Jobs of the Future
Last week, I wrote about technology as an enabler. Yet some people in the world still see the fast pace of technology as a threat to their livelihoods – if my job can be done by a system or a computer or a robot, I’ll be out of work. Forget IoT or SaaS, this is FaaT – the Future as a Threat.
But of course this view doesn’t account for the simple fact that – until Skynet at least – these systems, devices and applications will need people. Whether the role of those people is to invent, design, build, program, market, explain or even legislate these technologies, there will be a place for humans.
So perhaps what we’re talking about is not job destruction but job transformation and even job creation.
There will, for sure, be net new jobs created by the advance of technology. In my last post, I mentioned Peter Coffee (he of the excellent drill bit analogy) and it is via him that I came across this list of jobs of the future.
Here are some of my absolute favourites from that list:
- Privacy theorists, philosophers and ethicists
- Genetic modification designers and engineers
- Drone traffic optimisers
- 3D printer “ink” developers
- Computer personality designers
- Crypto-currency bankers, regulators and lawyers
- Augmented reality architects (think Inception)
- Extinction revivalists (hopefully don’t think Jurassic Park)
And though it’s all well and good for you and I to theorise about the jobs of the future, it’s not going to be us that is doing them. It’ll be our kids or our grandkids. So how are they shaping up for their future careers?
Well, judging by the CoderDojo movement, very well indeed thank you. This is a charity that provides a framework through which organisations and volunteers can run dojos – informal and creative workshops where kids from 7 to 17 come to begin a lifelong love affair with technology. For in the children’s eyes, what they’re doing is fun – playing, almost – but of course whether they know it or not what they’re actually doing is learning.
At a recent Salesforce.com conference in London, I got to see a pop-up dojo in action. Amongst the crowd of a dozen or so children was an 11-year-old girl. Nothing unusual in that, you might think. She was the teacher.
If the future is anywhere near as bright as these kids, we’re going to be OK.