12 Step Action Plan to Future-proof your IT Job from AI

Summary: Creating an action plan to protect your career from AI’s impact is crucial as it transforms the IT industry, specifically roles which will be party or fully automated. By identifying skills at risk and adapting through upskilling or reskilling, you improve your job security and career growth in an increasingly AI-driven world. Taking proactive steps will turn AI’s encroachments into opportunities, and make you harder to replace in a rapidly evolving workplace.

Worried that AI will take your job?

I am and I suspect for many of us the potential threat of AI is a bit concerning.

For certain roles, in particular, tasks which can be automated, it poses a real threat. However, even before AI, these roles were already at risk. Consider how call centers, banks tellers, and post offices have become increasingly automated with new technologies. Of course, the creators of these new technologies are doing very well, and have created new employment opportunities.

However, instead of having a negative ‘Us’ v ‘Them’ debate on its AI merits, let’s explore how we can use AI to make our lives, and careers, better.

So, what strategies can you use to generate unique value that eclipses AI’s abilities?

In this tutorial, I’ll look at the types of roles most at risk and the steps you can take to 1) protect your job and 2) find ways to capitalize on this opportunity.

Venn diagram showing the intersection of AI and Human skills

An AI history lesson from James Bond and Typing Pools

At the start of Dr. No, James Bond heads into the office to chat to some of the staff in the ‘typing pool’.

In the 1950s, many offices had dedicated typists charged with creating meeting minutes, reports, documents, and other communications as quickly as possible.

In the same way that office workers today are effected by AI, many typists were displaced when word processors arrived. Then, of course, desktop computers, then laptops, iPad, and apps affected their roles.

So, with each new invention, the role of the ‘typist’ in this example was negatively affected.

If your role is not dissimilar to a typist, that is, you ‘type’ into a computer each day, maybe you’re feeling anxious about what’s coming next. What that ‘next’ is we don’t know, but if history is any judge, we should make preparations.

So, before we get into it, let’s define AI in non-technical terms.

What is AI in non-technical terms?

Here’s a simple analogy courtesy of Google Gemini.

“Imagine a chef learning new recipes. Each dish they try teaches them new tricks and builds their culinary intuition. AI is like that chef, except the recipes are mountains of data. Through a process called “machine learning”, it discovers patterns and connections just like the chef learns best practices. The more it experiments, the better it gets at tasks like understanding language, creating content, or even recognizing things in pictures – just like the chef becoming a master of their craft.”

You could also think of it as a detective piecing together clues. Instead of physical clues, it uses vast amounts of data like digital breadcrumbs. This helps it discover patterns and connections within this data. Over time, this continuous learning allows AI to excel in tasks like recognizing patterns, understanding language, and generating content.

For most office workers, AI probably won’t take your jobs but will transform how you do your job.

I see AI handling labor-intensive tasks like data entry and scheduling, freeing up time for more creative and strategic tasks.

Think of it as having a super-efficient personal assistant – a type of digital co-pilot – that lets you focus on high value activities.

With that in mind, let’s look at the type of jobs that are most likely to be at risk.

Statistics on AI Job Creation and Displacement

The following predictions and analyses come from a variety of sources, including academic research, industry studies, and expert opinions.

Here’s an overview of different perspectives and resources:

Job Title

AI Threat

Percentage Loss/Gain


Manufacturing Production Workers


– 15% – 25%

McKinsey Global Institute, Jobs Lost, Jobs Gained: Workforce Transitions in a Time of Automation

Retail Salespeople


– 5% – 10%

Brookings Institution, The Future of Work

Truck Drivers


– 5% – 10%

World Economic Forum, The Global Future of Work Report 2018

Data Entry Clerks


– 90% – 100%

Oxford Martin School, The Future of Employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerization?

