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Programming Technology

Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs? 509

An anonymous reader writes: My niece, who is graduating from high school, has asked me for some career advice. Since I work in data processing, my first thought was to recommend a degree course in computer science or computer engineering. However, after reading books by Jeremy Rifkin (The Third Industrial Revolution) and Ray Kurzweil (How to Create a Mind), I now wonder whether a career in information technology is actually better than, say, becoming a lawyer or a construction worker. While the two authors differ in their political persuasions (Rifkin is a Green leftist and Kurzweil is a Libertarian transhumanist), both foresee an increasingly automated future where most of humanity would become either jobless or underemployed by the middle of the century. While robots take over the production of consumer hardware, Big Data algorithms like the ones used by Google and IBM appear to be displacing even white collar tech workers. How long before the only ones left on the payroll are the few "rockstar" programmers and administrators needed to maintain the system? Besides politics and drug dealing, what jobs are really future-proof? Would it be better if my niece took a course in the Arts, since creativity is looking to be one of humanity's final frontiers against the inevitable Rise of the Machines?
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Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

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  • Yes, you can. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @03:14PM (#47459817)

    You really can't automate health care.

    Yes, you can and it has been.

    And it can be offshored. I worked on the software for McKesson that enables X-rays and whatnot to be offshored, Pharmacy robots, and various things are automating healthcare. It's amazing how much of medicine is just following a flow chart - even at the physician level.

    In the not too distant future, we will be seeing healthcare being mostly automated: at least in other countries that don't have an organization like the AMA. Step into a full body scanner, anything the system can't recognized is sent to a doc/tech and a solution will be given: lifestyle change, prescription, or whatever.

    Even today, computers are more accurate in diagnosing illness than doctors.

  • by Austerity Empowers ( 669817 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @03:22PM (#47459893)

    Pretty sure they already have a robot for that.

  • Re:Simple (Score:2, Informative)

    by HiThere ( 15173 ) <<charleshixsn> <at> <>> on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @05:32PM (#47461519)

    The thing is, while having credit is good, using it is terrible. If you can dependably pay off your credit card before you start paying interest on the "loan", then it's a good deal. It improves your credit without costing you much. (Most cards have a yearly fee, or some other entanglement, so it WILL cost you something. You've got to be able to be sure that what it costs you is LESS than the benefit it provides.)

    OTOH, don't count on your credit rating. That can be destroyed without any action on your part by other actors. My wife had to fight for months, hours a day, to get her credit repaired because someone with the same name had died in a hospital without paying their bills. They didn't even live in the same city. And that guy was a man. This didn't help much. SHE had to find out what the problem was with no help from the credit agencies, and they still wouldn't stop hounding her until she mailed each of them a copy of the death certificate. (And that didn't stop some of the bastards.)

    I think credit agencies may be full of scum one, or maybe two, steps worse than corporate lawyers.

  • Re:Simple (Score:5, Informative)

    by iONiUM ( 530420 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @08:06PM (#47462761) Journal

    Never own a credit card. They are all scams and are far more likely to ruin your credit than help it.

    This is quite possibly the worst financial advice I have ever seen. Forget about credit. You realize credit cards provide you with free money for 30 days, that is INSURED against all fraud/false claims, and most importantly, offers cash-back (or travel/movie/your interests) rewards by using it?

    If you are responsible and pay off your credit card and never accrue/pay any sort of interest, you will actually gain money by using them (through rewards, and the ability to invest the money you spent for free for 30 days!), and be protected by VISA/MasterCard/whatever against bad purchases (someone trying to rip you off).

    The only people who say "never use credit cards" are those with no self control, and thus wrongly assume others have no self control either. I have never held credit card debt (unless it was special 0% offers), and every year I get a few hundred dollars just for using it (no annual fee). In addition, several times I have made online purchases, but never received the item, called VISA, and they immediately refunded my card and dealt with the seller.

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"