The way we work – and the kind of job titles we see advertised – will be very different in 20 years time if predictions by leading futurologists are anything to go by. Fancy becoming a “virtual architect” or a “digital life assistant”? Read on for our top 10 job predictions.
1. Virtual architect/avatar designer
Ian Pearson, futurologist and author of You Tomorrow, predicts a big growth in opportunities in the “augmented reality” sector in 20 years time.
‘Virtual architects will design holograms for people and buildings using computer-generated images – turning a person into an avatar and over-laying shop fronts with an image to suit the brand. A tropical rainforest, a medieval castle, another planet, anything is possible.’
2. Pre-natal health planner
Genetics is advancing at an incredible rate – and while it may seem unethical, we may soon be able to choose characteristics for our children.
‘We’re likely to see growing demand for pre-natal health planners, who would conduct tests to find out what health issues may arise for unborn babies,’ says futurologist Richard Watson, author of Futurevision: scenarios for the world in 2040.
‘We do this already to some extent, but it will become more precise – giving us greater control to genetically map children for cosmetic as well as health reasons, choosing things like sex and eye and hair colour.’
3. Human-machine disputes manager
‘In the future many of our interactions with companies and machines will only be available via the machines themselves or via the internet, email (automatically generated) or avatars or robots,’ says Richard. ‘When the computer says “No” we’re going to need dispute managers to step in and resolve the case.’
4. 3D craftsperson
According to futurologist Ian Pearson, we’re likely to see a new renaissance in arts and crafts thanks to advances in 3D printing. ‘New technology will allow people to make art objects that they don’t have the skills to actually sculpt. We’ll need more designers too, thanks to the ability of new materials to let almost any surface become an electronic display surface.’
5. Global mobility consultant
The job of global mobility consultant already exists (they help workers relocate from one country to another) and we can expect to see more roles in the future.
‘Globalisation of the business world is happening more quickly than ever before,’ says Nannette Ripmeester, founder and director of Expertise in Labour Mobility. ‘As companies hire from other countries, the need for global mobility consultants with an understanding and knowledge of different customs and recruitment practises will be in greater demand.’
6. Longevity consultant
Advances in personal genomics mean we’ll be able to predict with more certainly when an individual will die. ‘Longevity consultants will be employed to give us physical and mental advice on how to extend individual lifespan,’ says Richard Watson. ‘Knowing (at least roughly) when our number could be up is likely to result in anxiety, so we’ll probably see demand for life exit coaches, who will counsel and advise individuals on sorting out their affairs before death.’
7. Nature deficit disorder specialist
There are some things computers and machines can’t do (at least for now), which means humans will be needed for counselling roles for years to come.
‘As population levels expand, many of the green spaces we take for granted will all but disappear,’ says Richard. ‘Specialists will be needed to diagnose and treat nature deficit disorder – treatment for which may be to check into “nature retreats,” offering an artificially controlled natural environment.’
8. Renewable energy specialist
The UK is investing heavily in renewable energy – the government has already spent £5.7 billion in wind, wave, solar and biomass energy and plans to spend billions more to ensure that the UK is capable of delivering 90 per cent of its renewable energy by 2020. Ernst & Young has ranked Britain fifth in the world in attractiveness to renewable investors – and with more companies setting up business, renewable energy specialists are likely to be in hot demand.
9. Digital life manager
The internet has revolutionised the world in the last 20 years but the advances we’ve seen are just the beginning. As more information and services are put online, it’s likely that we’ll need to employ assistants to manage our virtual worlds. ‘Digital life assistants will be needed to design, co-ordinate and maintain all our online stuff,’ says Ian Pearson.
10. Cyber security officer
Internet hackers aren’t just the stuff of TV and movie shows. With more of the world’s sensitive information and vital services being controlled digitally (like water, nuclear energy aerospace and banking), there will be increasing demand for cyber security officers to protect it from hackers and online terrorists.
Futurevision: scenarios for the world in 2040 by Richard Watson (Kindle edition) –
You Tomorrow (Kindle edition) by Ian Pearson – http://amzn.to/17oZH8s
Photo provided by Eva