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Obsolete Jobs

Phasing out something takes time, whether society has found a better solution or it succumbed to age. I am at an adolescent point of my life (17 years of age) where I have plans to become this or that as my future career. But it never struck me if a certain occupation could be phased out completely in regards to technological advancement. I am oversensitive, and rather picky on my education. I strive to pursue a career in business. Now it looks like many positions in that particular sector won't be obsolete as long as I live. But let's have a debate on certain jobs being phased out as a result of automation or the like.

Discuss: Jobs/careers/occupations that will be gone in the long-term or even the next decade or so and back them up.

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    Sep 19 2012: Video shop.
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    Sep 19 2012: The reality is that you often end up working in a field completely unrelated to what you studied in school. Other than fields that require credentials (engineering, medicine, law) you can study (almost) anything you want. Your career post graduation almost exclusively depends on your network.

    I graduated from graduate school ten years ago and no one gives a fig what I studied. The fact that I have a graduate degree is enough and my opportunities have been largely dictated by the power of my network.

    Just don't study anything like 'typewriter repair' or 'horse and buggy craftmanship', create a solid network and utilize that network to find jobs and you'll be fine.
    • Sep 19 2012: Many people don't have "a network", for those people studying something like art history will be a straight path to unemployment.
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      Sep 19 2012: "The reality is that you often end up working in a field completely unrelated to what you studied in school."

      My dad had a PHD in Oceanography and he is now the Marketing Manager of Texas Instruments. Maybe he didn't didn't get a job at TI through networks of people, but nonetheless, his job is clearly the most related thing to Oceanography at all... >_>
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      Sep 20 2012: I think the fact that you were able to complete a Graduate Degree is telling your potential employers about a more generic and therefore more widely applicable skill set, more than it tells him or her your degree-specific skills.
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    Sep 19 2012: John, I disagree. Everyone has a network. However, not everyone utilizes their network to their full advantage.

    Don't just think of 'a network' as a group of high and mighty people. A network includes friends, family, co-workers, students in the same program, professional and private contacts. I certainly wasn't born into a life of privilege, I immigrated to a new country less than 3 years ago and I have a network of over 500 contacts on LinkedIn. Many of these people in my network have helped me find work, housing, and connections - repeatedly.

    You can study underwater basket weaving if you want to - in the long run, it doesn't matter. What matters most in finding work is building and maintaining a network.
    • Sep 19 2012: You won't get a job with "basket weaving" on your resume (well, except a job as basket weaver of course), especially not these days, unless there is a great deal of nepotism involved.
      • Sep 20 2012: John, What you are calling nepotism is basically what Robin means by networking, except the network extends beyond relatives. Like it or not, networking beats merit. People who hire want references from people they know and trust.
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      Sep 19 2012: It doesn't just depend on your network, your ability to keep learning new things and adapt yourself also plays an important role. Further, if you keep improving upon yourself you might find out that you have hidden qualities invaluable in other fields ;)
  • Sep 19 2012: Engineering, science and anything medical will never become obsolete. Most businesspeople and managers are already obsolete (but they've been incredibly successful in convincing society otherwise).
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    Sep 19 2012: I would say, there is no such thing as an obsolete job... Just human beings we no longer value... Louis CK expands in this great set of videos, but it's very long. In short, we still need a local person, who knows music, and cares what we like, but we traded that for Best Buy, and now their music section is gone, and we have no one who actually cares about music, working at a music store... it's a tragic loss we're suffering with book stores, and coffee shops as well.
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    Gail .

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    Sep 19 2012: I strongly agree with Robin Patin. Learn how to build strong and large social networks. That first - your career goals seconds.

    In addition to automation, there is the problem of outsourcing. As jobs are outsourced to companies with employees earning 18 cents and hour, there will still be business managers, but they won't be in the USA. The day of getting a job at 20 and retiring 40 years later from the same company is long gone.
    • Sep 19 2012: So you are saying careers have to be fluid in this current age. Well, I want to base my career off of business. Not just one particular specialized position but adapting to various professions within the field.
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      Sep 19 2012: Also the power of referrals. If a friend in your network is a highly trusted employee of this one company, then when the friend recommends you to the boss, the boss will definitely take consideration of your friend's trusted opinion/friend.
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    Sep 19 2012: These jobs that would be "phased out" tend to be a job that a machine can do much more easily, much more efficiently, and/or much more cheaply. Most white-collared jobs imo.

    The jobs that will be around for a while are usually ones where their fields are continually developing