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How can you prepare for the careers of the future?

20th June 2019

Employees at a business meeting

The world of work is rapidly changing. With robotics, computer software, and AI becoming ever-more sophisticated, Forbes predict that many jobs we take for granted today will become obsolete within the next 10 years. The unprecedented rate of technological development we are currently experiencing makes it impossible for any of us to know what the career landscape will look like in 2030.

However, the good news is that whilst some jobs will inevitably be taken over by machines, many economists predict that the technological revolution will produce a whole range of exciting new careers that most of us can’t even imagine yet. Consultancy firm Cognizant have produced a list of 21 Jobs of the Future, with the kind of careers they predict will become popular ranging from Flying Car Developer to Data Trash Engineer.

All this uncertainty makes 2019 a strange time to be a young person thinking about future employment opportunities. How on earth are you meant to start preparing for careers that haven’t even been invented yet?

Although none of us know exactly what jobs we will be applying for in ten years’ time, it seems certain that employers will still be looking for individuals that can demonstrate a number of key, uniquely human skills that are applicable to many different workplace environments. The more you can demonstrate and develop these new skills now, the better prepared you will be for whatever the future job market has to throw at you.  

1. Technology

Although predictions about the future vary widely, everyone agrees technology will play an even more prominent role in our lives. All these new technological systems will need skilled professionals to design, test and maintain them.

As well as the obvious engineering, coding and robotics related careers, Cognizant predict that cyber security is going to become increasingly important, with Cyber Attack Agent or a Cyber Calamity Forecaster becoming viable jobs. Other interesting technology related jobs might be: Virtual Reality Arcade Manager, Flying Car Designer, or Smart Home Design Manager.

The best way to to set yourself up for a career in this exciting field is learning how to code (you can see how to do this in our previous blog). Developing your logical reasoning and problem-solving skills through studying engineering, maths, physics, and other STEM would also stand you in good stead to play an active role in the technological developments of the future.  

Student drawing a robot in a book

2. The Ethics of Technology

New technologies always bring with them their own range of ethical problems. As a society, we need to put measures in place to ensure that new technologies are operating in a way that is beneficial for us all. Problems such as algorithmic bias demonstrate the need for individuals with a keen ethical eye to be employed to monitor new systems as they are developed.

With this in mind, Cognizant proposed the roles of Algorithm Bias Auditor and Head of Machine Personality Design.

If you’re interested in working with ethics, you might consider developing your critical analysis, debating and logical reasoning skills. Studying subjects such as politics, law, history or English would allow you to practice grappling with big moral questions, forming coherent arguments and justifying your position. 

3. The Environment

Climate change is the most pressing issue facing us all. Although we may see some alarming changes to our environment in the next 20 years, this danger also brings with it the opportunity for more environmentally focused careers.

Cognizant suggest environmentalists of the future may become tidewater architects, or even vertical farm consultants.

Good biological and geographical knowledge will undoubtedly be helpful in these careers, but more fundamental skills such as data analysis, observational skills and creative problem solving will also be crucial. As well as biology, studying economics, engineering or maths could provide a strong grounding for those with an interest in taking on the many challenges climate change will bring. 

Nurse holds a patient's hand

4. Caring and medicine

The United Nations predicts Population ageing is poised to become one of the most significant social transformations of the twenty-first century. With predictions that the number of people over 80 globally will triple by 2050, there will certainly be an increased need for innovation in the areas of caring and medicine.

Technology will undoubtedly change medicine in the next 10 years, with jobs such as AI Assisted Health Technician, Internal Organ Designer, or even Personal Memory Curator potentially emerging in the not-too-distant future.

If you’re not interested in studying medicine, subjects such as psychology or biology may equip you will the crucial interpersonal communication, problem-solving and technical skills to consider entering this kind of profession as part of your career.

5. Coaching and Connecting

As digital technology plays a bigger role in our lives, human connection will become more important than ever. This heading encompasses a huge range of careers that need that human touch – from Uni4Life Co-ordinators, who might help those looking for lifelong learning, to Finance Wellness Coaches, and even Marie Kondo inspired Joy Adjutants, who help ordinary people find joy in the objects they own.

For so many careers of the future, having a global network will be essential. Employers will be looking for people with strong communication skills, good people-management ability and excellent writing skills. You can develop these kinds of skills through studying all sorts of different subjects; psychology, politics, history, English, or any humanities subject would be a great starting point.

Although none of us know what the future job market looks like, developing key skills now will help you prepare for your future career, whatever that may be. Being able to connect with different people around the world is also an incredibly important skill as our workplaces become ever-more globalised.

Our summer school programme helps students connect with other students from across the globe, develop crucial, employable skills and learn from knowledgeable tutors who each have experience in a range of exciting jobs.

Whatever your summer plans, remember it’s never too early to start working on your skillset so you’re ready for whatever challenges the workplaces of the future hold. Apply for the summer school today.