HR & Management

In ten years we’ll see the rise of human body designers and freelance biohackers

6 min read

09 August 2016

Author Cathy Davidson famously wrote in a book entitled "Now You See It" that 65 per cent of children will end up in roles that have yet to be created – and those jobs may be appearing far sooner than you think.

Image: Shutterstock

In a speech at The American Enterprise Institute in 2014, entrepreneur Bill Gates claimed that in 20 years several jobs will have been replaced by software automation – particularly those of low-skilled positions.

This outlook is by no means a new one. In 1930 one John Keynes wrote about a world where grandchildren would be richer than their grandparents – but that technological unemployment would be a “new disease as our discovery of means of economising the use of labour would outrun the pace at which we can find new uses for labour.”

But while many go on to divulge how numerous jobs will become obsolete as a result, author Cathy Davidson suggested it made room for new roles to be created – with some already on the verge of making an appearance. So for those curious to know what type of roles you’ll soon be looking to fill, we tapped into Microsoft Surface and The Future Laboratory research – and here’s what we found.

Human body designer

Engineering advances will extend the average healthy human life as the growth of replacement tissues and organs becomes an everyday and affordable proposition. HBDs will use bio-engineering know-how to create a huge range of customised human limbs.

Virtual habitat designer

By 2025, millions of us will spend hours each day working and learning in virtual reality environments. A VHD will design and create these worlds. “These designers will be the superstar pioneers of the industry, leaving behind game design and joining product teams to create exciting new entertainment, work and learning environments,” suggested Dave Miller, recruiter at Artefact.

Ethical technology advocate

There will be an extra 55,790 new jobs in the field of robotic engineering by 2018 alone, research by has revealed. An ETA will negotiate our delicate relationship with the robots by setting the moral and ethical rules under which the machines operate and exist. Essentially, they’ll ensure we don’t have an “I, Robot” situation on our hands.

Digital cultural commentator

In ten years’ time, visual communication will dominate social media. This is already apparent with Instagram set to grow 15 per cent in 2016 compared to just three per cent for the wider social network sector. DCCs will effectively communicate entire stories through an image alone.

Read more about freelance biohackers and rewilding strategists.

Freelance biohacker

Science has been a closed shop dominated by professional teams for many decades – but the rise of open source software platforms will democratise this sector, with citizen scientists taking the reins back. Open-source gene editing tool CRISPR is already allowing thousands of scientists around the world to collaborate on searching for treatments for depression, schizophrenia, autism and alzheimer’s.

Internet of Things data creative

IoT is already transforming the world we live in, with devices from cars to home electrics being embedded with electronics, software and sensors that allow them to collect and exchange data. IoTDCs will sift through the waves of data being generated each day by devices in our clothes, homes, cars and offices and find meaningful and useful ways to tell us what all that information is saying.

Space tour guide

Already on the horizon thanks to the likes of Virgin Galactic, Earth orbit will become the new frontier for adventurous travellers by 2025. And a whole new category of jobs will come about to make the space journeys safe and enjoyable.

Personal content curator

By the late 2020s, software-brain interfaces, pioneered by teams of neuroscientists, will have started to enter the mainstream, allowing mass audiences to read and capture thoughts, memories and dreams. PCCs will help people use these systems to increase the storage capacity of their over-stretched minds, providing services that allow them to dip in and out of treasured memories and experiences at will.

Rewilding strategist

By 2025, the planet will struggle to cope with 9bn humans and the resources they require, and traditional conservation won’t be enough. Rewilding strategists will stitch together viable ecosystems in stressed landscapes, using patchworks of flora and fauna from all over the world, reintroducing plants and animals that have been extinct in a region for centuries to create resilient and vibrant landscapes.

Sustainable power innovator

By the mid-2020s, resource depletion will mean a shift to sustainable energy. The main struggle here will be storing power for the days when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine. SPSs will be experts in chemistry and material science will invent new battery storage capabilities to help cope with the power demands of the ever-growing reliance on the Internet of Things.

10 future jobs by 2030