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Worried that artificial intelligence is coming for your job?

By Dr. Kalith Smith, Dean, Social Sciences and Business at Lincoln Land Community College
Kalith Smith

This concern has become very real for many of us. I am a Generation Xer (born 1965-1980), and we have been a witness to much of the tech revolution and what a few years ago was science fiction has quickly become reality. The truth is, there are many jobs that will be automated in the future, and we know this because it has happened throughout human history. There was a time when wheat was cut, threshed and ground by hand. Today, we plant with a planter. We harvest with a combine, and we process wheat at mills across the continent. Not to mention we ship by rail what in the past would have taken hundreds, if not thousands of horses, carts and a driver for each one.  

These technologies displaced workers from agriculture in droves, and those workers went into cities to work in plants that allowed the United States to become an industrial giant. This progress could not have happened without some jobs being automated, but they still needed the human ingenuity to dream up, design, build and run the machines. I remember the nice lady in the beehive hairdo in the 1980s who had the price of every piece of fruit and can of chili memorized at the checkout. Now it is a simple beep, and it’s done.  

The innovation that will happen because of artificial intelligence (AI) in the coming years will be incredible. All of the dreams that we once watched in the Jetsons may not be that far off, but those dreams will rely on human ingenuity. You see, AI cannot think in a predictive or dream-centered format. It can tell you who made it to the moon first, and it can provide a step-by-step of what you would need to think about to get there; but YOU are needed to dream the dream, and YOU are needed to have the skillset to imagine what is possible.  

As you think about those dreams, the first step can be the hardest, but Lincoln Land Community College (LLCC) is here to help. Are you interested in the upcoming election, but want to understand how it all really works? Have you thought about opening up your own business, but don’t quite know where to start? Are you curious to learn how humans think and interact? The LLCC Department of Social Sciences and Business has opportunities to learn more about all of these topics and more.  

  • Elections course for fall 2024: This fall, LLCC will host a class on elections that is being co-taught by subject matter experts, Dr. Chris McDonald and Dr. John Vinzant, professors of political science. The course is designed to help explain the intricacies of the American election and is open for enrollment now.  
  • Learn how to start your own business or simply gain additional skills. In BUS 121, Introduction to Business, students learn the fundamentals of business and explore business careers. As part of the class, you also write a business plan that can be shared with investors to help you launch your new endeavor! BUS 121 is offered both online and on campus. You and your team can also enhance business skills while learning firsthand how to incorporate AI into your business through courses in: Customer Relations (BUS 115), E-Business Strategy (BUS 127), Excel (CAS 140), Human Resource Management (BUS 130), Leadership (BUS 230), Management (BUS 204), Marketing (BUS 202) and others. 

In the LLCC Department of Social Sciences and Business you will find classes in accounting, business, criminal justice, economics, all levels of education, history, political science, psychology and sociology. Our faculty are outstanding, credentialed at the same level as those of our four-year college counterparts. LLCC is the community’s college, so we keep our tuition costs purposely low to make higher education accessible to all! We take your education seriously, and while our quality is high, our cost is not. We believe that the way to best help our communities is to provide the education that you need and to deliver it how, where and when you need it.

You can learn more about our classes and how to get started at the LLCC Open House on Tuesday, June 18, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is a free event and will be held at our Springfield campus at 5250 Shepherd Rd., and at our locations in Jacksonville (32 N. Central Park Plaza), Litchfield (1 Lincoln Land Dr.) and Taylorville (800 S. Spresser).

At the event you’ll have the opportunity to explore our programs, speak with faculty and staff, tour select areas of campus and more. Registration for the event is available at or by calling 217-786-2292. Walk-ins are welcome.

While we could all sit around worrying about artificial intelligence taking over, the best next step to take is to prepare for how you will be a part of the future and DREAM up the next big idea. The future of humanity is only limited by our ability to dream and while AI may help us do many things, all of the dreams exist in you! Unlock your potential, explore the possibilities of taking a class this fall at LLCC.