It’s a well known complaint that the problem with higher education institutions is that they’re preparing students for jobs of the past. Another major issue is that many of the jobs that people are training for today won’t exist at all in 20 years, as software automation (aka bots) will eradicate the need for service providers such as drivers, waiters, nurses, stock brokers, accountants, telemarketers, retail assistants etc. The average person that turns 30 years old in the U.S. today has worked 11 different jobs. In just 10 years, the average person who turns 30 will have worked on 200-300 different projects.
With technology so rapidly advancing, and many jobs already extinct, every job that currently exists will either disappear or morph completely and continuously within a current students first few years on the career ladder. Research suggests that at least 60% of the jobs ten years from now haven’t been invented yet. This poses a tremendous issue for educators today – to teach students the skills to be able to solve problems that don’t exist yet, and won’t exist for years. So what do the job markets of the future look like? Ed Gordon, author of ‘Future Jobs’ tells us the first four are clear:
Thomas Frey, a famed Futurist at the DeVinci Studio, and author of ‘Communicating with the Future’ identifies as many as 50 new career opportunities before 2030, here are his top 20: Augmented Reality Architects – Much like the paint we put on houses and the flavorings we add to food, the future will seem boring if our reality hasn’t been augmented in some way.
Alternative Currency Bankers – According to Javelin Strategies, 20% of all online trades are already being done with alternative currencies. The stage is being set for next-gen alt-currency banks.
Waste Data Managers – To insure data integrity in today’s fast evolving information storage industry, multiple redundancies have been built into the system. Achieving more streamline data storage in the future will require de-duplication specialists who can rid our data centers of needless copies and frivolous clutter.
Business Colony Managers – Business colonies are an evolving new kind of organizational structure designed around matching talent with pending work projects. The operation will revolve around some combination of resident people based in a physical facility and a non-resident virtual workforce, with some opting to forgo the cost of the physical facility entirely. People who can effectively manage this type of operation will be in high demand.
Avatar Designers – Next generation avatars will become indistinguishable from humans on a two-dimensional screen. However, avatars will only live in the computer world for a short time longer. It is only a matter of time before they emerge from the computer and appear as visual beings, walking around among us. Once an avatar goes through the radical metamorphosis from an image that we see on a screen to a three dimensional being that joins us for dinner, carries on conversations with our friends, and serves as a stand-in for us at meetings, we will see work start on an even more realistic avatar, one that we can touch.
3D Printing Engineers – Classes in 3D printing are already being introduced into high schools and the demand for printer-produced products will skyrocket. The trend will be for these worker-less workshops to enter virtually every field of manufacturing, stemming the tide of outsourcing, at the same time, driving the need for competent technicians and engineers to design and maintain the next wave of this technology.
3D Food-Printer Engineers – Pushing the envelope for 3D printer technology even further, will be the coming age of food printers. Converting 3D printers to work with cartridges containing food-stocks will prove difficult and demanding on a number of levels. Those who can solve this kind of problem will be in high demand. More details here.
Book-to-App Converters – Over the coming months we will begin to see a form of competition brewing between books and apps. With both being information products that we interface with differently, we will begin to see a large scale effort to convert existing books and literature into an interactive app, similar to the current effort to convert popular literature from print to audiobooks.
Data Hostage Specialists – Holding people as hostages is very messy. But holding data hostage is a less-risky crime that can be done remotely, and has the potential for far greater rewards. This is especially true if the country you’re living in condones your actions. This type of activity will give rise to the likes of data-hostage negotiators, data-retrieval specialists, and damage-control analysts.
Smart Dust Programmers – In it’s simplest form, smart dust consists of a sensor combined with a wireless transmitter and some kind of power source. Many are envisioning the power to come from wireless RF signals. The reason it is referred to as “smart dust” is because the technology is shrinking in size until it reaches the particle size of dust. Future designs for smart dust involve detecting everything from moisture content, to soil temperature, to chemical composition.
Personality Services – Talking back and forth to a computer that has a machine-like voice is boring. But being able to download specific “personality packages” will add an entirely new level of engagement for basement-dwellers everywhere. The hottest personalities to download will be offshoots of existing characters or celebrities such as being able to download a David Letterman personality, a Homer Simpson personality, or perhaps even a Darth Vader personality.
Smart Contact Developers – The idea of “smart” contact lenses, the kind that can superimpose information on the wearer’s field of view has been around for a while. But the first iteration of smart contact lenses is already on the market and industry execs are beginning to generate a wide array of possible applications.
Nano-Medics – The medical problems most people have can be traced to a single cell or a small group of them. Health professionals capable of working on the nano-level, both in designing diagnostics systems, remedies, and monitoring solutions will be in high demand.
Elevated Tube Transport Engineers – The next big infrastructure project on planet earth will be a human and cargo transport system designed around a network of vacuum tubes with maglev tracks. Operating at less than 2% of the cost of today’s car, truck, jet, ship, and train systems, this emerging tube transport system will be a massive undertaking that demands talented new-age thinkers for decades to come. More details here.
Drone Dispatchers – Drones will be used to deliver groceries and pizzas, deliver water, remove trash and sewage, monitor traffic and pollution, and change out the batteries on our homes. Skilled dispatchers for future drones will be high demand.
Brain Quants – Where the stock market manipulators of the past meet the brain manipulators of the future to usurp control of Madison Avenue.
Time Hackers – If we think cyber terrorists are a pain, it will seem like nothing compared to devious jerry-riggers who start manipulating the time fabric of our lives.
Clone Ranchers – Raising “blank” humans will be similar in many respects to cattle ranching. But once a clone is selected, and the personality download is complete, the former clone will instantly be elevated to “human status.”Memory Augmentation Therapists – Entertainment is all about the great memories it creates. Creating a better grade of memories can dramatically change who we are and pave the way for an entirely new class of humans.
Space-Based Power System Designers – At some point, the burning of earth’s natural resources for power will become a thing of the past. Space-based systems will capture and transmit power far more efficiently than anything currently in existence.
Geoengineers – Weather Control Specialists – We are moving past the age of meteorology and climatology to one where the true power-brokers will wield the forces of nature.