As society moves into an era of greater automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence many of the current job titles we have today will become redundant. Too many people are qualified for jobs that are disappearing and many organisations are struggling to fill skills gaps for new, emerging job roles, so they must invest in retraining and upskilling their current workforce to remain competitive.
At Marshall Centre we spend a lot of time thinking about the future and planning for potential scenarios to stay ahead of the curve. This includes thinking about what the future of work will look like and what potential job roles and skills will be in demand in the next few decades. The three factors we believe will shape the future of work are: innovation, sustainability and wellbeing. With this in mind, we brainstormed 10 potential job titles that may exist soon.
Youth Personal Development Mentors
Our current curriculum and teaching methods will need to drastically change to ensure we are preparing the next generation for a new way of working. The focus on subject based knowledge will become less important as machines do more for us. That is not to say that education is becoming irrelevant but rather the skills we develop in young people must change. Using scenarios where young people must work together to solve a problem, create something new or work effectively as a team will develop a flexible workforce who are resilient and able to find the right information to achieve their goals regardless of what their job title is. As virtual and augmented reality develops, the need for classroom teachers will diminish but young people will still need guidance and mentorship to ensure they develop the skills they need to be successful in life.
Chief Technology Ethics Officer
Ethics are a philosophic set of guidelines to determine what is right and what is wrong. However, this is not a binary decision and is often filled with many layers of complexity to consider. For example, pilots are trained to make some tough ethical decisions in the event of a catastrophic failure and a crash landing is required. They try, where possible, to do this in unpopulated areas to minimise the number of potential casualties. If this is not possible, they must decide where to come down; if you were in that position, would you aim for the nursery school or the block of high-rise flats? How do you place a value on one life over another? This is what some machines, such as autonomous cars, will have to be programmed to do in the event of an unavoidable accident. This is something that we will need teams of ethics professionals to debate about and manage to ensure our robots make the best possible decisions to keep us safe.
Technology Liaison Professionals
We are already seeing more people working closely with intelligent machines and this will only increase as we move forward and technology advances. As the robots become increasingly human, we will need people to manage those working relationships to ensure that we get the best out of the technology and visa versa.
Chief Curiosity Officer / Ideas Generators
With machines taking over the labour-intensive tasks that we do now to keep a business ticking over, it will free people up to work on generating new, innovative ideas. Globalisation and remote working also means that geographic location is not a barrier to hiring talent. Imagine bringing a highly diverse group of creative minds together and their job was just to solve problems and innovate. We already see communities of engineers and designers collaborating through social media. Mashable shared a great example of this phenomenon with their 9.5 million followers on Twitter. The tweet was about an athlete with Parkinson’s disease who uses fitness to slow the progression alongside his medication, but it took him a great deal of time in morning, when the tremors were most intense, to isolate a single pill. When TikTok's 3D printing community heard about his struggles, it inspired them to invent and produce an accessible pill bottle that isolates and dispenses one pill at a time. This was not done for monitory gain but rather for social good. Imagine what we could achieve if we had the best and brightest ideas generators collaborating to solve problems full time and not just as a hobby?
Greenhouse Gas Enforcement Officers
Traffic officers will become redundant when we have 100% automated cars on the roads. However, we will likely need people to police our impact on the environment more closely. In an already overpopulated world, we place a massive strain on the environment and, if we want the planet to survive, we cannot simply hope that people will choose to do the right thing to project it. To meet the European target of carbon neutrality by 2050, we will likely see stricter enforcement and penalties for those who don’t limit their emissions and recycle.
Lab Grown Meat Development Chef
Many of our food producing practices are highly unsustainable and bad for the environment; ecosystems are destroyed to create more farmland, the persistent use of palm oil has led to mass deforestation and destruction of habitats, overconsumption of meat protein has led to intensive factory farming with little regard for animal welfare and it takes 25 calories of plant energy to produce every 1 calorie of meat. With population numbers rising, there will be an increasing need to produce more food, but with the environment suffering, we must find more sustainable ways of doing this. It is unrealistic to think that the whole world will suddenly become vegan, so we must rethink the way we produce meat. Lab grown meat might sound like science fiction, but it is already a reality with the first lab grown chicken approved for sale in Singapore in December 2020. Expect to see less farmland and more laboratories where no-slaughter meat is produced in the next few decades.
Space Hospitality Professionals
Space X have multiple missions to get people on and off the planet safely and cost effectively including a planned space tourism flight by the end of 2021 called Inspiration 4. Russian agency Roscosmos even have plans to convert a decommissioned space station into a luxury space hotel. If that is successful and safe, we might see more companies investing in space hotels and it could become a holiday trend for the rich and famous. Like every hotel, you would need highly trained and skilled staff to look after the guests.
Online gaming is growing in popularity as graphics improve and games becoming ever more immersive with VR and AR technologies. There is also a lot of money to be made from winning large tournaments; 18-year-old Kyle Giersdorf, known online as Bugha, is the highest earner with his Fortnight winning of around £2.3 million. As gaming technology continues to improve, so will the emergence of professional e-sports athletes and, while it is not recognised as an Olympic sport yet, it is likely that it will be in the future.
Nostalgia Care Professionals
Technology is advancing at an exponential rate and we are living in an ever more digital world of virtual and augmented reality and machine learning. This may cause heightened levels of fear and confusion for the older generation who did not grow up with this kind of advanced technology. Nostalgia Care Professionals could help create a space for people where they feel more comfortable and help them navigate the ever-evolving technology to support wellbeing.
Extinction Museum Curators
This may seem a bit pessimistic and dark. However, according to WWF, wildlife populations have plummeted almost 70% in less than 50 years and scientists warn that 50% of the planet could go extinct by 2050. The last mass extinction was 65 billion years ago when the dinosaurs died out and now humans are on track to cause the next one. Museums will have to employ many people to curate all those specimens. Unless we seriously address and correct man-made climate change, the next generation may only get to see wildlife in a virtual reality world, which is a very sad and disturbing thought.
Is your business ready to fill these and other future job roles with people who are flexible, adaptable, resilient and healthy? Contact us to discuss how we can help future proof your business and close skills gaps.