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Stay ahead of the robots for the jobs of the future

Programming a key for future jobs
Posted at 7:17 PM, May 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-15 21:17:35-04

You want a job that's fun, satisfying, with good pay and benefits, right? Who wouldn't?

How do you find a job like that that'll be a secure job for the long haul?

KGUN9 On Your Side went looking for jobs with a future.

Robots already take a lot of jobs.  They'll probably take more in the future.  If you want to avoid losing a job to the robot jobocolypse, you should be the human who programs them.

Jean Garcia is learning programming at Sunnyside High School.

Right now his ambitions run towards creating video games or making computing more secure.

KGUN9 Reporter Craig Smith asked him: “What prospects do you see there?” 

Jean Garcia: "There's always the need for more security.  Computers are getting better which means that hackers can also find exploits because computers can run faster and find more passwords."

His teacher Jim Crandall, retired from Raytheon after leading a programming unit there.  He thinks any job hunter fit for the future can benefit from programming skills.

"Whether it's biotechnology, banking, I would argue almost any field you're going to go into you're going to be at an advantage having computer programming skills.  Some, obviously, if you work for Amazon they probably want you to code at the deepest level.  Maybe if you're at a bank, you need to know how their software runs or their security software runs so..."

Pima JTED---that's the Joint Technical Education District, works to help students prep for the jobs of the future.

Employers tell JTED a lot of the skilled workforce is nearing retirement, and some of the hottest jobs are in software and information technology, healthcare and healthcare systems, and construction and heavy equipment.

Greg D'Anna of JTED says, “One of the most attractive things for students to walk in with is an industry certification, over even a diploma or degree. Diplomas and degrees show that someone has completed a program of study.  Certification shows that someone is proficient in a certain skill."

At Pima County's One-Stop Job Center, they also say healthcare's a strong career for the future, but so are aerospace and defense production, and logistics--the science of efficiently moving products from place to place.

But in all this talk of tech, there's a need for flexibility and a personal touch.  James Pope wants to convert his experience as a psychiatric nursing assistant, into work as a medical assistant.

"It is a growth area.  That is definitely for sure.  It's also something that core within me.  I enjoy helping people, making them smile, making them feel better."

Summer Leon is selling versatility.

"I pretty much can do anything.  I've done everything.  I've a lot of experience: sales, customer service, collections that type of stuff, so.  I kind of try to market myself as you one-stop shop for anything office."

Michael Gates of Pima One Stop says employers tell him even more than hard technical skills they want soft skills.

“That's being able to communicate effectively, being able to work as a team, being able to get along with people and have good punctuality and attendance.  That's really the core of the answer to that question everything else can be taught."