If you haven’t noticed the trend in recent years, a lot of jobs that were once robust parts of the economy are now being phased out because of new tech and because they’re becoming obsolete. In the next 10-20 years, jobs that we once looked at a constant route to employment will be gone and people will have to start looking for work elsewhere. People that once held these jobs are now getting older and it will get increasingly more difficult for them to find work in a new era that has passed them by. These are just some of the jobs that will be minimized or gone in the next few decades.
POSTAL SERVICE WORKERS
It’s no secret that in the past decade the postal service has tried its hardest to stay relevant in a world where the use of paper is dropping. The only thing I get in the mail is pizza ads, insurance applications, credit card applications, and bills. There are some days where I actually forget the date because I get no mail at all and think it’s Sunday. It’s not, it’s just there is no mail to send.
Layoffs are increasing and soon the number of postal workers will lead to increased work loads for each worker. In 2010, the number of employed postal workers was at about 525,300 people. An estimate of how many postal workers will be around 385,500 people. That is a change of over 25% in their workforce in a 10-year period.
If this trend keeps going, the entire postal service could be running in a limited capacity. You can see the USPS transitioning to bigger box deliveries to compete with FedEx, UPS and DHL. Though the postal service may not disappear completely, the majority of its workforce will likely be reduced majorly.
FARMERS AND AGRICULTURAL WORKERS
As things get more and more automated, the less people will be needed to run things manually. No more workers walking up and down the fields picking individual plants when you can have a massive autonomous machine doing it all faster and with minimal cost compared to paying hundreds of workers.
If you think farming jobs are disappearing, they are because technology is becoming more and more efficient that there doesn’t need to be as many people working on growing food. Only 2% of the American population works in the farming industry. This about that: Only 2% of the American population grows all the food that goes on our tables every day. The total population of the United States was 75,994,266 in 1900, and the farming workforce population was 29,414,000. That’s 38% of the population! Now it’s only 2%. That’s over a 100 year period, but as the population ballooned to over 300 million people, only 2% make all the food. Soon the workforce will be even less where 1 or 2 people can run an entire farm.
If you go to a grocery store, look at the line of all the cashier stations, you’ll notice that barely 25% of the mare being operated, and ones that are have barely any customers in it unless it’s the weekend. Most people are going through the self-checkout because it’s just faster to do all the motions yourself than to deal with an actual human being. I will wait in line for the self-checkout even if there is a 15 items or less line wide open.
Cashiers are becoming more unnecessary as time goes on. Technology is making the need for people to individually have their items scanned by a human. Soon you’ll be able to put all your items in the cart and just walk right out of the store as a huge scanner hits all the items and charges your account in the same way a scanner will tell if you walk out of the store without paying for something.
This will keep costs down for companies that won’t have to pay for cashiers. You can go into a CVS or Walgreens and you will notice that there are barely any cashiers working there anymore. If it’s only a sort of busy, a line can back up to 10 customers. This will cause the cashier to call for help on another machine. It would be easier to just get what you want, get scanned and walk out the door. The only thing that may stop you is security measures that prevent you from leaving if your account doesn’t have the funds for what you buy. The cashier will soon become a thing of the past.
This one is associated with the postal service in that no one is getting their news from paper anymore. To see someone reading a newspaper in their homes is becoming a thing of the past. So many newspapers that were once giants are now either going out of business or stopping print and switching to online news with ads. This means that you won’t see that grade schooler tossing papers from his basket bike no more. Hipsters playing Paperboy on NES a few decades from now won’t even know what a paperboy was. This is a job that will disappear entirely in the new few years.
Everyone uses online services to book their own flights and hotels now. The thought of the travel agent handling a vacation anymore is all but disappeared. My parents took a cruise which required them to also get a flight to Florida to get on the cruise. They did it all themselves online. We’re talking about people who still ask me how to send e-mail or how to copy and paste words from one place to another.
