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It’s not just one industry that’s been disrupted by digital, a new report shows almost half Australian jobs will be computerised in 20 years.

Back to the drawing board as to get & keep a job in this digital age

Nearly half of the jobs in Australia are at high risk of “digital disruption” in the next 20 years, and our education system is not equipping students with the skills needed to adapt, a new report warns.

PricewaterhouseCoopers chief executive Luke Sayers is calling for a national summit on the issue, saying universities need to start producing far more people literate in science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects (STEM) to help the workforce adapt to a rapidly changing global economy.

PwC’s report, The STEM Imperative: Future Proofing Australia’s Workforce, warns many of the jobs people work in today “simply won’t exist in the next decade, either entirely, or at the same number”.

The report’s modelling shows the top three occupations in Australia most at risk of being automated in the next two decades are accountants, cashiers and administration workers, affecting more than 600, 000 workers. The least likely are doctors, nurses and teachers.

It says Australia is lagging behind its peers in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development on a number of key STEM indicators.

It says that from 1992 to 2012 there was a 11 per cent fall in year 12 participation for intermediate mathematics, 10 per cent for biology, 5 per cent for chemistry and 7 per cent for physics.

Enrolments and completions in university STEM courses have remained flat over the period 2001 to 2013, while non-STEM courses have grown steadily.

It says about 44 per cent, or 5.1 million jobs, are at high risk of being affected by computerisation over the next 20 years, and 75 per cent of the fastest growing occupations now require STEM skills.

The report shows that shifting just 1 per cent of the workforce into STEM roles would add $57.4 billion to gross domestic product over 20 years.

Some of the jobs most at risk from technology in next 20 years

 
Occupation   No. workers affected
Accounting clerks/bookkeepers 263 348
Checkout operators/cashiers 128 745
General office admin workers 284 171
Sales assistants and salespersons 698 780
Financial/insurance admin workers 128 425

 

Mr Sayers said that while there were already great initiatives to boost students’ interest and skills in STEM, business, government and higher education needed to “channel people’s efforts, energies and investments in a much more meaningful way”.

“We need to come together through some sort of STEM summit and put all the various parties’ thoughts, ideas and perspectives into a melting pot,” he said.

“Within that there will be responsibilities for government – the right policy settings, tax flow-ons, capital related issues – [as well as] things for the education departments and things for business [to do].”

During a panel discussion for the report’s launch on Thursday, Liberal MP Wyatt Roy said Australia needed to encourage young people to become entrepreneurs and develop the right policy environment to keep homegrown start-ups from going overseas.

Labor MP Tim Watts, who is writing a book on the economic implications of the digital revolution with Labor MP Clare O’Neal, said modern societies needed to incorporate “computational thinking” into their educational systems from the earliest stages.

“We shouldn’t think that STEM subjects are a stand-alone silo,” Mr Watts said.

“We need computational thinking to be part of all Australian students’ education. If you look at the United Kingdom, they have incorporated computational thinking into their curriculum, making it mandatory for all students from year 1.”

PwC’s report was prepared with help from the Centre of Policy Studies at Victoria University.

With Nicky Phillips

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Henry Sapiecha

US posts online tips on how

to be prepared in case

of a zombie apocalypse

May 20, 2011 – 11:12AM

A blog post by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that mentions a “zombie apocalypse” as a lighthearted way to get Americans to read about preparing for hurricanes drove so much traffic that it crashed the website, the agency said.

The Zombie Apocalypse campaign is a social media effort by the CDC’s Public Health and Preparedness center to spread the word about the June 1 start of hurricane season.

The CDC is a U.S. federal government health agency based in Atlanta.

“There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for,” the blog post begins. “Take a zombie apocalypse for example. … You may laugh now, but when it happens you’ll be happy you read this, and hey, maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency.”

The blog appeared just days before May 21, when an evangelical broadcaster in California has predicted “Judgment Day” will mark the end of the world.

“If you prepare for the zombie apocalypse, you’ll be prepared for all hazards,” CDC spokesman Dave Daigle told Reuters.

The word zombie comes from voodoo practice of spirit possession in which victims are stripped of consciousness.

Zombies became popular culture references after the success of George Romero’s 1968 horror film “Night of the Living Dead” where flesh-eating zombies roam the eastern seaboard in the aftermath of radioactive contamination.

Daigle said that a typical CDC blog post might get between 1,000 and 3,000 hits. The most traffic on record had been a post that saw around 10,000 visits.

By the end of Wednesday, with servers down, the page had 60,000. By Thursday, it was a trending topic on Twitter.

The campaign was designed to reach a young, media-savvy demographic that the CDC had not been able to capture previously, Daigle said.

Increased traffic did not affect the main CDC website.

Reuters

Sourced & publishd by Henry Sapiecha