Don’t like the jobs out there today? Don’t worry — by 2030, some new ones will come along.
Whether it’s (virtually) soaring through the air as a construction drone operator, maintaining new sewer pipes, or helping people figure out how to make money from what they own, there will be plenty of new jobs springing up over the next decade.
And while change means some jobs will vanish into history, that doesn’t mean you should fear new things, says Toronto-based futurist Nikolas Badminton.
“We shouldn’t be afraid. We should be participants in shaping what the future will be like,” Badminton says.
If the AI-driven systems of the future are to interact with people, they’ll need to understand them, Badminton says. The solution? Send the AI for some counselling sessions, Badminton argues. OK, so it probably wouldn’t be like heading to your shrink’s office. More like extensive field testing of the AI interface with real people before it gets unleashed on the public. “AI systems are going to be ubiquitous, and they need to be better,” Badminton says.
An experienced truck driver or cab driver who knows the city’s streets can help make sure the algorithm/mapping software used by the vehicles is actually sending the vehicles on the quickest, most-efficient routes.
“Cab driving, Uber driving … those jobs are going to be gone. But people who have that experience will still have very valuable skills,” Badminton says.
Instead of “coach,” you could also call this a broker of sorts, Badminton says. In a world where so much of our personal data is out there, there will be a need for people to help us decide how much of it we want to try to make private again, how much we want to keep public, and whether we want to monetize our data.
“We will be able to broker our data and choose to make money from that — like making money from drug trials but safer (we hope),” Badminton says.
The construction industry hasn’t always been thought of as cutting edge, but that’s changing, says John Mollenhauer, president of the Toronto Construction Association. One example? Mollenhauer points to what is now a cumbersome, time-consuming and sometimes dangerous process — overseeing the welding on highrise buildings.
“If you’re building a tower 70 storeys in the air, it’s hard to get people up there to watch the welding process and oversee it. There will be drone operators. That drone could not only get up there and inspect it in real time, but it could X-ray to gauge whether the weld was done correctly, and sign off on the approval.”
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You know about Uber and Airbnb. But what about similar services that will spring up over the next decade? Given that these services are multiplying like rabbits, you’ll probably need some help figuring out how to use them to cash in. That, says an Australian study called 100 Jobs of the Future, is where the “sharing auditor” comes in.
“A sharing auditor will analyze homes and businesses for assets that can become part of the sharing economy.”
Today, biofilm — a slimy, goopy mass of bacteria — is something to be avoided in most cases. In the decades to come, says 100 Jobs of the Future, biofilm will be slapped onto the walls of sewage pipes and other bits of plumbing deliberately, to help break down waste.
“The bacteria are embedded into a sticky layer of extracellular polymeric substance, which binds to the wall of the pipe. Just as it’s beneficial to have the right balance of bacteria in your gut, so, too, it’s important to have the right bacteria breaking down your waste,” the study notes.
OK, this one might be a bit more than a decade out, but it was just too cool not to mention. Some day, says the Australian study, we’ll need bioprinting engineers. Their job? “Create viable tissue for human implants, using hardware and software associated with next-generation 3D printers.” It might be closer than you think, according to a Harvard research project, which has already created human tissue using a combination of 3D printing, stem cells and silicone. The tissue, says the project, is “nearly tenfold thicker than previously engineered tissues and … can sustain their architecture and function for upwards of six weeks.”
Now we’re getting into Jetsons territory. But 100 Jobs of the Future points out that eventually, tourists will want to get away from it all. And by “it all” we mean planet Earth. And surely someone will want to cash in by setting up those tours. “They could take shuttle-loads of tourists to visit space stations, a spin around the globe or, eventually, colonies on other planets,” says the Australian report.
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