With this expanding motivation for College, there now are more higher education programs with a career-focused approach.

Even with adjustments in higher education, The Washington Posts cites surveys where “higher education has come under attack for its failure to make students job-ready.” (2015, Selingo)

Though a talent shortage is unlikely, the “training gap is real.” However, this skepticism is correct on a basic level.

Is the experience at King Kullen (recognized by Smithsonian Institution as the first supermarket) something, even in the ’90s, we would not find “anywhere else?” Is the training gap insurmountable working for Macy’s or Sears clothing stores? Is the technology sold at Best Buy radically different from any other retailer?

Yet, the most interchangeable companies and jobs are the areas with an intense business process automation where machines along with AI are replacing human labor. And the training necessary for the jobs left becomes ever greater.

In 2012, the same time Amazon was heavily investing in task-specific AI, Best Buy acknowledged its profit decreasing due changes in the retail industry. Forbes mentioned “the Amazon Effect,” as responsible for these changes (Trainer).

However, Best Buy’s response, the “Renew Blue Strategy” focused on customer experience as its competitive edge. While unprofitable stores were shut down or reorganized, which reduced the number of jobs, their approach was mostly centered around providing work for human beings.

Yet, how long will this business process automation strategy last?

In 2018, an online tutorial or video is not quite as helpful as holding the device and being guided by another person. However, prices tend to be higher for electronics at Best Buy due to the overhead, store employees and the Geek Squad to provide these services. It might not be long before interactive, VR instruction programs make these human services unprofitable.

Years from now, you may swipe your ID and walk into an automated testing booth for new electronics. Within you have tutorials, promotional videos and offers to buy new products.

For the sake of business process automation, machines are being programmed to take on increasingly more difficult jobs to the point where the term Artificial Intelligence is more appropriate.

Humans are capable of learning new things, socializing and more generalized interaction with the environment. At the same time, AI has combined the consistency of machines with enough knowledge in a specific area to generalize within that field.

There can be a shift in business process automation where human labor is still required without the need for reduction. Yet, the paywalls are increasing for many of the jobs that require training in the US.

We shouldn’t fear artificial intelligence or robotics as long as we have the opportunity to utilize the capacity our minds have that surpass what AI can do. In order to do this, employers and governments need to create or maintain paths to allow workers to be marketable before their skills become obsolete.


Dan Cuzzo is a recent university graduate, editor and job searcher. You can visit his blog at www.raininwhichseason.blogspot.com.

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