Tuesday, 2 June 2015

[Today] Automation of jobs: Experienced, knowledgeable staff still needed

I refer to the letter “Fluid approach now needed in career planning” (May 28) and the article “As graduate numbers grow, a hard truth: Not all degrees are equal” (May 23).
The letter writer seems to assume that the reasons graduates here are unable to find jobs matching their education would be worsened by technology replacing traditional professional jobs that involve certain sets of procedures.
I think the underemployment situation here is due to a lack of industrial training in courses, and of structured training and mentoring provided by companies.
While it is possible for technology to perform certain automated tasks, there are limitations to what it can do, not to mention the R&D cost and the time needed for customised solutions for each industry and various firms’ operations. Even then, automating processes will require different skill sets, human ingenuity and experience.
This requires more than a knowledge of information technology and merely distilling a graduate’s skills to a set of procedures.
Automation requires cooperation between IT specialists and staff with an intimate knowledge of the operational processes and nuances involved. These professional staff are also needed for the maintenance, refinement and upgrading of the automation infrastructure.