YOUR FUTURE JOB DOESN’T EXIST YET
The world is changing, and fast. It’s thought that lots of jobs you’ll go on to do don’t even exist yet. So what sort of roles can you expect from the future? And how can you prepare for them?
HOW THINGS ARE NOW
You might think the best jobs to get into are all tech-related (and some are!), but a surprising number are hands-on and people focussed. Here are some of the top on and offline roles with a lot of scope to expand in the future.
As we live longer, nurses, doctors and physical therapists are going to be even more in demand. Medical research roles like Epidemiologists (scientists who look into causes of disease and injury) will become vital as the population booms. Similarly, mental health is top of the agenda, so if you think you’d be a counsellor or therapist, it’s a great idea. Typically you need a Bachelor's degree for most things medical, but not always.
Apps, websites and games all require programmers to code, test and develop their platforms. From writing computer languages like Java and C++ to devising hacker-proof security systems, developers work across all industries and can be paid really well. Depending on how technical the role is, you might need a relevant degree, but not necessarily. Either way, it’s never too late to learn some new digital skills.
Engineers and Technicians
Got a technical mind and love problem solving? The engineers and technicians of the future will be dealing with all sorts of fascinating issues: renewable energy solutions, ‘smart’ home appliances and space exploration to name but a few! Often the way into these industries is through apprenticeships, but make sure to check out your options.
Plumbers and Electricians
As we move towards more of a freelance economy, there’s never been a better time to be your own boss. And the great news? You don’t need to go to university to have a rewarding career in most of these areas. In fact, apprenticeships and work experience are a great way to go.
Creative Roles and Project Management
Like schedules and organising? Or more of a freethinking ideas person? While some roles may be taken over by computer systems, people will always be needed to come up with the original concepts, tell them what to do and how to do it. Writing, designing, marketing, managing – all these skills have a place in the future.
Some things you just can’t automate. With more of a drive towards sustainability, cutting back on plastic and locally-produced goods, entrepreneurs can do really well by embracing an ethical angle and offering something the mass market can’t. Add to this the advances in social media that allow small businesses to be discovered globally, and you’ve got a lot of power in locally-grown, locally-made products.
FUTURE-PROOF YOUR CAREER
We’ve all heard the headlines: ALL HUMANS REPLACED BY ROBOTS BY 2020! AHH! Well, don’t worry, that *probably* won’t happen. Although we can’t deny that a lot of roles will certainly have some element of increased automation over the next few years. So how do you make sure the computers don’t snatch up your future career?
People will always be needed to do the things machines can’t. These qualities will put you in good stead whatever industry you end up working in, and, particularly if you move around. The main skills are things like:
- Empathy and Communication – Humans don’t just require the efficiency and accuracy of algorithms, but kindness, consideration and understanding too
- Critical Thinking – Technology can predict variables, but we still need humans to make thought-through, informed decisions
- Creativity – AI is great, but it can’t produce beautiful paintings, delicious recipes or your favourite Harry Potter book
- Strategic Thinking – Computers can map the small-scale stuff, but not the big overview
- Physical Skills – A robot football team just wouldn’t be as exciting as the real thing, would it?
- Imagination and Vision – They might come close, but machines will never have our full capacity to dream and invent. For that, you need the real thing
Read more on soft skills here.
WHERE THINGS ARE HEADING…
And if that doesn’t sound science fiction enough for you, here’s a list of jobs that don’t exist yet, but might do:
- Mind-Transfer Specialist
- Custom Body Part Engineer
- Robotic or Holographic Avatar Designer
- Gene Designer for Babies and Pets
- Pharmaceutical Artisan
- Extinct Species Revivalist
Fancy bringing back T-Rex, anyone?