Many jobs will continue to evolve, and new ones are being created. Will your job become obsolete a few years down the road?
While it's difficult to predict the top jobs of the future, there are key areas of growth identified in the skills market. Bruce Anderson, writing for LinkedIn, outlined what the future of recruiting looks like. These are some of the bright career paths or sectors expected to see growth:
#1. Organ creator
As the development of functional human organs through “bioprinting” becomes a reality, the job of an organ creator could involve designing, printing, and testing organs for use in transplantation. In 2019, scientists at Harvard University reported having developed a new technique that uses living human cells to “print” functional heart tissue for an artificial heart.
This would require a high level of expertise in tissue engineering, 3D printing, and medical research, as well as a thorough understanding of the complex biological and physiological processes involved in organ development. While an organ creator job is still speculative, the potential demand for this expertise could make it an important field for the future.
#2. Earthquake forecasters
The risk of earthquakes continues to be a concern in many parts of the world. This could lead to new job opportunities in the field of earthquake research and prediction — including positions focused on earthquake monitoring, risk assessment, and disaster planning.
A reliable earthquake forecast similar to weather reports is difficult to come by at the moment due to the lack of any clear pattern. The forces that trigger tremors — the constant collision of tectonic plates and the energy that builds up as a result — tend to play out over long periods of time. Big data and artificial intelligence, however, could help improve predictions.
While the job of an "earthquake forecaster" may not be a fully realised profession at this time, the study of earthquakes and the work of seismologists is an important field that has significant implications for public safety and infrastructure planning. As the risk of tremors poses a clear and present danger, the demand for experts in this field is expected to remain high.
#3. Mental health professionals
As awareness of the importance of mental health grows, the need for mental health pros (e.g. therapists, counselors, social workers) will grow. As a result, more people are seeking mental health services to address their mental health concerns. The intense pace of modern life could result in stress and trauma for some, so mental health professionals are needed to help individuals cope with and recover from these experiences.
As the stigma surrounding mental health issues continues to be reduced, more people are seeking treatment and services. More importantly, mental health professionals are increasingly being integrated into primary care settings, making their services more accessible and convenient for patients.
#4. Renewable energy technicians, engineers
According to the Abu Dhabi-based International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), renewable energy jobs have been growing steadily since 2010. In their report "Renewable Energy and Jobs", IRENA estimates that the total number of renewable energy jobs worldwide increased from 7.25 million in 2014 to 11 million in 2018.
While the COVID-19 pandemic may have impacted the growth of renewable energy jobs in 2020 and beyond, the renewable energy sector is expected to continue to grow in the coming years, leading to more job opportunities in areas such as solar and wind energy, hydropower, and bioenergy.
#5. Data analysts & scientists
“Big data” has become a fact of our modern digital-driven life. With the proliferation of technology and digitisation of businesses, there is an ever-increasing amount of data being generated. Organisations need professionals who can analyse and make sense of “big data” to inform decision-making.
Data analysis is crucial for “business intelligence”, i.e. to gain insights into customer behaviour, market trends, and operations. Professionals who can extract valuable insights from data can help businesses optimise their operations and increase profits.
#6. AI and machine learning specialists
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) specialists will be in demand as more and more organisations are adopting AI and ML to automate processes, improve efficiency, and enhance decision-making capabilities. AI and ML are being applied to a growing number of use cases — including natural language processing, computer vision, and predictive analytics.
More importantly, there is currently a shortage of qualified AI and ML specialists, leading to high demand and competitive salaries. AI and ML can bring significant benefits to organisations, including cost savings, increased revenue, and improved customer experiences.
#7. Software developers, programmers
As more and more businesses digitise their operations, there is a growing demand for software to support those operations, from e-commerce platforms to inventory management systems. The proliferation of mobile devices and apps has led to a demand for developers who can create mobile applications for both iOS and Android platforms. The growth of Internet o f Things (IoT) is leading to a demand for developers who can build and integrate software for connected devices and networks.
#8. Digital marketing and social media specialists
Digital marketing and social media (DM/SM) specialist jobs are in demand due, in part, to the increasing reliance on digital channels. At the same time, consumers are spending more time online, and businesses need to reach them where they are spending their time.
Specifically, digital marketing and social media platforms that have “advanced targeting capabilities” allow businesses to target specific audiences based on their demographics, interests, and behaviours, leading to more effective advertising campaigns.
As the number of digital marketing and social media platforms rises, one key advantage is that DM/SM campaigns can be measured and analysed in real-time. This allow businesses and organisations to tweak or optimise their strategies in real time.
