Jobs of the future.

August 31st, 2012

Here’s a fun little conversation starter for your Labor Day picnic or barbeque. Ask family and friends if they can predict what jobs might be commonplace on résumés of the future.

Based on trends and advances in science and technology, a research study conducted by Fast Future, highlights the following list of jobs, careers and professions that could exist or become more prominent through 2030. The report was commissioned by the British government for a national campaign aimed at promoting public interest in the fields of science and engineering. (I learned of the study in an InWellness newsletter.)

1. Body part maker. Advances in science will make it possible to create living body parts, so we could need living body part makers, body part stores and body part repair shops.

2. Nano-medic. Advances in nanotechnology for creating sub-atomic devices and treatments could transform personal healthcare. A new breed of nano-medicine specialists will be needed to administer these treatments.

3. Farmer of genetically engineered crops and livestock. New-age farmers will grow crops and keep animals that have been genetically engineered to increase the amount of food they produce and to include proteins that are good for our health. Scientists are already working on a vaccine-carrying tomato and therapeutic milk from cows, sheep and goats.

4. Elder care wellness consultant. We’ll need specialists to help manage the health and personal needs of an aging population with new emerging medical, mental health, fitness and natural treatments.

5. Memory augmentation surgeon. Surgeons could add extra memory to people who want to increase their memory and to help those who have been over-exposed to information and need more memory to store it.

6. ‘New science’ ethicist. As scientific advances in areas like cloning speed up, we may need a new breed of ethicist to help society make choices about what developments to allow.

7. Space pilots, tour guides and architects. With companies already promising space tourism, we’ll need space pilots and tour guides, as well as architects to design where they will live and work. Current projects at SICSA (University of Houston) include a greenhouse on Mars, lunar outposts and space exploration vehicles.

8. Vertical farmers. Vertical farms growing in skyscrapers in the middle or our cities could dramatically increase food supply by 2020. These farmers will need skills in a range of scientific disciplines, engineering and commerce.

9. Climate change reversal specialist. As the impact of climate change increases, we’ll need engineer-scientists to help reduce or reverse the effects.

10. Quarantine enforcer. If a deadly virus starts spreading rapidly, few countries, and few people, will be prepared. Nurses will be in short supply. And as death rates rise, and neighborhoods are shut down, someone will have to guard the gates.

11. Weather modification police. The act of stealing clouds to create rain is already happening in some parts of the world and is altering weather patterns thousands of miles away. Weather modification police will need to control and monitor who is allowed to shoot rockets containing silver iodine into the air as a way to provoke rainfall from passing clouds.

12. Virtual lawyer. As more of our daily life goes online, we we’ll need specialists to resolve legal disputes which could involve people living in countries and regions with different laws.

13. Avatar/virtual teacher manager. Intelligent avatars or computer characters could be used to support or replace teachers in the classroom. A human manager still needs to make sure the avatar and students are properly matched.

14. Alternative vehicle developers. We need the designers and builders of the next generations of vehicle transport using alternative materials and fuels.

15. Narrowcasters. As broadcast and internet content becomes increasingly personalized, there will be jobs for specialists working with producers and advertisers to create news, entertainment and information tailored to our personal interests.

16. Waste data handler. As computer data and information about us increases, we may need waste data handlers to securely get rid of our data so we can’t be tracked or have our identity stolen.

17. Virtual clutter organizer. Clutter managers will help us organize our electronic lives by looking after our email, making sure our data is stored properly and managing our electronic passwords and profiles.

18. Time broker/Time bank trader. Time has always been precious and time banking already exists. In the future there may be other alternative currencies that will have their own markets where they can be traded.

19. Social “networking” worker. We may need social workers for people who may be traumatized or marginalized by social networking.

20. Personal branders. This job would be an extension of the role played by celebrity stylists and publicists. Personal branders will work for anyone to create a personal “brand” using social networking sites and other media.

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