All of the predictions we’ve seen lately regarding the “jobs of the future” assume that we’ll even have jobs once the robots take over. Eventually, we may not. But in the medium-term future, there will still be jobs for the taking (including jobs overseeing robots).
The Canadian Scholarship Trust teamed up with futurists to imagine a job fair in 2030, with predictions based on the environmental, social, technological, and social trends happening now. Here are some of the jobs they came up with.
With populations of wild fish dwindling, aquaponics–a combination of fish farming and gardening–is probably the best chance for a future where humans can still eat seafood, especially in remote locations.
If the practice of upcycling, or turning waste into products (turning a toothbrush into a bracelet, for example), really takes off, then there could be a demand for garbage designers–people who come up with creative ways to turn manufacturing byproducts into new materials. They could also be responsible for ensuring that new products leave behind as little waste as possible at their end of life.
As CST imagines it, hired health care navigators responsible for helping patients and their families navigate complex medical systems may become prevalent in the future. These navigators could be former nurses–or maybe just trained as navigators from the start. This job is reminiscent of one that already exists: the patient advocate.
The future will be populated with drones, drones, and more drones. But who will watch over all the drones? Neighborhood watch officers will keep an eye on flocks of little drones that hover over the perimeter of various neighborhoods, looking for suspicious activity and potential fires. CST speculates that criminals will also have drones, making the situation ripe for some serious drone conflict.
The nostalgist is like any other interior designer, except they focus on recreating a specific time and place. In CST’s vision of future retirement homes, wealthy residents will have the option of living in spaces that are inspired by their favorite decade (1970s living room, 1980s dorm room, etc.)
In another era, this person might just be called a farmer. But the rewilder is like a farmer with a post-apocalyptic twist: Once environmental damage has wreaked utter havoc on the land, people will have to come in and remediate. The rewilder does everything from ripping out roads and replacing them with forests to re-introducing native plant species.
When robots take all the jobs, someone still has to look over them. The robot counselor helps potential customers figure out which robot servant or caregiver is right for them. And if the newly purchased robot isn’t “fitting in” or is causing conflict, the robot counselor can help (this is starting to sound eerily similar to an Outer Limits episode).
We could all use simplicity experts in navigating an ever-more complicated world, but in CST’s vision of the future, these hired guns will streamline business operations, cutting down on phone calls, unnecessary paperwork, and even wasted workdays.
If solar technology becomes more prevalent (and as solar panel costs drop, it probably will), we’ll need experts to manage harvested power, design and maintain solar panels, and more.
Robotic surgery already exists, but CST imagines that people in the near future will make entire careers out of tele-surgery–operating on people remotely using robotic tools.