With technology advancing so rapidly, we know that the next 10-20 years will be full of changes to how people work. This means changes, as well, in how people educate themselves and how they find work. For one thing, the rapid advancement in technology will reach exponential proportions and along with it, the changes needed in the workforce.
Increasing automation is also looming on the horizon, but what it means is that some types of jobs will wane. Over the long term, technological innovation creates more new jobs than are lost through obsolescence. And some industries will continue to thrive, including healthcare and retail.
Earlier this year, the World Economic Forum reported that humanity would be out 7 million jobs by 2020 due to automation—with admin and office jobs taking the brunt of the blow. – Monster.com
We are also coming upon a new era of human potential, with robotics, human augmentation, space travel, virtual reality, holography, self-driving cars, and sustainability/permaculture innovations creating entirely new industries. It’s the stuff of our futuristic dreams, and you can be involved.
The best way to predict the future is to invent it. – Alan Kay
A lot of new career choices are also emerging, some of which would have seemed inconceivable just a couple of decades ago. So, how best to prepare for this shifting career terrain? For one thing, becoming a lifelong learner keeps you current, and that keeps you competitive.
The Career and Business Crystal Ball
Consider that many of today’s jobs barely existed 10-20 years ago, but are now commonplace and lucrative:
- Mobile and tablet application developers
Game designers and developers
- Social media coordinators and managers
- Web content developers
- Big data miners and scientists
- Personalization and automation specialists
- Robotics and nano-technology scientists
- User experience researchers and designers
- Digital artists, animators, and illustrators
- 3D printing manufacturers
- Health, wellness and life extension practitioners
- Life and career coaching
- Renewable energy jobs
Free agent culture thrives in the film, media, and music industries and is beginning to spill over into the other creative and tech industries. With many freelance marketplaces available, professionals can gravitate towards project-based work. It’s not for everyone, but if flexibility and novelty drive you, becoming a free agent can be a great lifestyle choice. It also means that if you have several unique skillsets, you can work on projects in a variety of roles.
Free agents are:
- Project managers
- Graphic designers and illustrators
- Digital and traditional artists
- Film and video crews
- Bloggers and podcasters
- Web and application developers
- Writers and journalists
- Teachers and instructional designers
- Speakers and coaches
- Special needs and occupational therapists
Entrepreneurs and Small Business
Becoming an entrepreneur has never been easier, given the technology, fund-raising, and marketing tools now widely available. Even if you are just in the idea or prototype phase, crowd-funding your endeavor is a real possibility. How do you know if your idea will appeal to modern consumers? Novelty, life enrichment, efficiency, and convenience are major drivers.
- Technology start-ups – cloud-based services, wearables, virtual reality, pervasive/ubiquitous computing, and artificial intelligence.
- Food-based businesses – artisanal food products, food delivery services, special diets, and health & wellness.
- 3D printing – buildings, household items, organs, and even food!
- Robotics and artificial intelligence – robots for manufacturing, caretaking, and dangerous jobs. AI and machine learning for better prediction and personalization.
- Renewable energy and sustainability – solar, wind, and green building practices.
- Urban, hydroponic, and vertical farming.
- Cannabis businesses – growing, distribution, equipment, and edibles.
- Online sellers – handmade items or small manufacturers selling through sites like Amazon and Etsy.
- Lifelong learning providers – for in person and online learning.
- Bio-medical devices – health and wellness monitoring and tracking, body augmentation.
- Space exploration, mining, and tourism.
- Citizen journalism, social activism, and education.
Jobs of the Future
How do you prepare for jobs that don’t exist yet? With more exciting developments on the horizon, the jobs of the future will spring out of today’s innovations in bio-tech, climate adaptation, personal care, and a wide array of technological innovations. Future jobs will require more complex and specialized skills; things that robots and automation aren’t great for.
It’s going to take a long time for robots to be good at soft skills, like social and emotional intelligence and cross-cultural competency. – Fast Company
Essential Skills for Future Careers:
- Digital and social media literacy
- Adaptability and agility
- Knowing how to learn
- Networking and collaboration with others
- Critical thinking
- Managing chaos
- Simplifying and minimizing complexity
- Entrepreneurial and creative thinking
- Mentorship and coaching
- Anticipating customer needs
Want to learn how to do something life-changing?
Check out thousands of upcoming classes on Connect2Classes.