Ques No: 1-8 Read the passage and answer the questions. Some words may be highlighted. Read carefully.
Technology. Whether you find that you embrace every new update, or struggle to keep up with the changes, its effect on our day-to-day lives is unmistakable. Recent technological developments are vastly changing the way we live, and in particular, the way we work. With the job market a competitive and ever-evolving arena, determining your career path is more than just following your passions and skills, it’s about being adaptive in this digital age and understanding what skills and jobs are in high demand, and which are facing potential extinction. It’s important to try not to feel disorientated or uncomfortable with these rapid changes, but instead, change your mindset and embrace the opportunities technology brings and focus on the right skills to increase your employability and succeed in the new tech-savvy work scene. Although technological innovation offers many new and exciting opportunities and career paths, there is also the downside of careers becoming obsolete, leaving people without a job. This is not a recent issue either, we’ve experienced years of machines replacing muscle power as the routine, autonomous tasks are taken over by technology. With the internet serving a plethora of information, jobs like the traditional travel agent have been almost wiped out entirely in favour of online websites that allow us to find the cheapest deals for flights and accommodation with just a click of a button. We are seeing an increase in ‘self-service’ with grocery store check-outs and airport check-ins opting for automation over employees. It’s these entry-level and part-time jobs where we are seeing technological systems making the greatest impact. We’ve also witnessed other societal issues emerging, such as businesses going bust with technology replacing products. Remember going down to the local video store to rent a few DVDs? Or when libraries were a place people actually went to rent a book? In order to keep up to date with the latest trends in IT, businesses are beginning to embrace technology in recruitment, operations, marketing and production. With new IT commodities like Netflix, iTunes and eBooks, products are moving from the tangible to the digital at an alarming rate, causing numerous stores to go out of business. Newspapers and magazines are struggling to sell copies, with many people preferring to use their iPhone or tablet to get the latest headlines and gossip. The music industry has also taken a hit, with the amount of illegal piracy that goes on, resulting in a dramatic decrease in compact disc sales.
However, there are conflicting opinions on this. Study of census results in England and Wales since 1871 finds the rise of machines has been a job creator rather than making working humans obsolete. In the 1800s it was the Luddites smashing weaving machines. These days retail staff worry about automatic checkouts. Sooner or later taxi drivers will be fretting over self-driving cars. The battle between man and machines goes back centuries. Are they taking our jobs? Or are they merely easing our workload? A study by economists at the consultancy Deloitte seeks to shed new light on the relationship between jobs and the rise of technology by trawling through census data for England and Wales going back to 1871. Their conclusion is unremittingly cheerful: rather than destroying jobs, technology has been a “great job-creating machine”. Findings by Deloitte such as a fourfold rise in bar staff since the 1950s or a surge in the number of hairdressers this century suggest to the authors that technology has increased spending power, therefore creating new demand and new jobs. “Machines will take on more repetitive and laborious tasks, but seem no closer to eliminating the need for human labour than at any time in the last 150 years.”- analysts at Deloitte conclude.