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Just one thing before you quit your job and become a coder...
IT has been one of the fastest growing and most lucrative industries for a long time. But is that going to be true in the future?
- Considering the high wages and high demand, it's very tempting to learn to code and join the IT industry.
- While official projections say that this industry will stay strong and lucrative for a long time, some experts disagree.
- Individuals such Mark Cuban and Andrew Yang believe that automation is going to come for the IT industry too and that the valuable skill set of the future might not be what you'd expect.
Maybe you've become enmeshed in the gig economy, copywriting in $5 increments at Fiverr or driving Uber. Maybe your STEM-y undergraduate peers were right and you've wound up as a barista. Maybe you're even employed in the industry you trained for, perhaps as an editor or as a marketer. You graduated with a liberal arts degree, but your friends in the IT industry seem to be living the high life. Gone are the pasty computer nerds of the past; everyone in IT seems to have an Instagram plastered with sandy beaches, pearly white teeth, fun adventures, delicious food, an all-around good life. Maybe you should learn to code and switch careers?
Just consider the IT industry's skyrocketing hourly wage, which reached an average of $41.29 in 2018. Or, consider the Bureau of Labor Statistics' prediction that between 2016 and 2026, the labor market for software engineers is expected to grow by a blistering 24 percent. Everything relies on code today. Your computer, your job, your car, your refrigerator — are you missing out on the ideal industry?
It's true that the IT industry is an economic powerhouse, but succumbing to FOMO isn't likely to improve the conditions of your life. In fact, although official statistics are very optimistic about this industry's growth, some experts think that the future of the IT industry will be far less rosy.
Mark Cuban stands firmly in the latter camp. "Twenty years from now, if you are a coder, you might be out of a job," said Cuban in an interview on Recode Decode.
I think a liberal arts major is just as important in the future as a coding major. Now the coding major who graduates this year probably has better short-term opportunity than the liberal arts major that's a Shakespeare expert, but long term, it's like people who learned Cobol or Fortran and thought that was the future and they were going to be covered forever. The value's going to diminish over time.
Automation is going to change everything
Why would this be the case? It has to do with the big bad A: Automation. We typically think of automation as software engineering replacing nearly all other jobs. Assembling a car, for instance, is mostly done by robots programmed by software engineers. Driving a car is quickly becoming a task performed by algorithms as well. In an interview with Big Think, Andrew Yang explains how automation is already taking over some jobs that we thought only highly skilled experts could perform:
AI can already outperform the smartest doctors at identifying tumors on a radiology film. AI can already surpass experienced corporate attorneys at editing documents and contracts. And so right now we're trapped in this mindset where we all have to find value based upon the market's estimation of what we can do. But the market's going to turn on more and more of us very, very quickly and has nothing to do with our merit. That radiologist went to school for a long time, but they just can't see shades of gray that the AI can. And the AI can reference millions of films whereas the radiologists can only reference thousands. And so we have to start evolving the way we think of ourselves and our value in this society.
We think of IT jobs as being more resilient to the upcoming automation revolution, but this simply isn't true. AI and automation are likely to significantly impact software development and already has. You don't have to be a web developer to build a website anymore, for instance; many of the repetitive tasks involved in building a website have been automated by different software tools. AI probably won't replace all software developers in the same way it'll replace all drivers, but it will reduce the demand for software developers as barriers to entry and the level of requisite technical skills become lower and lower.
If that's the case, what will be the most relevant skills in the future? Mark Cuban believes that these are "Creativity, collaboration, communication skills. Those things are super important and are going to be the difference between make or break." So, if you're a liberal arts student nervously considering switching to a more lucrative major after taking a full accounting of your student loans for the first time, don't be so quick to act.
- 47% of Jobs Will Disappear in the next 25 Years, Says Oxford ... ›
- We'll Have Fully Automated Driverless Transportation by 2020, Says ... ›
- No, coding isn't 'fun' — it's technical and complex - Big Think ›
What is human dignity? Here's a primer, told through 200 years of great essays, lectures, and novels.
- Human dignity means that each of our lives have an unimpeachable value simply because we are human, and therefore we are deserving of a baseline level of respect.
