It's a constant fear in our digitized age: The jobs we've been working for centuries will soon be given to computers to complete instead. Individuals in many different fields – particularly in service jobs, like those working cash registers – are constantly wondering if and when their position will be eliminated in favor of a computer. According to one recent study, that's even going to happen to the finance industry. Oxford research recently found that the odds financial advisor jobs will eventually be "bot-sourced" – or completed without the help of a human – is more than 55 percent. But many industry experts and professionals don't agree with that assessment, and think that finance jobs of all sorts will be held by human beings for the foreseeable future.
There is some precedent for these findings, unfortunately. For instance, a recent report from the Geelong Advertiser noted that many banking and finance positions at the Australian branch of the Target brand had recently been outsourced and eliminated for related reasons. However, this may just be a fluke – many industry experts feel that there's no way a significant percentage of finance jobs will be eliminated in favor of computers.
Burt White, the chief investment officer at LPL, is one example. He recently spoke about how he disagreed with the findings, according to a report from WealthManagement.com, and felt quite impassioned about the topic. He noted that wealth management jobs, specifically, will be impervious to the digitization of jobs – because it takes a human being to properly manage and care for the finances of another human being. His comments suggest that the vast majority of the positions in the finance industry will not be outsourced or eliminated anytime soon.
"We know nobody cares for humans better than another human," White told the news outlet, while noting that he does not think 58 percent of jobs in this field will eventually be eliminated. "This is where the study gets it wrong. What [advisors] are all about is caring, and feeling and wonderful relationships with others."
Other news outlets suggest that finance jobs may be computerized in future
Another recent report, from Yahoo Finance, also suggested that jobs in this particular industry are going to be threatened by the increasing use of computer programs. In a list of the "24 jobs most endangered by technology," the news outlet included a number of positions in the field, including accounting jobs, securities trading jobs, investment banking jobs and many other positions. However, White disagreed with all these findings – and suggests that "skilled jobs," such as those in the finance industry, will never be outsourced to digital programs. These jobs may show up on such lists, after all, but no one's found a computer that can handle Wall Street trading as well as a person can yet!
"It is the unskilled jobs that will be 'bot-sourced' and the skilled jobs will be more in demand than ever before," White explained to WealthManagement.com. "This will be our biggest and most significant social and economic issue that we'll have to deal with over the next 10 years."
So while many individuals may need to worry about losing their jobs to an algorithm, those in the finance field need not fret. Skilled professionals who are trained to deal with other people, and who provide expertise that cannot be matched by an amateur, will never be replaced by a computer. Finance jobs require these qualities – and as such, are sure to be safe from digitization in the years and decades to come.