The employment debate heats up.

Student holding a laptop

Technology is ingrained into every aspect of our lives. How we travel, communicate, work, eat, sleep, and entertain ourselves. Technology is the greatest problem-solver. There are apps that manage our day, programs that do our taxes, and transportation systems and infrastructure that move billions of people around the globe.

Technology is ubiquitous, technology is helpful – but is technology replacing humans in the workplace?

In a recent Forbes article, Peter Diamandis points out that unemployment by technology is a debate that’s been raging on for decades – with little proof that robots are actually displacing humans. Diamandis suggests that, someday, people may work fewer hours due to machine learning and robotics. But, he questions how long, if ever, it’ll take for that vision to come true. Diamandis quotes a letter sent to the President, signed by Nobel laureates and esteemed professors, warning of an “imminent large-scale technological unemployment.” The letter was written and sent in 1964, to President Lyndon B. Johnson. The point is smart people have been debating this for over 50 years and we’ve yet to see technology totally overtake the human workforce.

In a recent TechCrunch article, David Nordfors puts his faith in a “people-centered economy” where technology leverages people and enables them to do more valuable things, together, rather than replacing their jobs. Nordfors argues that machines are capable of completing tasks, but will never be able to replace humans in doing the things we consider truly valuable – like stopping climate change, or eliminating poverty. By engaging employees and focusing on a people-centric vision, there are trillions of dollars of business potential over the next three decades.

At Regis University, we believe technology can be a powerful instrument of change, working hand-in-hand with people to improve their jobs and allow them to take on global challenges like poverty, cybercrime and health care. As a Jesuit Catholic institution, we ask you to consider what’s most important to you in life and decide how you will act upon it. What are the issues that are affecting you, your family and your community? By harnessing technology and developing information technology skills, you have the opportunity to impact the issues you really care about. A degree in a field like Computer and Information Sciences will prepare you for a career working with technology and shaping the future to make a real difference in the world.

How do you see technology impacting and improving your career? If you could make a difference on one thing in the world, how might you use technology to help? As yourself these questions and start a discussion with your friends and family.