Are you a “professional”? Or a “technician”? And does the title matter in terms of your career or business. We have changed due to technology, some more than others – indeed some jobs are being replaced by machines, such as routine administrative tasks and manual physical tasks. Police will still ‘walk the beat’, butchers will not see their job change (much). Which roles will change?

Professionals have usually been associated with those that have special skills derived from a higher level of education, often leading to divergence in incomes such as the average pay scales for accountants versus bookkeepers. Whether this is fair is not material to the changes afoot. Technology is there for all to adopt.

Role change

As a case in point many bookkeeping “professionals” are changing their titles to ‘accounting technicians’. This keeps the profession aligned to the changes that have taken place and the changes till to come. In short, it takes into account that accounting technicians deal with the accounts of a business but increasingly, the technician needs to be concerned with technology and the integration work associated with a cornucopia of apps available to business owners and their accounting advisors.

Moreover, the opportunity to deliver real-time business information to their clients will ensure the relevance of the role.

Technology continues to disrupt

Few professions are untouched by technology. An architect can complete technical drawing tasks much faster through software and they, hence can spend more time liaising with clients or working on design. The same applies to lawyers, engineers, ride-share drivers. The challenge is before industry associations to keep up with accelerating change.

Learning authorities say that the time spent on learning skills will require Australians to be undertaking new skills training of up to six hours per week over coming decades. That makes most industry CPD benchmarks outdated and irrelevant.

The shift towards lifetime learning is now baked in requiring professionals to discover and take up learning opportunities.