Publication: The Economic Times

Skills or jobs that won't be replaced by automation, artificial intelligence in the future


Some studies show that about a quarter of the jobs around the world could be done by machines. Sometimes, this trend causes people to worry about their job security. Nevertheless, despite many concerns, it is believed that automation would not only modify occupations by taking on easy and repetitive work, but also won't necessarily destroy them.

In the high-tech fast-changing world, the nature of work also keeps changing. In the last few decades computers, robots and automation have changed the nature and roles of almost every job. Automation and artificial intelligence are spurring a new revolution, transforming jobs in every industry from IT to manufacturing.

According to some studies, about one fourth of the jobs are at risk of being automated across the globe. This trend sometimes makes people nervous about job security.

“Increased adoption and evolution of Automation & Artificial Intelligence brings along skepticism of a large number of roles and skills displacement. Instead, automation and AI should be used to evolve job roles and help make human workers more effective,” Arjun Jolly, Principal, Athena Executive Search & Consulting said.

However, despite several fears, it is estimated that automation won’t necessarily eliminate jobs but will transform them by taking over simple and repetitive tasks. This will help people to move to positions that require more interpersonal skills.

Here are some skills and professions that can’t be easily replaced by automation.

Jobs involving high levels of human interaction, strategic interpretation, critical decision making, niche skills or subject matter expertise won't be replaced by automation anytime soon. “For instance - Lawyers, Leadership roles, Medical Professionals, Healthcare practitioners, IT & HR Professionals. We can automate almost every part of the contract workflow process, but will still continue to rely on human intervention to put arguments, establish social relations in the negotiation phase, and find nuances in the data, rather than relying on data and algorithms outright,” Arjun Jolly said.

Human Resource, Customer relationship management:

While alexa or siri are great at following your every direction, but they can’t really understand how you’re feeling. Even the most advanced technology will never be able to comprehend our emotions and respond in the way that a human can. Whether it’s a team leader helping employees through a difficult time, account managers working with clients, or hiring managers looking for the perfect candidate, you need empathy to get those jobs done.

Roles that involve building relationships with clients, customers or patients can never be replaced by automation.

For example, over the last few years, automation has helped HR professionals better at their job, but it cannot replace them or remove the need for human touch.

“Automation will continue to take on more operational functions like payroll, filtering of job applications etc. But the human touch will always remain when it comes to HR. Similarly, even in the healthcare sector, automation and technology are playing an important role. But these need to work alongside humans – doctors, surgeons, nurses, healthcare workers for diagnosis and treatment,” Rupali Kaul, Operational Head-West, Marching Sheep said. 

"Besides this, Psychologists, caregivers, most engineers, human resource managers, marketing strategists, and lawyers are some roles that cannot be replaced by AI anytime in the near future, Nilesh Jahagirdar, VP Marketing, [x]cube LABS said.

Strategic, Critical Thinking

Automation can remove or simplify the process of implementing tasks but it can’t provide an overarching strategy that makes each task relevant. Even as the world moves towards digitization and automation, the ability to understand the context and complexities before offering solutions remains irreplaceable.

Automation can help implement tasks but it’s a long way from providing a strategy that makes each task relevant that fits in the bigger picture. Regardless of industry, roles that require strategic thinking will always be done by humans.

"So, jobs like solutions architect, designers, professionals providing hospitality services, and consultants having the ability to integrate systems and processes, would remain much in demand, IMHO. In essence, skills with the ability to provide superlative customer experiences would be the skills of the future,” Ruchika Godha, COO, Advaiya said.


Most intelligent computers or robot can’t paint like Picaso and create music like Mozart. Nobody can explain why some humans are more creative than others. So, it’s safe to say it’s near impossible for computers to replicate the spark of creativity that has led to the world’s most amazing feats.

"Automation is programmed and cannot replicate creativity which is spontaneous and requires imagination, dreaming and collective inspiration – something humans are best at” Rupali Kaul, Operational Head-West, Marching Sheep said.

Nilesh Jahagirdar, VP Marketing, [x]cube LABS said, “While digital technologies such as AI/ML are making quite a few routine jobs redundant, there are some which can’t quite be replaced owing to the complexities involved and the fact that AI evolution is not just as magical as people think it is. At its current state, it’s only repetitive tasks that follow the same rules over and over which can be done by AI. Psychologists, caregivers, most engineers, human resource managers, marketing strategists, and lawyers are some roles that cannot be replaced by AI anytime in the near future”

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