The Top 10 Of “Endangered Jobs”

There are professions that are practically extinct. And there are discussions about those who are acutely threatened with extinction – supposedly. But is that really true every time?

By Jens Kügler

I recently took part in a market research study conducted by a US company here in Munich. A translator was present—for interviewees who did not speak enough English and to clarify possible misunderstandings. In a short interview break I got into conversation with her. She expressed the fear that her job would soon become obsolete due to translation machines on the internet. Her future was uncertain, as she believed.

I said to her that no matter how good the machines might become (and they’re getting better all the time), there need to be humans still. Only a human writer can create and transform to the reader the meanings of content between the lines , the “color” of a text, the emotional aspects in and between the words. That is my conviction. If you would like to have this confirmed, simply copy this text into “Google Translate”, click “go” and read the result.

On the same day I read an article on the English job portal “The Undercover Recruiter” about which ten jobs would soon become extinct. The top 10 future losers, so to speak. Among them are taxi drivers, barista, parcel messengers, department store salesmen, customer service call center employees and supermarket cashiers. Okay, the latter are already “relieved” here and there by express cash registers. But let’s be honest, do you want to be advised or driven through the city by a robot?—to then be served and entertained at the bar by R2-D2 or C-3PO?

There will be upheavals. They have already been there—and will continue. 150 years ago, the textile factory “replaced” most tailors. However, man survived in the niche. Would there otherwise be tailors and fashion designers? The so-called dead craft is still also identified with having “golden ground”, as a German proverb says. The thinking human being will continue to be needed. Not to mention the artist.

A good translator reflects the emotional of the spoken and written. And if one day these blog articles no longer start with “Written by Jens Kügler”, but “by R2-D2”, will there still be readers? Or is the whole content then only relevant as input for the Google crawlers?

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