there are no plausible threats to their existence by 2033. Given the rapid advancements in science and tech nowadays, 12 years is a long time. Just ask yourself what is obtaining now that was not 12 years ago? You will clearly realize that a lot can change in 12 years. Remember that jobs that are threatened can always be repurposed to suit the new status quo. I personally believe people can co-exist with tech and work smoothly together.