APAC tech professionals expect their job to be automated in the next decade

Eighty-seven percent of the respondents believe their career would be severely limited if they did not teach themselves new technical skills.

By Adrian M. Reodique
Nov. 11, 2016

The majority of tech professionals in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region (62 percent) believe that a significant part of their job will be automated within 10 years, thus rendering their current skills redundant.

This is according to Harvey Nash's Technology Survey which polled more than 3,200 technology professionals from 84 countries.

The survey revealed that the possibility of automation varies with job role. Testers and IT Operations professionals are most likely to expect their job role to be automated in the next decade (67 percent, and 63 percent respectively), while CIO/VP IT and Programme Management professionals are the least affected (31 percent, and 30 percent respectively).

"Through automation, it is possible that 10 years from now the technology function will be unrecognisable in today's terms. Even for those roles relatively unaffected by automation, there is a major indirect effect - as up to half of their colleagues may be machines by 2027," said Richard Goddard, MD, South East Asia, and Head of the Technology Practice, Harvey Nash Executive Search APAC, in a press release.

In line, 87 percent of the respondents believe their career would be severely limited if they did not teach themselves new technical skills. Self-learning is also more important to them than formal training or qualifications.

In addition, polled tech professionals think the most important technologies over the next five years are Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented/Virtual Reality (AR/VR), Big Data, Cloud, Internet of Things, and Wearable tech. They also cited these technologies as "hot skills to learn."

Despite the evolving technology landscape, the survey revealed that tech professionals continue to be in demand, with Software Engineers and Developers as the most needed, followed by Analytics/Big Data roles.

According to Kirti Lad, Director of the Technology Practice of Harvey Nash Executive Search APAC, the survey underscored the state of flux that technology jobs are facing today.

"On one side, technology is 'eating itself', with job roles increasingly being commoditised and automated.  On the other, new opportunities are being created, especially within the areas of AI, Big Data and Automation. In this rapidly changing world the winners will be the technology professionals who take responsibility for their own skills development, and continually ask: 'where am I adding value that no other person - or machine - can add,'" Lad explained.