As the world delves deeper into the 21st century the question for future generations becomes: in what fields might we find the most productive and successful careers? Every generation has faced this question, and each has encountered new and diverse answers. The past century saw careers grow around the areas of energy, engineering, communication and information. The future century will see robotics take its place in the list of high-growth fields that have major influence upon society and economy. Though many view robotics as an area closer to the world of fantasy or science fiction, in fact major research on various robotic applications and technologies is currently underway at both the military and business levels. Products of these efforts are already available to the public market, as we see when we look at drones, vacuums and mops. You can try the convenience of a robotic cleaning device available from iRobot (that can be purchased using a convenient Groupon for discounts and free shipping) to get a sense their impact on our daily activities.
But while robotics can produce of great assistance for home maintenance and upkeep, and can also be used to create fascinating toys and hobbies. Robotics is far more than just an interesting diversion. Even the development of “self-driving” autos will only be one of the doors to the new frontier that robotics is opens in our lives. Some forms of surgery depend upon robotics to ensure their desired degree of precision and success.
How robotics will impact this society and our economic future will be astonishing and. But certain trends are already evident. Jobs which existed in assembly-lines are now “mechanized” when expensive human labor is replaced with precise robotic equipment. This transition has more fundamental impact on our economy and society the move of a business to an area with lower labor costs. We tend to see shifts production businesses make to locales with lower labor as moves that cause losses in employment opportunities when viewed from a short-term perspective. Unfortunately, in our desire to retain those jobs and maintain our economy, we tend to overlook the underlying reality that the jobs we try to retain could in fact be obsolescent.
This is important because when you think about future careers you should consider areas with future potential that can best utilize your talents. Robotics can clearly be such a field. And the design, development, operation and maintenance of robotic systems will be an area whose importance and demand will continue to grow.