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Another Observation About Tech Impact On Middle Class Jobs

Another Observation About Tech Impact On Middle Class Jobs

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Close up of a IT engineer or consultant working with hard drive installation in a blade server. Data rack in a large datacenter.

While reading James Barrat’s book, Our Final Invention, about artificial intelligence and its impact on humanity, I came across the following paragraph.

“Advances in natural language processing will transform parts of the economy that until now have seemed immune to technological change. In another few years librarians and researchers of all kinds will join retail clerks, bank tellers, travel agents, stock brokers, loan officers, and help desk technicians in the unemployment lines. Following them will be doctors, lawyers, tax and retirement consultants. Think of how quickly ATMs have all but replaced bank tellers, and how grocery store checkout lines have started phasing out human clerks. If you work in an information industry (and the digital revolution is changing everything into information industries), watch out.”

Barrat’s line of thinking is not new to me. Over the past year, I’ve published reviews of The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Experts , Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future, and The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies at my blog, www.wallyboston.com/wallyboston.

Even if you don’t read books (or blogs), wouldn’t a reflective pause while using your smartphone cause you to wonder what happened to the people who used to arrange the flight, hotel, and rental car that you just booked through an app?  What about the book store clerk who helped you find the latest publication about artificial intelligence or your favorite mystery writer’s new book?  Yes, there will be jobs in the future, but the carve-out in the middle will occur wherever there’s an opportunity to utilize technology effectively and efficiently.

Leveraging your productivity and value by utilizing technology effectively will be the safest way to keep your career on track and relevant.

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Wally Boston Dr. Wallace E. Boston was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of American Public University System (APUS) and its parent company, American Public Education, Inc. (APEI) in July 2004. He joined APUS as its Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in 2002. In September 2019, Dr. Boston retired as CEO of APEI and retired as APUS President in August 2020. Dr. Boston guided APUS through its successful initial accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association in 2006 and ten-year reaccreditation in 2011. In November 2007, he led APEI to an initial public offering on the NASDAQ Exchange. For four years from 2009 through 2012, APEI was ranked in Forbes' Top 10 list of America's Best Small Public Companies. During his tenure as president, APUS grew to over 85,000 students, 200 degree and certificate programs, and approximately 100,000 alumni. While serving as APEI CEO and APUS President, Dr. Boston was a board member of APEI, APUS, Hondros College of Nursing, and Fidelis, Inc. Dr. Boston continues to serve as a member of the Board of Advisors of the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA), a member of the Board of Overseers of the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, and as a member of the board of New Horizons Worldwide. He has authored and co-authored papers on the topic of online post-secondary student retention, and is a frequent speaker on the impact of technology on higher education. Dr. Boston is a past Treasurer of the Board of Trustees of the McDonogh School, a private K-12 school in Baltimore. In his career prior to APEI and APUS, Dr. Boston served as either CFO, COO, or CEO of Meridian Healthcare, Manor Healthcare, Neighborcare Pharmacies, and Sun Healthcare Group. Dr. Boston is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, and Chartered Global Management Accountant. He earned an A.B. degree in History from Duke University, an MBA in Marketing and Accounting from Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business Administration, and a Doctorate in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. In 2008, the Board of Trustees of APUS awarded him a Doctorate in Business Administration, honoris causa, and, in April 2017, also bestowed him with the title President Emeritus. In August 2020, the Board of Trustees of APUS appointed him Trustee Emeritus. In November 2020, the Board of Trustees announced that the APUS School of Business would be renamed the Dr. Wallace E Boston School of Business in recognition of Dr. Boston's service to the university. Dr. Boston lives with his family in Austin, Texas.

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