Is Your Job In Danger As Robots Cut 200,000 U.S. Bank Positions?

Robots Banking

Human face robots may soon be your banking teller.

Getty

Tom, 59, a Banking Call Center Manager, called for a career counseling session in a panic. He just read the Bloomberg article about a Wells Fargo's research study noting the headline saying that robots to cut 200,000 U.S. bank jobs in the next decade. 

 Tom was scared that this would affect his career since they were talking about call centers, branches and back offices being the positions that would have most of the cuts. 

Tom is smart to be concerned. Wells Fargo reports that the banking industry spends over $150 billion annually on tech, which is more than any other sector. As more and more automation and artificial intelligence get added into the workplace, Tom is not the only person who should panic that his or her job could be in danger.

Your job may not be leaving today, but if you are in the same industry as Tom, don't ignore the fact that artificial intelligence and technology changes are going to have a dramatic impact on the workplace. The other industries most likely to be hit in include manufacturing and the automotive sectors. Is this a wakeup call for you? The jobs likely to be less affected are in tech, sales, advising and consulting.  

John Robertson, America's Business Futurist, a former CEO and Author of Focus Forward Leadership who specializes in the Artificial Intelligence area, says, "Working level employees will need to upgrade their skills." 

 In Tom's case, as the Call Center manager, his job will change. Robertson says, "This manager is now going to manage both people and robots. The robots have to learn their jobs. Data is constantly updated. The managers must understand the data, and robots have to understand conversations and questions. Even though they are a robot, they are only as smart as they have been programmed. There are always questions from customers where the robots don't know the answer. So in the future call center, the robots can handle 80% of the issues, but for the remaining 20%, they need to connect to a live person to solve their issues. Therefore, robots and robot-learning have to be continually managed," he explained. Managers will need to be very tech savvy in the future Robertson advised. "A manager will need to be smarter than before and see what robots have done and what they need to learn to do," he stated.

Additionally, robots break and someone will need to oversee the repairs. There will be jobs created to do just that. "Robots can try to understand the problem, but it may take a skilled technician to handle more complex issues. The key to future consumer businesses is a valued relationship. That means a positive customer experience when they call or contact the company for help. Robotics is one answer, but some people with much higher technology skills will be essential too."

People most in danger of losing jobs

"The group of workers most likely to be left unemployed are the baby boomers and X generation employees who have fewer technology skills," notes Robertson. "Employers do not seek these over 50 workers for technical positions." So if you were born in 1965, you are in the X generation, and you are currently leading your generation at age 54 with the youngest being 40. Baby Boomers ages range from 55-75. It's predicted that these two generations will run the risk of massive industry layoffs that will be harder to recover from. For example, Robertson predicts as time goes on, Bank Teller jobs will eventually phase out and go away.

 What to Do

"You will need technology skills like many Millennials, and Gen-Z seem to know," advises Robertson. To adapt, older workers will need to return to school soon and update their knowledge and technical abilities to remain in their industries. They can switch to another job area like sales or consulting, but you need experience and planning to change your career. Do not wait until the ax falls, and you've lost your job. 

Technology training to enable you to be ready for the future will require understanding how robots work, and also understand the software the company is using and how that software is evolving, explains Robertson. 

To prepare for the future, Robertson advises you to improve your technical and software skills. There will be people needed to repair robotics and oversee them in the workplace. Also there will be jobs in building the actual robotic. Complicated equipment broken down into simple tasks and it will be something high school grads could do.

My advice to Tom or any Boomer or Xer in these automating industries (banking, automotive and manufacturing), is that he needed to do some career planning. First, take a close look at the career path that he has at this moment. Next, talk to his boss to determine if his job is likely to be one that would be eliminated or changed. Instead of panicking, I suggested he ask his boss for a recommendation as to what area of the business in banking should he start targeting his skills for. Would the boss recommend taking some additional courses if needed so that he could move into a different area of the bank and remain with the bank going forward? Ask the boss to authorize you taking new classes to update your skills. Finally, if your boss isn't that helpful, check out the local colleges or online universities so you can advance your technology skills and be ready for the robotics and artificial intelligence tsunami that is heading our way in the next few years. 

