Jobs That Are Disappearing in the Near Future

While there are currently over 7 million available job openings in the US, a substantial number of them may be obsolete as technology continues to advance.

Originally published by Augusta Free Press. Reposted with permission.

Augusta Free Press technology and jobs of the futureDid you know there are currently over 7 million available job openings in the United States? However, in the near future, a substantial number of those jobs may become obsolete as technology continues to advance. Machines are becoming increasingly able to perform tasks that once could only be done by humans. As a result, our new economy is beginning to see certain jobs vanish from the marketplace as they are outsourced to computers. Here are a few examples of jobs that are disappearing as we speak.

Telephone Operator

Back when telephones were still a new phenomenon, people required the assistance of a telephone operator to connect to other people over a phone line. Seated at a switchboard, the telephone operator was responsible for connecting hundreds of calls per day for people across the country, and even overseas. Even as technology progressed and people were able to connect to their party unassisted, the role of telephone operator was a necessary and well-known fixture. Cultural references to phone operators were common in pop songs, television shows, and movies right up until the end of the 1900s. Everyone who came of age during the 20th century knew that all you had to do was dial “0” and an operator would assist you. Nowadays, however, as phone automation continues to rise, the need for an operator is all but obsolete. Artificial intelligence-based voice assistants like Siri and Alexa can help you make a hands-free call, and many businesses use a computerized system that routes calls to the appropriate extensions, eliminating the need for a person to perform the task. While phone operators still exist at present, their employment is expected to decrease by over 22 percent by 2026.

Front Desk Receptionist

As we mentioned, more and more businesses are moving away from employing a human being to answer the phone, and are instead relying on automated phone answering systems. Additionally, other tasks that once were the responsibility of a front desk receptionist are also getting automated, further decreasing the need for a human at the front desk. High tech solutions like visitor management systems and automated visitor kiosks allow companies to save money by letting a computer system handle the flow of in-office traffic. Not only that, but since more and more businesses are ditching the office altogether in favor of a remote workplace that allows employees more flexibility and a healthy work-life balance, there’s less of a need for a physical presence at a reception desk to greet incoming visitors.


If you watch just about any Mad Men episode, you’re likely to see 60s-era office workers typing out memos, letters, and other documents at a furious pace on clunky, old-fashioned typewriters. These days, we all carry around laptops, tablets, and other mobile devices all day long, so we no longer need hire someone to transcribe handwritten notes into typed text: we’re all just doing our own typing, all the time. In fact, talk-to-text features that are available on most computing devices allow us to dictate a message or email and have our devices carry out the transcription for us in real time! This is bad news for typists, but excellent news for business owners on a budget.

The new economy is already upon us. Kids are learning to use technology at an increasingly early age. Classrooms and teachers are being replaced with online learning and school headphones/earbuds. Kids are writing code in games like Minecraft, or programming robot toys in their leisure time. Luckily, we aren’t preparing tomorrow’s workforce for these disappearing jobs – but the jobs are disappearing faster than we can train existing workers for new work.

Though a number of jobs are slated to vanish due to advancements in technology, the human element will always be an integral part of business. We no longer have need for some jobs that can be performed by automated systems, but we still rely on human brain power to help make those systems work, fix them when they’re offline, and continue developing them as they grow ever more powerful. While it’s true that some jobs are going the way of the dinosaur, humans are always going to be in high demand for the most important and personal aspects of business.

Uday Tank has been working with writing-challenged clients for several years. His educational background in family science and journalism has given him a broad base from which to approach many topics. He especially enjoys writing content after researching and analyzing different resources whether they are books, articles, or online stuff.

Photo credit: Svetlana

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