As the tail end of the Millennial generation enters the workforce, considers having children, and cements itself in the world at large, it is without question that Millennials are going to experience a unique future compared to Generation X or any other generation that came before them for that matter.
The world itself has evolved tremendously in recent years, with one of the biggest changes being the introduction of more advanced technology and the accessibility of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to consumers and businesses.
The generation that people love to hate is known for being early adopters of new technologies; however, it remains to be seen exactly how AI will shape the post-adolescent lives of 80 million Millennials which has become the largest age grouping in American history.
What is AI?
Unlike Robotic Process Automation (RPA), AI is self-learning, meaning it adapts and learns as it goes. RPA, however, performs the tasks it was programmed to do and does not adapt to changes by itself. Automation software replaces humans for repetitive or predictable tasks, where AI can use reason to mimic the thoughts of a human.
A common concern with AI is that it will replace people in jobs entirely. With the creation of more intelligent automation, lower level jobs are being performed by humans less than they were before. Where workers who are older have a better chance of keeping their jobs due to tenure or seniority, young professionals are going to find that typical entry-level jobs are going to cease to exist as AI spreads and fills those types of positions.
With 85-90 million American Millennials, the group is now the largest generation in history and is also the highest educated generation ever. With typical entry-level jobs decreasing and the number of people entering the workforce increasing, the competition for jobs will be cutthroat.
In order for Millennials to survive in the workforce with ever-improving AI and an increasing supply of competing applicants, they are going to need to be knowledgeable and adaptable. The days of “paying your dues” through routine manual labor will become a thing of the past. Millennials will not simply be cogs in the machine, to truly thrive in business they will need to assess and recommend how to make the machine more efficient. College diplomas will no longer guarantee employment, obtaining a master’s or Phd will become a pre-requisite for Millennials to enter the business world.
Looking at the coming widespread introduction of AI by companies, Millennials certainly will come accustomed with the modern technology. Thousands of companies around the world have already adopted AI. While the fear is that AI is removing jobs from the workforce, research collected by Capgemini has shown the opposite to be true. The implementation of AI in business has created new roles for workers, with the majority being at the senior level. The Gartner report gave the same forecast, predicting that AI will introduce half a million more jobs than it will eliminate over the next few years, increasing the need for higher skilled workers.
As businesses look to deploy AI technology to increase productivity by automating routine tasks, they inevitably will need more senior level resources to oversee the machines. Millennials stand the best chance of being hired into these new types of roles since they will be entering the workforce trained in the latest technology. It appears that with the advancement of technology, the business world will require Millennials to act more like “thinkers” than “doers”.