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Tom, 59, a Banking Call Center Manager, called for a career counseling session in a panic. He just read the Bloomberg article about a Wells Fargo's research study noting the headline saying that robots to cut 200,000 U.S. bank jobs in the next decade. 

 Tom was scared that this would affect his career since they were talking about call centers, branches and back offices being the positions that would have most of the cuts. 

Tom is smart to be concerned. Wells Fargo reports that the banking industry spends over $150 billion annually on tech, which is more than any other sector. As more and more automation and artificial intelligence get added into the workplace, Tom is not the only person who should panic that his or her job could be in danger.

Your job may not be leaving today, but if you are in the same industry as Tom, don't ignore the fact that artificial intelligence and technology changes are going to have a dramatic impact on the workplace. The other industries most likely to be hit in include manufacturing and the automotive sectors. Is this a wakeup call for you? The jobs likely to be less affected are in tech, sales, advising and consulting.  

John Robertson, America's Business Futurist, a former CEO and Author of Focus Forward Leadership who specializes in the Artificial Intelligence area, says, "Working level employees will need to upgrade their skills." 

 In Tom's case, as the Call Center manager, his job will change. Robertson says, "This manager is now going to manage both people and robots. The robots have to learn their jobs. Data is constantly updated. The managers must understand the data, and robots have to understand conversations and questions. Even though they are a robot, they are only as smart as they have been programmed. There are always questions from customers where the robots don't know the answer. So in the future call center, the robots can handle 80% of the issues, but for the remaining 20%, they need to connect to a live person to solve their issues. Therefore, robots and robot-learning have to be continually managed," he explained. Managers will need to be very tech savvy in the future Robertson advised. "A manager will need to be smarter than before and see what robots have done and what they need to learn to do," he stated.

Additionally, robots break and someone will need to oversee the repairs. There will be jobs created to do just that. "Robots can try to understand the problem, but it may take a skilled technician to handle more complex issues. The key to future consumer businesses is a valued relationship. That means a positive customer experience when they call or contact the company for help. Robotics is one answer, but some people with much higher technology skills will be essential too."

People most in danger of losing jobs

"The group of workers most likely to be left unemployed are the baby boomers and X generation employees who have fewer technology skills," notes Robertson. "Employers do not seek these over 50 workers for technical positions." So if you were born in 1965, you are in the X generation, and you are currently leading your generation at age 54 with the youngest being 40. Baby Boomers ages range from 55-75. It's predicted that these two generations will run the risk of massive industry layoffs that will be harder to recover from. For example, Robertson predicts as time goes on, Bank Teller jobs will eventually phase out and go away.

 What to Do

"You will need technology skills like many Millennials, and Gen-Z seem to know," advises Robertson. To adapt, older workers will need to return to school soon and update their knowledge and technical abilities to remain in their industries. They can switch to another job area like sales or consulting, but you need experience and planning to change your career. Do not wait until the ax falls, and you've lost your job. 

Technology training to enable you to be ready for the future will require understanding how robots work, and also understand the software the company is using and how that software is evolving, explains Robertson. 

To prepare for the future, Robertson advises you to improve your technical and software skills. There will be people needed to repair robotics and oversee them in the workplace. Also there will be jobs in building the actual robotic. Complicated equipment broken down into simple tasks and it will be something high school grads could do.

My advice to Tom or any Boomer or Xer in these automating industries (banking, automotive and manufacturing), is that he needed to do some career planning. First, take a close look at the career path that he has at this moment. Next, talk to his boss to determine if his job is likely to be one that would be eliminated or changed. Instead of panicking, I suggested he ask his boss for a recommendation as to what area of the business in banking should he start targeting his skills for. Would the boss recommend taking some additional courses if needed so that he could move into a different area of the bank and remain with the bank going forward? Ask the boss to authorize you taking new classes to update your skills. Finally, if your boss isn't that helpful, check out the local colleges or online universities so you can advance your technology skills and be ready for the robotics and artificial intelligence tsunami that is heading our way in the next few years. 

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I am a career counselor that helps clients land jobs. I offer Resume Writing, LinkedIn Profile Writing, and Interview Coaching services. I’ve appeared on Oprah, DrPh...