Construction Software 1,720 views Apr 18, 2019
Future builders and the need to learn programming

Technology is evolving through all work sectors, and in particular, it is streamlining construction processes. As software offers ways to gain and store data for projects, and hardware is developed to pick up basic tasks such as bricklaying, concern has been rising over how much longer the human element will be needed in the workplace. Here with structure analysis software experts Oasys, we investigate what the future of builders holds.

Worrying over technology taking over jobs

It’s a common concern within the industry that technology will ‘steal’ jobs. Technology will not steal our jobs, but just replace us as we shift roles. But how will this impact the construction industry? To understand, we need to have an oversight on statistics that have been released regarding this issue. Boston Consulting Group has said that by 2025, up to a quarter of jobs will be replaced by smart software or robots. This includes a range of professions, from factory workers to doctors, and even journalists. However, a study carried out by Oxford University has said that 35% of existing jobs in Britain are at risk of automation in the next 20 years.

There is a great deal of uncertainty regarding the reduction of physical workers, however. However, this can be challenged if we start preparing early and encourage current and future workers to adapt to the changes. This could include advancing their own skillset with a focus on how they can do their job better with the use of technology.

How roles in construction are shifting

With all the worries over technology taking jobs, there’s often little focus on the need to maintain this technology and the jobs that will create. It’s also left unmentioned that workers will need to use technology, and that leads us to the decision that in the construction industry, builders of the future will become programmers. Over the years, we have seen constant changes in the way we work, and the construction sector has been very accepting to new and innovative methods to make jobs easier. From hammers to nail guns, shovels to diggers — and now practical labour to programming.

This isn’t a change that will happen rapidly though. Programming is a topic that schools around the UK should be looking to implement into their curriculums as a core subject to keep up with the demand of jobs and to keep up with the constant changes in technology. If we’re teaching young people old ways, they will be useless when it comes to doing the work and there might not even be jobs available that match their skillsets. With the constant growth in technology surrounding construction, young people need to be prepared with the skills and this shouldn’t be up for debate. Like the studies discussed earlier, more jobs are at risk of being lost due to smart software and robots. Workers need to be as good as the technology.

Let’s consider this technology. When it comes to a common piece of software that is used in construction, Building Information Modelling (BIM) is an element that can be beneficial, as it allows the appropriate people to access all of the information about a project in one place. It can look at key stages of a project across the lifecycle of a job and provide the information that is needed. This can save both time and money for any construction company and allows builders to have a clear oversight. BIM can help illustrate the entire building, from starting processes to its demolition, and can even show how materials can be reused.

Technology is, in a way, taking over the workplace, but in order to maintain relevance in the industry, people must be willing to pick up new digital skills.