Tinkers, tailors and candlestick makers will most probably not be in huge demand in the future; job titles will be something more like Joy Adjuvant, Virtual Reality Arcade Manager or Haptic Interface Designer.
But with artificial intelligence and automation nipping at the heels of every current high-paying occupation it’s comforting to think that the kids won’t be lolling around on a universal basic wage, well maybe they might, but there is work to be had in a future reality.
One thing is safe to say though, the world of work in the future will be different and pathways to employment will change too. That said, the humanistic skills of empathy, creativity and cooperation will always have relevance.
A good way of identifying which skills will continue to have relevance are the Four Es: Is the skill Eternal? We’ll always need to empathise or cooperate within a group or comfort a child; Is the skill Enduring? – empathising, trusting, helping, imagining, creating, striving will always be relevant; Is it Emerging? Skills of the future will need to contend with the speed and density of work. But if your skills are Eroding like many maturing tech ones, say print production for instance, it’s time to update your personal offering.
Future jobs will centre on ethical behaviors. We want machines – and humankind – to behave themselves; jobs that cover our desire to feel safe around our powerful technology might include a Chief Purpose Planner, an Algorithm Bias Auditor, a Juvenile Cyber Crime Rehabilitation Counselor, a Head of Machine Personality Design and a Head of Business Behavior.
Security and safety will be front of mind. We want to feel safe in this brave, scary new world we’re creating; this will call for jobs such as Cyber Attack Agent, Cyber Calamity Forecaster, Machine Risk Officer and Virtual Identity Defender.
A number of new jobs will stem from science fiction visions that are set to become science fact as they tend to do like: Smart Home Designer, Flying Car Developer, Vertical Farm Consultant.
In uncertain times where the downsides of technology are more visible than ever, future jobs will generally derive from our desire to continue believing in the positive intent of technological progress.
So much to do, so little time. It is a trite phrase, but when I found myself as the only DigiTech teacher in the school, it suddenly gained a lot more meaning.
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