Financial Analysts


0% – 5%

PwC, Jobs of Tomorrow: Mapping the skills for the workforce of the future:

Marketing Specialists


0% – 5%

Accenture, The Future of Work: A Human-AI Symbiosis

Healthcare Professionals


0% – 10%

World Economic Forum, The Future of Jobs Report 2020:

Software Developers & Engineers


10% – 20%

(Gain) McKinsey Global Institute, Jobs Lost, Jobs Gained: Workforce Transitions in a Time of Automation:

Data Scientists & Analysts


15% – 25%

(Gain) World Economic Forum, The Global Risks Report 2020:

Cybersecurity Analysts & Specialists


20% – 30%

(Gain) Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook


These are estimates and the actual impact of AI on employment may vary significantly.

Practical Mitigation Strategies for 30 IT Jobs at Risk from AI

Let’s now zero in on IT jobs most at risk from AI, the reasons they are vulnerable, and mitigating actions individuals in these roles can take to safeguard their employment.

Job Title Risk posed by AI Practical Mitigation Strategy
Business Analyst Perform basic data analysis and generate reports. Specialize in strategic business planning, critical decision-making, and complex project management involving multiple stakeholders.
Cloud Computing Specialist Manage cloud resources efficiently. Specialize in cloud architecture, focus on compliance and security, and develop expertise in multi-cloud environments.
Content Moderator Automatically detect and remove inappropriate content. Specialize in nuanced content analysis that requires cultural and contextual understanding.
Cybersecurity Analyst Automated tools can detect threats faster. Specialize in AI security and develop strategies for AI-driven security threats.
Data Center Technician Routine maintenance and monitoring partially automated by AI and predictive analytics. Upskill in cloud computing technologies, infrastructure automation, and cybersecurity. Pursue certifications in cloud platforms like AWS or Azure.
Data Scientist Automated models can perform data analysis and prediction. Focus on interpretative data science, strategic decision-making support, and complex model development.
Database Administrator Routine database maintenance and optimization aided by AI tools. Deepen knowledge in database architecture, performance tuning, and advanced query optimization. Learn about cloud-based database platforms and data security best practices.
Digital Marketing Specialist Automate ad placements and content creation. Focus on creative campaign strategy, brand storytelling, and customer psychology.
Ethical Hacker Automated penetration testing tools are becoming more sophisticated. Stay ahead of AI developments in cybersecurity, specialize in advanced threat analysis, and focus on securing AI systems.
Game Developer Create basic game assets and logic. Specialize in storytelling, complex game mechanics, and immersive experience design that AI cannot replicate.
Help Desk Technician Level 1 support for common issues handled by chatbots and AI troubleshooting tools. Focus on complex problem-solving, user experience design, and automation development. Learn about scripting languages and network automation tools.
IT Auditor Automated audit tools assist with compliance checks, reducing reliance on manual review. Focus on complex risk assessments, security incidents, and fraud investigation. Gain expertise in cybersecurity frameworks and ethical hacking techniques.
IT Project Manager Assist in project scheduling and resource allocation. Focus on leadership, negotiation, and complex project oversight that requires human insight and flexibility.
IT Security Analyst Security information and event management (SIEM) tools identify basic threats, requiring human expertise for deeper analysis. Specialize in incident response, penetration testing, and threat intelligence. Learn about forensic analysis tools and cybersecurity frameworks.
IT Support Specialist AI chatbots can resolve common IT issues faster. Specialize in complex problem-solving and critical IT support that requires deep system knowledge.
Marketing Automation Specialist Simple campaign triggers and email marketing assisted by AI tools. Focus on complex campaign orchestration, lead nurturing workflows, and personalization strategies. Learn about marketing automation platforms and data integration techniques.
Mobile App Developer Automated tools can build simple apps. Focus on innovative mobile technologies, AR/VR apps, and complex app solutions that offer unique value.
Network Administrator Network monitoring and basic troubleshooting assisted by AI-powered tools. Upskill in network automation, security automation, and cloud networking technologies. Pursue certifications like CCNP or CCNA Security.
Quality Assurance (QA) Tester Automated testing tools can perform repetitive testing tasks. Focus on non-functional testing, performance testing, and user experience testing. Gain expertise in testing automation frameworks and exploratory testing techniques.
SEO Specialist AI tools can optimize search engine rankings automatically. Pivot to strategic SEO planning, content strategy, and understanding AI algorithms to work alongside them.
Social Media Manager Scheduled posting, community management, and basic analytics partially automated by AI. Focus on creative content development, community building, and influencer marketing. Learn about social media listening tools and data analysis for deeper insights.
Software Developer AI tools automating specific coding tasks and generating repetitive code. Specialize in niche areas like blockchain, AI development, or cybersecurity. Focus on high-level system design, architecture, and integration. Develop expertise in niche programming languages, complex system integration, and focus on areas AI struggles with, like creativity and innovation.
Software Tester Repetitive test cases automated by AI tools, requiring human expertise for complex scenarios. Specialize in security testing, performance testing, and user experience testing where AI struggles. Learn about automated testing frameworks and exploratory testing techniques.
System Analyst Analyze system requirements and suggest improvements. Focus on complex system design, critical thinking, and stakeholder management skills.
Technical Support Level 2 support for hardware and software issues assisted by AI chatbots and diagnostic tools. Specialize in complex troubleshooting, remote access support, and user training. Learn about cloud-based troubleshooting tools and diagnostic scripting.
Technical Writer Generate documentation and reports. Focus on technical content that requires deep industry knowledge, complex product documentation, and user guides that require a nuanced understanding.
UI/UX Designer Generate user interfaces. Specialize in emotional design, complex interaction design, and user research that goes beyond what AI can analyze.
UX/UI Designer Prototyping and basic design elements supported by AI tools. Focus on user research, user experience testing, and accessibility best practices. Develop strong communication and collaboration skills.
Web Content Editor Basic content creation, SEO optimization, and keyword research assisted by AI tools. Focus on high-quality content strategy, storytelling, and audience engagement. Master content marketing principles and social media management.
Web Developer AI can design and implement basic websites. Focus on creative design, complex web applications, and user experience (UX) that requires human insight.

