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Acquire a skill set that a computer can’t easily replicate

Some futurologists predict half the jobs that currently exist will disappear within the next couple of decades. Driverless cars will make taxi and bus drivers obsolete, online learning will mean a dramatic cut in the number of teachers required and 3D printers will mean we can all print out our own (perfectly fitting) clothes and footwear, removing the need for tailors and shoemakers.

Fortunately, many of the occupations that TAFE NSW prepares people for don’t look like being automated out of existence anytime soon. Here are some jobs that appear likely to survive:


It’s possible that panel beaters might fall on hard times if driverless cars result in fewer car crashes, but mechanics seem safe for the foreseeable future. In fact, with the technology being used in cars growing more and more complex, car owners are increasingly paying professionals to do the kind of simple jobs they once would have popped the hood to do themselves.


Scientists are a long way off inventing a robot with taste buds or one that’s capable of thinking about food creatively, so the future Curtis Stones and Adriano Zumbos of this world don’t have anything to worry about.


There have been many attempts to invent a device capable of cutting and styling hair without a hairdresser having to be involved, but none of them have worked out. Even the well-funded armed forces haven’t been able to develop a technology that will allow soldiers’ heads to be shaved by a machine, so it’s unlikely hair salons and barber shops will be going out of business in the near future.


While computer programs have made accountancy more efficient, almost all business owners and plenty of ordinary taxpayers still prefer to deal with a human being who’s up to date with the latest tax legislation, has an understanding of their financial position and can answer their questions and provide advice.

No one’s sure how quickly it’s going to happen, but it’s widely agreed that many blue-collar and not a few white-collar jobs are going to disappear in the medium to long term. If you’re concerned about being made obsolete, perhaps it’s time to start thinking about how you can do some training to acquire a skill set that a computer can’t easily replicate.

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