AI in career discovery

Business people define their business automation and business support requirements, the IT team listens, then goes away to develop the systems and subsequently deliver the new systems. Right? Well, maybe not anymore. There is a new class of business system out there that employs techniques that make it easy for anyone to develop new ways of working. Now you may ask “What does this have to do with Working Eye career discovery?”, and the answer would be “a lot”. And here’s how:

The rise of the citizen developer

This rise is not a new trend, it’s been building up for years. From the early days of the PC when people could take data from the central computer and manipulate it in a spreadsheet – through “build your own” dashboards on your desktop, laptop or phone – to today when the business user now has tools that make it possible to develop business applications with no knowledge of coding or programming. The phenomenon of the “citizen developer” has arrived. I reported this shift in a LinkedIn article recently, following my participation in a series of lectures and debates on digital transformation and innovation in business.

The point here is that the skill of delivering new business systems has now shifted from being the exclusive remit of the IT team to one of shared skill between IT and the business operations teams. Citizen developers could be in sales, finance, logistics, provisioning, marketing, just about anywhere. In fact, people at the forefront of digital transformation don’t come from “traditional” IT or technical backgrounds anymore. Where companies might traditionally look for staff from a STEM background, now they look for psychologists, sociologists, pharmacists, art historians, classicists and more.

Problem in career advice

So, if you are offering career education in schools and colleges, how do you keep track of this shift in job descriptions and prerequisites for job applications? Unfortunately, the answer is “with great difficulty”. Over the past few years the number of job descriptions in the National Careers Service database has risen by many hundreds of jobs. The list is increasing all the time. And the descriptions of jobs within the database are being updated all the time. A headache for any career advice professional, let alone for teachers in our secondary schools and our colleges.

Navigating the labyrinth

Given the power of computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) from big data – techniques that we have at our fingertips nowadays – it seems obvious that these digital tools should be set to work on the task of keeping an eye on the future, tracking the trends in the skills required by industry, mapping the job descriptions that are published by the government and by others, then offering all this in a “discovery” setting, not a traditional advice and guidance way. This would allow our teenagers the opportunity to navigate the labyrinth of jobs and discover their future employment options. And it would relieve over-stretched careers professionals from the burden of constant fact finding, given that the AI and ML tech will have taken the drudgery away and will keep them more up to date, more quickly, than they could achieve under their own steam.

This transformation has taken place in oncology and cancer treatments in North America in recent times – to the point where the oncologists now rely on AI for new research data and for decision support. The time to make a similar transformation in career education has arrived.

Turning the convention of career advice and education into one that utilises career discovery, based on the power of AI and ML, is not a straightforward task. It requires careful planning and a great deal of commitment to ingest every job that already exists (over 2,000 in number) into a machine learning environment. However, once all this data has been curated and made available for discovery through a state-of-the-art chatbot, it will be a less onerous task to keep the data current and relevant. Keeping an eye on the future will be an incremental task, as with new cancer research for the oncology system in the States.

Where do we go from here?

The answer to this question is simple. We just need passion and drive to transform a vital service by making career choices and job options available through AI.

Now watch this space and get ready for Working Eye.