In addition, to mitigate AI’s impact on employment, look to enhance your uniquely human skills such as judgment, creativity, and empathy, while upskilling to adapt to technological changes. Explore roles that require human insights and require you to collaborate with AI technologies.

12 Ways You Can Protect Your Job from AI

What practical steps can you take to protect your role? The above table provides some general ideas but maybe these are too high level. Let’s get into specific steps you can take.

Consider the following ways as a roadmap to safeguard your professional future in the era of AI.

Trusted Expertise in the AI Era

While AI can process and generate vast quantities of information, it is not infallible. It’s susceptible to generating inaccuracies or “hallucinations,” where it presents fabricated information as facts. This limitation underscores the invaluable role you can provide.

You can take advantage of this by become a trusted expert in your field. For example, even if AI does the first draft, someone needs to check its work. If you’re good at this, people will look to you as a more trusted source. 

Here’s four examples of trusted experts in various fields:

Urban Planners with a Focus on Sustainable Development – Using AI to analyze urban growth patterns and environmental data. They ensure that AI’s recommendations for urban development align with sustainability goals, scrutinizing AI outputs for long-term ecological impact and community well-being.

  • Ethical AI Consultants – Specialists who assess AI algorithms for bias, fairness, and ethical implications. They ensure that AI technologies are developed and deployed in a manner that upholds ethical standards, preventing discrimination and protecting privacy rights.
  • Linguistic Anthropologists – Experts who evaluate AI-generated language and cultural references for accuracy and sensitivity. They ensure that AI communications are appropriate and respectful across diverse cultures, enhancing global understanding and preventing miscommunications.
  • Digital Ethnographers – Specialists who analyze the impact of AI on social media dynamics and community behavior. They scrutinize AI algorithms that curate content and manage interactions to ensure they promote healthy engagement and do not inadvertently amplify harmful content or create echo chambers. Their insights help in designing AI that supports diverse and constructive online communities, safeguarding against biases and fostering a more inclusive digital environment.

