Daniel Pink writes in the current Wired (13.02), Revenge of the Right Brain, that traditionally left brain jobs are being outsourced and automated. And the stuff that is left is subject to more and more right brain sensibilities as the left brain activities are "perfected."
Tax attorneys. Radiologists. Financial analysts. Software engineers. Management guru Peter Drucker gave this cadre of professionals an enduring, if somewhat wonky, name: knowledge workers. These are, he wrote, "people who get paid for putting to work what one learns in school rather than for their physical strength or manual skill." What distinguished members of this group and enabled them to reap society's greatest rewards, was their "ability to acquire and to apply theoretical and analytic knowledge." And any of us could join their ranks. All we had to do was study hard and play by the rules of the meritocratic regime. That was the path to professional success and personal fulfillment.
But a funny thing happened while we were pressing our noses to the grindstone: The world changed. The future no longer belongs to people who can reason with computer-like logic, speed, and precision. ...
My version of knowledge workers are much more than those who follow the rules of the game. Sure, their work draws on their education, rather than their muscle, but the knowledge worker of today can't rely on rote application of their knowledge to the problem at hand. There is almost never such a thing. Knowledge workers - at least today's knowledge workers - must apply creativity and insight to their work, whether they are retrofitting new equipment into a refinery or writing code or finding new ways to serve their clients. In the end, I think this is exactly what Pink is suggesting.