Sunday, 23 August 2009


Jobs that don’t yet exist.

Future Jobs R Us.

What kinds of jobs will be created in 10-20 years time through advances in science and technology? On initial research I've identified and defined 10 new job roles that could become reality within a decade or 2.

1. Personal Entertainment Programmers: Designers of in-person or electronic activities that meet the needs of individualised services.

2. Genomics Baby Designer: With the unravelling of the human genome, new roles emerge to design personalised enhancements and select the genetic make-up of unborn children.

3. Resource Use Consultant: As environmental awareness rises, roles emerge for advisors who help citizens grade the impact of every action / purchase / item and manage down the ecological footprint of our lifestyles and purchases.

4. Personal Enhancement Advisors: Advances in hypermaterials, productive nanotechnologies, cognitive science, natural therapies and pharmaceuticals will offer an increasingly broad range of legal (and illegal) personal enhancements. These could be used to give sports people a competitive edge, enhance our memory capacity when studying for exams or increase the strength and endurance of soldiers in the field. Roles emerge professionals who take a holistic approach advising across a full range of possible enhancements.

5. Psycho-Customiser: Future generations of mobile phones could offer a range of applications to help monitor and manage stress levels and counsel us on key decisions. Tomorrow's retail assistant could perform behavioural assessments to help customise our devises to match our personality type.

6. Nano-Medic: Advances in nanotechnology offer the potential for a range of sub-atomic 'nanoscale' device inserts and procedures that could transform personal healthcare. A new range of nano medicine specialists will be required to administer these treatments.

7. Vertical Farmers: There is growing interest in the concept of city based vertical farms, with hydroponically-fed food being grown in multi-storey buildings. These offer the potential to dramatically increase farm yield and reduce environmental degradation. The managers of such entities will require expertise in a range of wide scientific disciplines, engineering and commerce.

8. Spaceline Pilots: With Virgin Galactic and others pioneering space tourism the need for space trained pilots will arise.

9. Climate Change Reversal Specialist: As the threats and impacts of climate change increase, a new breed of engineer-scientists will be required to help reduce or reverse the effects of climate change on particular locations. They will need to apply multi-disciplinary solutions ranging from filling the oceans with iron filings to erecting giant umbrellas that deflect the sun's rays.

10. Hydrogen Fuel Station Manager: Hydrogen will be cost-competitive with gasoline if refuelling stations were mass-produced. The hydrogen would be produced on-site, so managers would need an entirely different set of skills than those required in today's gas stations.

In addition to the jobs described above, I've also identified a further 20 possibilities:

1. Professional VR Citizen
2. Second Life Lawyer
3. Nano Design Engineer
4. Machine Linguist
5. Complexity Manager / Gaiantologist
6. Robot Mechanic
7. Chief Health Officer
8. Telemedicine Technician
9. Pharmer of Genetically Engineered Crops and Livestock
10. Spaceport Designer
11. Space Tour Guide
12. Terraformer of the Moon and Other Planets
13. In-Company Gene Screener
14. Drowned City Specialist
15. Quarantine Enforcer
16. Biorefinery Operative
17. Holographer
18. Virtual Reality Actor
19. Narrowcaster
20. Dirigible Pilot
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