#9. Customer service representatives & experience managers
Customer satisfaction never runs out of style. Providing excellent customer service and experiences is crucial for customer satisfaction and retention, which is key to long-term business success. More importantly, good customer service and experiences can lead to increased customer loyalty and retention, which can reduce churn and increase revenue over time.
A positive customer service experience can lead to increased sales and revenue, as satisfied customers are more likely to make repeat purchases and recommend the business to others. And in competitive industries, excellent customer service and experiences can help a business stand out from its competitors and differentiate itself in the market.
#10. Sustainable agriculture & food production specialists
As the global population continues to grow, the demand for food will increase. Meeting an ever-higher demand sustainably and responsibly will need people specialising in this field. Given the impact of climate change, sustainable agricultural practices are becoming more important to maintain long-term food production and protect the environment.
Consumers are becoming more conscious of the impact of their food choices on the environment and are increasingly seeking out sustainably-produced and ethically-sourced food. Meanwhile, advances in technology and innovation are creating new opportunities for sustainable agricultural practices, such as precision farming, vertical farming, and regenerative agriculture. Governments and organisations are implementing policies and regulations to encourage sustainable agriculture and reduce the negative impacts of food production.
#11. Education and training professionals
The demand for teachers, trainers, and curriculum designers continues to rise as the need for workforce changes with the times. Since the nature of work continues to change, there is a growing need for workers to acquire new skills and knowledge and for educators and trainers to develop and deliver training programmes that meet these needs.
The global population is growing, and with it, the demand for education and training. As more people seek to acquire knowledge and skills to prepare for the job market, there will be a greater need for teachers and trainers to facilitate learning. Advances in technology are also changing the way we learn and work. Teachers and trainers will need to adapt to new technologies and be able to effectively integrate them into the classroom and training environments. There is a growing need for upskilling and reskilling as technology continues to evolve and disrupt various industries.
#12. Cybersecurity specialists
Cybersecurity jobs will continue to be in high demand in the foreseeable future for a number of reasons. For one, there’s a shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals. This means that demand is high and job opportunities are plentiful. For another reason: increasing reliance on technology. As tech use increases all around, there is a growing need to protect against cyber threats and vulnerabilities that can compromise sensitive data and systems.
Moreover, many industries and organisations are subject to regulatory requirements related to data security and privacy, which creates a need for cybersecurity professionals to ensure compliance. As tech evolves, new threats and vulnerabilities are emerging, and cybersecurity professionals are needed to stay ahead of these threats and protect against them.
#13. Augmented reality journey builder
It's a skill that involves a combination of design and coding.This could involve developing AR content, designing user interfaces, and testing and refining the experience to ensure it is engaging and effective. Though this job is still large ly speculative, with the growing popularity of augmented reality (AR) technology, there is a potential for job opportunities related to building AR experiences for users.
#14. Autonomous car technician
The upcoming fleets of self-driving vehicles from manufacturers including Tesla, BYD, Nio, Waymo, GM, Hyundai, Cruise, Pony.ai, and Ford will drive by themselves. However, they won't fix themselves. Autonomous cars have a more complex and sophisticated design than today’s internal combustion engine cars — with a greater number of sensors and computer components.
This entails learning the skills and knowledge needed to diagnose and repair issues with autonomous vehicles, or the so-called robo-taxis, and even transport drones.
An autonomous vehicle mechanic would need a specialised training in the unique systems and components used. In the near future, mechanics are required not only to have a love of tinkering, but also a modern understanding of tech. As autonomous cars become more prevalent on the roads, the demand for trained and skilled autonomous car mechanics is expected to rise.
#15. Heathcare professionals
One reason why healthcare professionals like nurses, doctors and health technologists are expected to continue to flourish in the job market is due to an aging population. As the population ages, the demand for healthcare services increases, especially for chronic diseases and conditions. Moreover, advances in medical technology and research are expanding the range of treatments available to patients, leading to a need for specialised healthcare professionals to operate and maintain these technologies.
New treatment options (i.e. artificial DNA as treatment for certain cancers) that improve patient outcomes continue to be created, driving demand for healthcare professionals with the knowledge and skills to effectively utilise these tools. Also, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical importance of healthcare professionals and public health infrastructure. Governments and organisations are likely to invest in strengthening these systems to better prepare for future health crises.
#16. Drone traffic optimiser
Give or take 10 years, the use of drones will be more widespread, according to LinkedIn. Space X CEO Elon Musk also predicts the use of drones — or electric planes — will rise. Still, someone must keep an eye on their flight routes to prevent chaos. Aviation regulators are already tackling this problem.
The job of drone traffic optimiser is likely to grow due to the increasing use of drones in various industries such as transportation, agriculture, construction, and delivery. As regulations around drone usage become more complex, there will be a greater need for professionals with expertise in navigating these regulations and ensuring compliance.