General Question

Smashley's avatar

Which jobs have no future?

Asked by Smashley (4933points) July 14th, 2017

We’ve hopefully all heard about automation and the sweeping changes to labor coming in the next couple decades. Which jobs do you see as destined to be filled by robots?

Further, which jobs will disappear for other reasons, besides automation?

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29 Answers

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I was going to say corset maker and retail, or the crotchless bloomers women wore under tons of body modifying apparatus and fabric up to WWI, but with the growing popularity of Victoria’s Secret, it’s copycats and the joy-toy outlets, you could probably make a living doing quality hand-made ladies garments from the past. But you would also probably have a hard time finding genuine whalebone to do it with. So…

Whaler.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Retail, I foresee miles of empty strip malls in 10–20 years.

janbb's avatar

Librarians are kind of a dying breed unfortunately.

Smashley's avatar

@janbb I’m not so sure. Maybe the profession will change and move away from paper, but curating information will be incredibly important as we go forward.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

^^I totally agree. Hard copies will need organizing, preservation and protection, and they will increase in value as artifacts.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I’m actually snatching up older books myself, especially first printings.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Any driving job. Taxi driver, and probably bus drivers as well. I would very much suspect that anyone starting today as a pilot in commercial aviation should not bank on a 30 year career. Cashiers, bank tellers, are probably doomed to near term extinction.

janbb's avatar

@Smashley I agree with you about its importance but most people feel they can just “Google.” It’s my field and I can see it dying back. There will be special libraries with librarians but not as many positions as in the past. This has already happened at my college; we’ve gone from 7 down to 4 full-timers in recent years. Librarianship is not valued.

CunningFox's avatar

Postal workers. It seems the mail industry is already dying anyway. No one needs to write letters anymore, it’ all done online. Snail mail has a charm to that can’t be replaced, though. I mean, what, are people going to dig through their boxes of emails that their husband sent them when they first started dating twenty years from now?

Though it’s possible there will always be a need for workers in the sex industry, with all the new technology they’re working on involving virtual reality, prostitutes could become totally obsolete and unneeded.

I think you were mostly asking for jobs, not careers, but..

Architecture. Or at least, in the way most of us think of it. It’s becoming less about how beautiful of a building you can design and more about designing generic buildings that function well for what they’re needed for. That’s why so many old buildings look amazing and unique, but most modern buildings are boring and all the same design.

Coloma's avatar

Cigarette girl. No more cute women walking around lounges and nightclubs saying ” cigars, cigarettes.”

Smashley's avatar

@janbb what I was getting at is the massive glut of information that exists in our age, with no one to tell us what is actually valuable or how to access and understand it. Librarians and libraries as we have known them are probably dwindling, but I tend to think the future is bright for the library sciences.

@CunningFox There’s a certain familiarity to your gripe about architecture. I have a feeling that there has always been a struggle between form and function, and a lean towards one doesn’t mean the other is finished forever.

@stanleybmanly – don’t forget truckers, valets, parking lot attendants, toll booth operators, traffic cops and body shop mechanics!

jca's avatar

Radio DJ.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@Coloma Do you actually know of a place still featuring cigarette girls walking the floor? I can’t think of a place with even a hat or coatcheck person.

CunningFox's avatar

@Coloma and @stanleybmanly I’ve never actually seen a cigarette/cigar hander-outer but do you think it could still be a thing maybe in a ‘50s diner themed establishment that would hire one just for the nostalgic and authentic purpose? (Sorry to push into your convo)

stanleybmanly's avatar

You’re not pushing. What a strange thing to say. But I think the cigarette girl with the tray was well on her way into history by the early 50s. I think those trays often had candy, mints, and gum along with cigars.

CunningFox's avatar

Oh, alright. Well that’s really interesting. The concept seems so alien to our modern culture now. And that sounds about right, discovering that “cigarettes will kill ya” was around the fifties, right? I can certainly see how the occupation went out of fashion after that.

ucme's avatar

Amish history teacher.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I can remember back in the early 90s when the wife still possessed the ability to bully me into attending public performances, we went to see (I think it was) Stephane Grappelli at the Mark Hopkins. The venue was one of those tiny table faux nightclub setups and when we arrived we spotted one of the wife’s lifelong girlfriends (a fiddle player) there with another girlfriend musician. So we pushed 3 tiny tables together and had such a good champagne soaked time that we grew to a crowd of about 12. Anyway, at intermission a statuesque and decidedly scantily clad woman appeared out of nowhere with a huge press camera complete with flashbulb (that’s right FLASHBULB) attachment. She faced us, quickly took up position like a BAR man in a rifle squad, then blinded us with some 10 or so flashes. By the time I could see again, she had skilfully deployed to a far corner of the room to blind others. Later, during a pause in the music she returned with photos and informed us that she could slap them on mugs, t shirts etc. But if we didn’t want to wait she could print the photos of our choice on matchbook covers that she would deliver to us later in the evening. We still have a bunch of those matches.

Coloma's avatar

@stanleybmanly I was being silly, you know, silly goose. :-)
Yes, the cigarette girls were phased out decades ago.

RocketGuy's avatar

Burger flipper – there are companies designing automated burger machines these days.

Zissou's avatar

@janbb if it’s any consolation, public libraries (as opposed to academic libraries) seem to be holding their own. They have managed to adapt and stay relevant in the digital age.

janbb's avatar

@Zissou That’s true but they’re being closed in many places due to lack of funding support.

Pachy's avatar

@janbb, happy to say that here in Boston there are many wonderful libraries, one of them just 5 mins from my house. The librarians there are fantastic! I’m thinking about volunteering yo work there.

Smashley's avatar

@RocketGuy Burger conveyor belt grills have existed for a long time. All you need now is a machine to get the patties from the freezer and put them on the line.

RocketGuy's avatar

Well, the company I looked into was designing a machine to custom assemble burgers based on each customer’s touchscreen order: different buns, different patties, different cheeses, condiments, veggies, bacon. Complete, custom burgers come out at the end. No teenagers in the loop, except to fill the ingredient hoppers.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

According to the Department of Labor, the occupation least required is shoemaker. The occupations in most need of employees is anything related to the medical field.

Smashley's avatar

Interesting. I guess shoes just aren’t worth the cost of fixing them these days. Good thing humans are! @Espiritus_Corvus

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Court reporter.

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