Students considering their career path should be aware of what jobs have recently become obsolete due to technology. This is a common problem and fear in the workforce today, with many more jobs likely to vanish in the near future. The following are some of the jobs that have been most affected by technological advancements, although it is by no means an exhaustive list.
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The travel agent is one of the first occupations to come to mind when considering what jobs have recently become obsolete due to technology. The work of a travel agent can be a very fun and fulfilling career, but sadly most people no longer have need of them. Many of a travel agent’s duties, such as making reservations, putting together itineraries and even providing recommendations on where to go, can now be done by individuals at home. Online services have allowed travelers to plan every aspect of their trips themselves, giving them little reason to use a travel agent and pay for their services. Some travel agents have managed to stay relevant by offering unparalleled expertise and relying on a loyal customer base, but overall this profession is on the decline due to technology.
File clerks used to be a staple in most offices, particularly law offices, with the sole responsibility of pulling, replacing, creating and organizing paper files. Digital filing systems, especially those in the cloud, have largely rendered this position obsolete. Digital filing systems offer a number of advantages over traditional paper file rooms, as they can be backed up and preserved in the case of disaster and they can easily be accessed by everyone with permission at an organization, even multiple individuals at the same time. They take up less space, are more convenient and are more environmentally-friendly. Because of the ease of use of digital systems, a dedicated employee to manage those files is not necessary because individual employees can do it themselves.
Although there will always need to be humans managing and maintaining manufacturing machines, the fact remains that many manufacturing jobs have become obsolete due to new technologies that can perform the same tasks faster, cheaper and more efficiently. This has, unfortunately, caused something of a crisis in the manufacturing industry, and the decline is only likely to continue. Among the occupations that the Bureau of Labor Statistics lists as having the steepest decline, a significant amount of them are assemblers and other manufacturing roles. Anyone looking to get into manufacturing today will need to have strong knowledge of the machines used in their industry of choice.
Although cashiers are not entirely obsolete, signs of their replacement by machines are already visible. Some fast-food restaurants now have self-service kiosks and most supermarkets have put in self-checkout machines. These machines are often faster and more convenient, cutting down on time customers must spend standing in line. Although there will still be a need for cashiers to watch and manage these machines, the number of human cashiers needed is likely to dwindle due to this newer technology. The ease of paying by card or mobile device has also lessened the need for cashiers to handle a traditional cash register.
Automation will continue to replace jobs in the future. No one really knows how many types of jobs will ultimately be lost to technological advancements. For now, it is good to be aware of what jobs have recently become obsolete due to technology.