A number of ‘megatrends’ over the last century have changed the world of work beyond recognition. For example, jobs such as market research data miners, sustainability experts and social media managers didn’t exist five years ago.
The question remains, however, whether businesses are sufficiently aware of, or prepared for, the future trends that will shape the way we work and the performance of our organisations and economies in the next decade.
The UK government and Fast Future asked a select group of futurists and thinkers to list what science and technology jobs would be most popular by the year 2030. They were asked to keep it realistic, with consideration to advances and developments achieved between now and then – unfortunately, no floating car experts in sight.
So what jobs can we expect in the future?
1. Avatar manager / virtual teachersEstimated emergence of profession: 2015
Computer personas that serve as personal interactive guides could be used to support or even replace teachers in the classroom. Of course, there will be a human, named the Devotee, who will make sure that the Avatar and students are properly matched and engaged. An Avatar manager will need an educational background and have extensive training in programming.
2. Climate change reversal specialistEstimated emergence of profession: 2015 As threats and impacts of climate change increase, new engineer-scientists will be required to help reduce or reverse the effects of climate change on particular locations. They will need to apply multi-disciplinary – and often bizarre-sounding – solutions ranging from filling the ocean with iron fillings to constructing giant umbrellas to deflect the sun’s rays. The profession will involve changing carbon-based energy and transport infrastructure, and fine-tuning existing alternative energy systems. By Shané Schutte
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