Robots may replace 800 million workers by 2030. These skills will keep you employed

Photo by Tomohiro Ohsumi

A new report released by McKinsey & Company indicates that by 2030, as many as 800 million workers worldwide could be replaced at work by robots.

The study found that in more advanced economies like the U.S. and Germany, up to one-third of the 2030 workforce may need to learn new skills and find new work. In economies like China's, roughly 12 percent of workers may need to switch occupations by 2030.

The report also provides insight into the industries that will be least impacted by robots and the skills needed to fill those positions.

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For some industries, an increase in automation won't mean a decline in employment, but rather a shift in the tasks needed to be done. For example, any job that involves managing people, applying expertise and social interaction will still be necessary, human performance in those areas can't be matched by a machine.

However, jobs involving mortgage origination, paralegal work, accounting and back-office transaction processing can easily be wiped out by automation.

A LinkedIn post focused on the report noted that some workers are already catching on to the need to boost the skills sets. Research by the networking platform found that fewer professionals are adding accounting and financial reporting to their profiles. Instead, employees are beefing up their online resumes with more soft skills like management, leadership and customer service.

While the impact of robots and automation may be scary to some, Bill Gates says the issue is nothing to panic about.

"This is a case where Elon [Musk] and I disagree," he said in a Wall Street Journal interview, in which he addressed Musk's gloomy vision of the future.

According to Gates, anyone with skills in science, engineering and economics will always be in demand.

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