That’s what many Australians may soon be asking themselves, according to a new report by Pricewaterhouse Coopers which warns that up to half of Australian jobs may disappear due to advances in technology.

The report The STEM Imperative: Future Proofing Australia’s Workforce outlines that nearly half of all the current Australian jobs are at risk of digital disruption and will disappear over the next two decades.

How many jobs is that exactly? About 5.1 million.

The main problem appears to be that our education system is not able to equip students with the skills they will most likely need. Luke Sayers, Pricewaterhouse Coopers chief executive, has stepped up and has demanded a national summit to tackle the problem and start putting some real solutions on the table.

In his opinion, he believes that universities need to start providing the skills and education to help people adapt and thrive in a rapidly changing digital world.

Specifically he claims that by producing far more people literate in science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects (STEM), this will be invaluable in spearheading this job security issue.

“We need to come together through some sort of STEM summit and put all the various parties’ thoughts, ideas and perspectives into a melting pot,” Mr Sayers said.

“Within that there will be responsibilities for government — the right policy settings, tax flow-ons, capital related issues — [as well as] things for the education departments and things for business [to do].”

The report states that many of the positions and professions that Australians work in today will not be around, either at all or at best, in limited numbers.

The jobs most at risk from technology

  • Accounting clerks/bookkeepers (263,348 workers affected)
  • Checkout operators/cashiers (128,745 workers affected)
  • General office admin workers (284,171 workers affected)
  • Wood machinists (31,081 workers affected)
  • Financial/insurance admin workers (128,425 workers affected)

However, if you are a doctor, nurse or teacher, there is good news for you, as these are the three least likely professions to be adversely affected by the advance of digital technology.

The report states also that our country is already falling behind on a global level and in order to be able to compete in data, digital technologies and innovation industries, we need to be employing more STEM-trained people. This is because research has indicated that three quarters of the fastest-growing job sectors heavily rely on STEM skills.

Rather than waiting for this to become an unworkable issue, PwC is calling for action now and asking for the government to work together with the business and education sectors to put into place a plan so Australia remains a great place to live and work.

Is your profession at risk? Do you think we should be doing more to remain competitive on a global level? Let us know in the comments below.

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