- That baseline requires more than the absence of violence, discrimination, and authoritarianism. It means giving individuals the freedom to pursue their own happiness and purpose.
- We look at incredible writings from the last 200 years that illustrate the push for human dignity in regards to slavery, equality, communism, free speech and education.
The inherent worth of all human beings<p>Human dignity is the inherent worth of each individual human being. Recognizing human dignity means respecting human beings' special value—value that sets us apart from other animals; value that is intrinsic and cannot be lost.</p> <p>Liberalism—the broad political philosophy that organizes society around liberty, justice, and equality—is rooted in the idea of human dignity. Liberalism assumes each of our lives, plans, and preferences have some unimpeachable value, not because of any objective evaluation or contribution to a greater good, but simply because they belong to a human being. We are human, and therefore deserving of a baseline level of respect. </p> <p>Because so many of us take human dignity for granted—just a fact of our humanness—it's usually only when someone's dignity is ignored or violated that we feel compelled to talk about it. </p> <p>But human dignity means more than the absence of violence, discrimination, and authoritarianism. It means giving individuals the freedom to pursue their own happiness and purpose—a freedom that can be hampered by restrictive social institutions or the tyranny of the majority. The liberal ideal of the good society is not just peaceful but also pluralistic: It is a society in which we respect others' right to think and live differently than we do.</p>
From the 19th century to today<p>With <a href="https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?year_start=1800&year_end=2019&content=human+dignity&corpus=26&smoothing=3&direct_url=t1%3B%2Chuman%20dignity%3B%2Cc0" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Google Books Ngram Viewer</a>, we can chart mentions of human dignity from 1800-2019.</p><img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDg0ODU0My9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MTUwMzE4MX0.bu0D_0uQuyNLyJjfRESNhu7twkJ5nxu8pQtfa1w3hZs/img.png?width=980" id="7ef38" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="9974c7bef3812fcb36858f325889e3c6" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
American novelist, writer, playwright, poet, essayist and civil rights activist James Baldwin at his home in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, southern France, on November 6, 1979.
Credit: Ralph Gatti/AFP via Getty Images
The future of dignity<p>Around the world, people are still working toward the full and equal recognition of human dignity. Every year, new speeches and writings help us understand what dignity is—not only what it looks like when dignity is violated but also what it looks like when dignity is honored. In his posthumous essay, Congressman Lewis wrote, "When historians pick up their pens to write the story of the 21st century, let them say that it was your generation who laid down the heavy burdens of hate at last and that peace finally triumphed over violence, aggression and war."</p> <p>The more we talk about human dignity, the better we understand it. And the sooner we can make progress toward a shared vision of peace, freedom, and mutual respect for all. </p>
Scientists find that bursts of gamma rays may exceed the speed of light and cause time-reversibility.
- Astrophysicists propose that gamma-ray bursts may exceed the speed of light.
- The superluminal jets may also be responsible for time-reversibility.
- The finding doesn't go against Einstein's theory because this effect happens in the jet medium not a vacuum.
Jet bursting out of a blazar. Black-hole-powered galaxies called blazars are the most common sources detected by NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope.
Cosmic death beams: Understanding gamma ray bursts<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="cu2knVEk" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="c6cfd20fdf31c82cb206ade8ce21ba3f"> <div id="botr_cu2knVEk_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/cu2knVEk-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/cu2knVEk-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/cu2knVEk-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div>
Researchers dramatically improve the accuracy of a number that connects fundamental forces.
- A team of physicists carried out experiments to determine the precise value of the fine-structure constant.
- This pure number describes the strength of the electromagnetic forces between elementary particles.
- The scientists improved the accuracy of this measurement by 2.5 times.
The process for measuring the fine-structure constant involved a beam of light from a laser that caused an atom to recoil. The red and blue colors indicate the light wave's peaks and troughs, respectively.
Scientists at Washington University are patenting a new electrolyzer designed for frigid Martian water.
- Mars explorers will need more oxygen and hydrogen than they can carry to the Red Planet.
- Martian water may be able to provide these elements, but it is extremely salty water.
- The new method can pull oxygen and hydrogen for breathing and fuel from Martian brine.