I recently read an article regarding the auto-manufacturing of large, complex structures such as furniture, cars, and now even houses. It's clear that automation are here to stay. However, what is not clear is how this will ultimately impact our livelihoods, especially those trade or skilled workers (like my father) who depend on manufacturing jobs. As an IT programmer and project manager, I can testify to the coming technology and its (major) impact on the international labor force in the years to come. Don't worry, we probably will not be answering to robots any time soon (hopefully), but we will need prepare our youth for the automation technology that will likely become a major factor in our economy within the next 5 - 10 years. I always tell the youth that they need to know how to program the robot or it will take their jobs. My advice to any high school student... study artificial intelligence, security/networking, hardware engineering, CAD design, and project management... with a good dose of psychology and/or marketing. Why psychology? Well, if you will programming a robot to complete a set of functions or services, you need to teach it how to think. Why marketing? Well, a robot cannot market itself. Mark Cuban, one of my favorite entrepreneurs, recently conducted an interview with Forbes Magazine in which he claimed that liberal art careers will be high in demand in the next 10 years.
Now if you are an Engineering student or young professional, I wouldn't trade in my engineering curriculum for an art degree, but I would at least take a few liberal art courses to supplement that degree. You will need people skills. Now, if you are an introvert (like myself), don't panic. Just adapt with the technology. Constant learning is the key. Get a new certification. Develop a new skill set. Invent a new technology. Get into healthcare technology. Engage in new industries such as graphic design or cinematography. Hey, you might just win a Oscar. So I look forward to seeing you up there on stage!