Travel agents are people who you required before the Internet was around to book a trip for you. It was the only one-stop place you could go to get all the things required to take a vacation. Now you can go online and do it in just a few minutes.
Another career lost to the ever decreasing use of paper and utilization of the Internet. Big libraries used to be all over big and small cities. They were the cornerstone for people to go learn and increase their knowledge of any subject they choose. In the library was multiple librarians to help you find the book you need within the rows upon rows of books, or to just tell you to “Shhh, people are trying to study.”
Now, a person can put more than the amount of books in the average library on a tablet. Libraries are shutting down more and more, and the need for librarians to help out readers has been replaced with a search function on a computer. The only time I ever went to a library in recent years was to print out something one of my college computers, or to sit and study in a closed off room next to the library. It’s sad to admit that both the library and the librarian are becoming obsolete, especially since my local coffee shop isn’t very quiet and there is almost always a homeless man sitting in there yelling.
Caller ID, outsourcing, bots, and a generally unnecessary need for this career is why it’s quickly disappearing. Since the landline is disappearing and being replaced by smartphones, telemarketers are finding it harder to reach a customer that is willing to get a hold of someone, and if they do, they’re shut down a sentence into the rehearsed selling speech.
Don’t expect to find a career in this field in the next few years. They will almost entirely be replaced with bots and recorded audio that no one will listen to anyway.
POWER INDUSTRY JOBS RELATED TO OIL AND COAL
Oil is a fossil fuel. By definition, you’re burning the past when you use a fossil fuel. Oil should’ve been left in the past years ago, and now our planet has to absorb all the crap being spewed into the air. Thankfully, oil and coal are slowly being phased out for renewable resources like wind, air, solar, and tidal power. With more and more countries trying to phase out the use of old fuel technology, so will more and more and more jobs in the industry.
What is one thing you see on almost every corner of an intersection? Gas stations. Unless those gas stations can convert to charging stations, the point of them being open turns pointless.
TRANSPORTATION AND FREIGHT JOBS
Because of the self-driving vehicle is coming to a dealership near you, jobs that involve transporting people are soon to be gone as well. Just what type of transportation jobs?
•Taxi and limo drivers
•Mail delivery drivers (as mentioned above)
•FedEx and UPS delivery jobs (as mentioned above)
These jobs will disappear as they will all be replaced by autonomous vehicles.
MEDICAL INDUSTRY JOBS
With improved safety of cars being able to drive by themselves, this will cut out a lot of need for more doctors and nurses. Fewer accidents mean fewer hurt people to treat. The less and less patients that hospitals will be treating means the lessened need for people to treat them. This will lead to fewer people majoring in college. This brings me to…
COLLEGE TEACHING JOBS
The more the Internet becomes a replacement for education, the less we will need colleges to attend for education. Many colleges are offering online classes instead of in-person classes. I took many in my last year in college because having the option to drive to class after work was much better when I could just go home.
Even elementary schools are offering online classes for kids. Kids will not have to go into class early in the morning, which I’m sure their parents won’t mind having to wake up early, but someone will have to stay home with them. The elementary school teaching job doesn’t seem to be in too much trouble, but the college jobs should be on their toes.
Colleges are charging insane prices of tuition and textbooks when anyone can learn what they’re teaching from YouTube tutorials or from studying at home. Reissuing the same books with slightly worded questions at the end of chapters is all but recognized as a scam. People are getting jobs without degrees now because companies recognize individual talent instead of proof they went to college. I have a Bachelors in Marketing and have done basically nothing with my degree except accumulate debt and learn things over a 4 year period that I already learned in high school.
There are so many industry jobs that cover so many sectors of the workforce that it would take 10,000 more words to cover them all, but I found these to be the major ones. The scary thing about it all is that economists are estimating that 47% of ALL jobs in the U.S.A. will be gone in the next 20 years due to tech, so it’s time to look to the future of what you want to do instead of looking to the present.