Effect of ICT on Patterns of Employment
Because companies now have access to so much cheap, reliable computing power, they have changed the way they are organised and the way they operate. As a result, many people’s jobs have changed...
Areas of Decreased Employment
Some examples of areas have suffered job losses:
Robots can run day and night, never needing a break, and don’t need to be paid! (Although the robots cost a lot to purchase, in the long-term the factory saves money.)
Now people have personal computers, they tend to type and print their own documents.
A personal computer running a spreadsheet can now do the same work.
The same task can now be performed far more quickly using computers with DTP software and computer-controlled printing presses.
Areas of Increased Employment
Sometimes people who have lost their old job have been able to re-train and get a new job in one of these growth areas.
Some examples of areas where jobs have been created:
IT technicians do this work.
Hundreds of thousands of people are now employed in the 'software industry'
Company websites need to be designed and built which is the role of web designers.
Computer and software company have help-desks staffed by trained operators who can give advice.
Computerising the Workplace - Good or Bad?
But, on the whole, the computerisation of repetitive, menial tasks (such as working on a factory production line, or calculating endless financial results) has freed people to do more pleasant, less dangerous jobs.
There are downsides though. Many people can now access their office network from home via The Internet. This means they can work from home (remote working) which sounds pretty nice. However it often results in people working longer hours and missing out on home life.
Microprocessor-Controlled Devices in the Home
What is a Microprocessor?
Very powerful microprocessors can be found in PCs (the Core 2 Quad processor made by Intel is one example) but smaller, less powerful microprocessors can be found in many everyday devices in our homes.
Typically, a special type of microprocessor, called a microcontroller, is used in everyday devices.
In a single ‘chip’, a microcontroller contains:
- A CPU
- Some RAM
- Some ROM (Used for storing the devices software)
(For more information about computer control systems, sensors and actuators, here).
Examples of Microprocessor-Controlled Devices
Some devices are used for entertainment:
- Games consoles
- DVD players
- MP3 players
- Programmable microwave ovens
- Programmable washing machines
- Home security systems
- Mobile telephones
The Effect of These Devices on Our Lives
Microprocessor-controlled devices mean that we have more leisure time to relax and enjoy ourselves instead of doing household chores.
We are able to communicate with people very easily using computers, mobile phones, etc. We can become part of online social networks, making friends with people from all over the world.
Computers and Internet connections mean that many of the tasks that involved us leaving the house, for example, shopping for music, clothes or food, can now be done on-line.
Online shopping gives us more choice of products and saves us time. It is also great from those who are unable to get out of the house easily, such as the elderly, or the disabled.