Technological change could see the elimination of entire industries within a few years, the Governor of the Bank of England has said.
Mark Carney told students at the University of Alberta in Canada that the speed of change would make it especially difficult for them to choose a career.
“Many of the jobs and even the industries of today will be gone tomorrow,” he said as he accepted an honorary degree.
“It is entirely unrealistic to map out the decades ahead… [you must be] flexible and adventurous.”
However Mr Carney, whose father was a professor at the university in Edmonton, sounded a note of optimism around the breakthroughs tech could provide.
“Your generation will determine how well the world commercialises fundamental breakthroughs in areas such as new energy technologies, biotech and fintech,” he said.
“And your generation will determine whether we maintain the social capital for shared prosperity consistent with the values of this university and country.”
Last year Andy Haldane, the Bank’s chief economist, warned that 15 million of British jobs – nearly half – could be taken over by robots within 20 years.
“Occupations most at risk include administrative, clerical and production tasks… those most at risk from automation tend, on average, to have the lowest wage,” he said.