These experts not only add a layer of specialized scrutiny to AI outputs but ensure that AI technologies are responsible, ethical, and aligned with human values.

Could you upskill or reskill to a similar field?

Build a Personal brand

Create a strong personal brand. AI will replace many basic and mid-level jobs, like writing and design work, especially for clients looking to cut costs.

However, top professionals with strong personal brands won’t be easily replaced by AI. This is because people are willing to pay more for work done by someone considered the best in their field.

For example, anyone can use AI to design a logo, but only well-off clients will choose to work with high-end agencies. This shows that even with AI’s rise, having a strong personal brand is still very important.

Here’s three ways you can get started:

  • Define Your Unique Value Proposition: Identify what sets you apart from others in your field. This could be a specific skill, experience, or perspective you bring to your work. Clearly articulating your unique value helps you stand out and makes your personal brand memorable.
  • Leverage Niche Networking Events: Attend or participate in niche events and conferences specific to your industry or interest. This approach allows you to connect with like-minded professionals, offering a platform to showcase your expertise.
  • Publish Industry Insights: Difficult to do but worthwhile as very few will make this level of effort. Regularly publish insightful analyses, forecasts, or commentaries on industry trends in LinkedIn, niche forums, or even letters to the editor in industry publications. This method positions you as a thought leader in your field, even outside of mainstream channels.

Build Niche Skills

Focus on niche areas for job security. AI struggles with specialized tasks, so mastering a specific field can make you irreplaceable. Acquire specialized knowledge and skills not easily replaceable by AI systems.

Examples include renewable energy technology, personalized medicine, urban farming, or cultural heritage preservation. These fields require unique expertise that AI cannot easily replicate.

Growth Mindset

Start to view challenges as opportunities to learn and evolve. For example, learning to use new AI tools for your job can show how adopting this mindset helps you adapt and find new career opportunities.

Adopting a growth mindset might involve actively seeking feedback on your work, regardless of its nature, and using it as a foundation for improvement.

For instance, if you receive constructive criticism on a project, instead of taking it personally, you see it as a chance to refine your skills and expand your knowledge, demonstrating resilience and adaptability in your professional development.

By implementing these strategies, individuals can adapt, acquire new skills, and harness their unique human qualities to thrive in a world augmented by AI.

Reimagine and Pivot to better roles

Pivoting means you try and move from one role to another, for example, from a QA engineer to a Project Manager, often within the same company. This might minimize the risks a QA engineer may anticipate in the software testing sector and allow them to find a related position that is harder to automate, and therefore potentially more secure.

Consider cross-training in a different department or pursuing professional qualifications that would help you adapt.

Develop your People skills

Don’t take your human skills for granted. It’s very hard to automate nuanced human interactions.

AI struggle to replicate activities that require nuance, reflection, and curiosity. Think of the challenges we face when interacting with customers, resolving conflicts, and collaborating on product development. So while AI is great at handling routine tasks it can’t replicate many human qualities.

You can take advantage of this by enhancing your creativity, critical thinking, and emotional understanding. These skills make you vital for solving problems, innovating, and making complex decisions, ensuring you remain an essential part of the workforce.

Network offline and online

Learn how to network, online and office. If you’re worried about AI impacting my job, expanding your professional network is a smart move. The more people you know, the ‘luckier’ you’ll get find work.

AI excels at processing data, but can’t build relationships. Cultivate strong interpersonal relationships by networking, collaborating, and fostering meaningful connections.

Building a robust professional network enhances your job security based on trust, collaboration, and the human element that AI cannot replicate.

