It’s 2024 and you’re looking for a job. What will you find? Disruptive technological changes will soon eliminate many of today’s routine jobs, replacing them with positions that drive the new robots, computer programs, and global economy. Where, then, are the best sectors to focus education on or gain experience in over the next decade?
1) Automation and Robotics: As robots take over jobs from cashiers, telemarketers, and accountants, they will bring change in the career marketplace. As many tasks currently performed by humans become automated, more designers, programmers, and technicians will be needed to tell those machines what to do when, and how to do it. Many positions will allow for those who have knowledge, whether degreed or not.
2) Computer systems and programming: Computers will continue to play a huge part in all career areas. While the field is quite technical, it isn’t rocket science. Anyone with a desire and some initiative can learn much from books, online resources, and other people. That is especially true for emerging technologies so new that formal academic programs have yet to develop. Think current trends in nanotechnology and 3D printing. While a basic education in electronics, design, or engineering is helpful, devouring available information from current sources can go a long way towards branding you an expert before formal academics catch up.
3) Health Care: There will be an explosion of health care workers and aides needed as the global population tips toward an ageing society. Home care and personal care aides usually require licensing or short courses of study, but won’t take a four-year bite out of your financial sandwich. These jobs, while not at the top of the list salary-wise, are likely to find high demand.
The health care field will continue to see demand for degreed physicians, surgeons, nurses, epidemiologists, and physical therapists, all of which require extensive formal study. Dental hygienists, however, will continue to be needed and can get their foot in the door with training on the job, especially in more rural areas where good help can be hard to find. Similarly, nursing assistants and veterinary techs can start with a minimum of academic commitment, receiving on the job training to continually ladder-up within the field.
4) The Creative Class: Tradesmen and artists will continue to find work, as robot creativity depends on the humans behind the curtain. Some feel these professions will gain prestige and financial rewards simply because they are dependent on the human factor. This could grow to include the trades, such as bricklayers, masons, marble and tile setters, etc.
Musical artistry has morphed from bands playing physical instruments to DJs mixing sounds with computers and playing them back to large audiences. Once relegated to poorly-funded events that could not afford the fee for a live band, DJs have moved from the back of the bus to the limo. Forbes magazine recently published a list of the top 100 DJs, all making hefty cash totals in 2013. The top kids on the block earned in the hundreds of millions. Like music? Like crowds? No degree required, but skill and talent must be developed. This might be the career for you, but do plan on the tide turning. Musical tastes can be fickle and today’s darling may be tomorrow’s kick-to-the-curb castoff.
5) Food and nutrition: Agriculture, food preparation, and food service will continue to provide a good number of jobs. What will give some an edge will be those that are steeped in nutrition or style. Additionally, a new field with potential includes food prep crossed with 3D printing. NASA is exploring use of the technology in space, and schools like MIT, the University of California, and Cornell, are experimenting with 3D printed cuisine from chocolate to meals for the aged. Food chemistry, especially in this arena, holds promise for a job that will gain traction over the next couple of decades.
So, with that in mind, fast forward ten years. Unlikely to be distributed on newsprint, what might your future job search look like?
Employment Processing Sheet for January 6, 2024
Personal Home Care Aides (6) needed long term for elderly couple in own home. References required. Level 3 financial reward. Tap Tier Server 7 Access 11253. Sao Paulo, Brazil
3D Printer Food Chemist positions available at premium rated restaurants throughout Africa. Must provide taste profiles and recipe plans. Position may work remotely. Level 8 financial reward. Tap Tier Server 2 Access 00519. Austin, TX
Ethical Hacker wanted for global software firm. Apply with data and effects from performance. All applications held in confidence. Level 10 financial reward. May work remotely. Hyberabad, India.
Biomedical Engineer with emphasis in bioinstrumentation wanted for expanding biotech firm in China. PhD required. Level 12 financial reward. Tap Tier Server 1 Access 6000. Ahmedabad, India.
Front End Engineer/Web Developers (9) needed for electronics group with emphasis on automated numeracy and literacy translations. Level 9 financial reward. Tap Tier Server 3 Access 12121. Chonqing, China.
International Trade Agents (5) needed for multi-national conglomerate. Experience with online purchasing, foreign currencies, and trade policies with China, Russia, the Pacific, and India. Level 11 financial reward. Tap Tier Server 1 Access 99999. Brisbane, QLD, Australia.
Herd Animal Veterinarian needed for corporate farming operations in West Africa. Must have skills rated at B or C status. Level 10 financial reward. Tap Tier Server 1 Access 09332. Guinea, Africa.
Financial Examiner/Analyst wanted for investment firm. Senior status experienced with all electronic trading vehicles. Either experience or skills rated at B or above status. Level 14 financial reward. Tap Tier Server 1 Access 00461. Kuala Lampur, Malaysia.
Robotics Repair Analyst (4)wanted for prosthetics and robotics maintenance firm. Experience in new technology a plus. Degree not required if skills status above B level. Tap Tier Server 6 Access 23359. Chengdu, China.
New Media Literacy Worker needed for development of project combining cognitive load management and communication tools. Must speak fluent Mandarin. Guangzhou, China.
Tradesmen/Supervisors in brick, stone, marble, tile, for international commercial construction designer. Must be reliable and sponsored. Tap Tier Server 9 Access 00882. Beijing, China.
Epidemiologists needed for global research. World Health Organization employment vacancy # 6142. State preference for Asia, Russia, South America, or Pacific Islands. Tap Tier Server 1 Access 00088.