A wider network can offer new opportunities. For example, someone in your field might have innovative approaches to integrate AI into their work, which you could try and replicate in your company.

Leverage AI’s capabilities

Use AI to advance your career. Here’s three examples:

  • Ask it to critique your resume. Use the recommendations to strengthen your CV to make it more compelling. It can also create cover letters.
  • Ask it to create a training plan on a specific subject area. Use it to upskill faster.
  • Interview yourself. Use the voice option to arrange an interview with CHATGPT and ask it to interview you. Use this as a way to practice before going to your next real interview.

If you’re hiring people, instead of reading 100s of resumes manually, feed them into the AI and ask it to identify the best candidates based on specific criteria.

For example, exclude anyone without skills in a specific programming language required for the job. This frees up time in your schedule for high value activities.

Become Fluent in AI

Do you know what an LLM mean? What training an AI model means?

I’d recommend taking a course to learn the basics on machine learning and artificial intelligence. Become familiar with the terms. Understand the concepts and start to weave AI into your daily work.

With AI adoption on the rise, job requirements are going to change. Be proactive in acquiring new skills and knowledge to protect your job. Join networks, such as LinkedIn to stay up-to-date to changes in your industry. Some recommended links are included below.

Define a 3 Month Learning Path

What did you learn this week? What book are you reading that will advance your career? What course do you plan to take in the next 3 months to advance your skills?

You need to develop a specific, tailored learning path so you don’t fall behind.

Set yourself goals and targets to develop your ‘future’ career. Identify the most demand skills in your industry and invest in acquiring or enhancing them.

Develop a learning path that promotes continuous learning in order to remain relevant.

Remember, that’s what your competitors are doing.

Co-pilot with AI

See AI as a partner that can boost your productivity and performance. Use it to automate routine tasks, analyze data for insights, and streamline your work. This collaboration allows you to focus on higher-level tasks that require human judgment and creativity.

Examples include using AI for scheduling, predictive analytics in decision-making, and enhancing customer service with chatbots.

Identify Job Roles That Complement AI

Look for ways to work alongside AI systems, where you can leverage its strengths while contributing your human skills. Examples include AI-assisted medical diagnosis with a doctor’s expertise, collaborative writing and editing tools for authors, and AI-driven data analysis complemented by a business analyst’s strategic insights.

AI Courses for Beginners

Refer to the following courses to learn more about AI

AI for Everyone – Andrew Ng

AI is not only for engineers. If you want your organization to become better at using AI, this is the course to tell everyone–especially your non-technical colleagues–to take.

Supervised Machine Learning: Regression and Classification

The Machine Learning Specialization is a foundational online program created in collaboration between DeepLearning.AI and Stanford Online. In this beginner-friendly program, you will learn the fundamentals of machine learning and how to use these techniques to build real-world AI applications.

Artificial Intelligence for Beginners – A Curriculum

Explore the world of Artificial Intelligence (AI) with Microsoft’s 12-week, 24-lesson curriculum! Dive into Symbolic AI, Neural Networks, Computer Vision, Natural Language Processing, and more. Hands-on lessons, quizzes, and labs enhance your learning. Perfect for beginners, this comprehensive guide, designed by experts, covers TensorFlow, PyTorch, and ethical AI principles.


I feel we’re on the cusp of a tidal wave in terms of how AI will effect society. In terms of job protection, I’d strongly recommend to take proactive steps to ensure you can stay ahead of the coming wave, and can find ways to capitalize on AI.

As mentioned, to mitigate the risks of displacement, we looked at strategies including becoming a trusted expert in one’s field, building a strong personal brand, and acquiring niche skills. Over the coming weeks, we’ll look at these in more depth.

In the meantime, I’d encourage you to engage with AI, understand its capabilities and limitations, and adapt your skill sets to co-pilot this nascent technology. Doing so will future-proofing your careers in an increasingly AI-automated world.