Careers of the future: sci-fi becomes fact

With technology developing at incredible speed and our world becoming more and more connected in any and all ways possible, it is not strange that the careers people pursue today may not even exist in the years to come. Jobs that run the most risk of disappearing are low-skilled positions such as factory workers, shop assistants and construction workers, to name but a few.

Students will see themselves studying for careers that don’t exist yet

On the other hand, according to Cathy N. Davidson, co-director of MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Competitions, in the future, 65% of children will find themselves in jobs that yet have to be created. Imagine that! If you look at what’s happening now in terms of technology, you will get a pretty good idea of jobs and careers that will feature in the future. With that said, if you are looking to establish yourself in a field with excellent career opportunities in technology, you will need to have the mindset of a futurist.

Read also: 6 important education trends that are caused by technology

Careers in virtual reality, biotechnology and artificial intelligence

Careers of the future will include many disciplines and although some of them may still sound somewhat sci-fi to you, they are fast becoming fact. We will see careers popping up in fields such as virtual reality, biotechnology and artificial intelligence. Pizzas will be delivered by drone, ethical hackers will help companies improve their security measures and nanobots will help clean up your arteries. It’s hard to tell where to start when it comes to deciding on a field of study but this article will help you get an idea of what we are expecting to see within the next 10 years – if technology continues to develop the way it is now. Let’s have a look at some of these future career fields.

Drone technology

I’m sure you’re aware that the near future will see Amazon delivering their products with the use of drones but of course this is only one of the many exciting developments in drone technology. We already see drones being used in the military but many other industries such as law enforcement and intelligence, agriculture and construction will soon follow suit. You can see that this is an area in which many career opportunities can be found. Drone technology needs to be further developed and improved and drones need to be built, programmed, flown and repaired.

Nanotechnology in the medical field

If you have an interest in studying medicine, you may want to consider nanotechnology. The development of nanorobots or nanobots will present many exciting new opportunities. Nanobots can be inserted into a patient’s bloodstream and access the site of a disease. This can be very helpful when a patient is suffering from leukaemia, for instance, where the nanobot can destroy cancer cells at the source. The technology represents a combination of medical applications within the human body and programmable robotics, opening up an array of future career opportunities. This type of career will however require many years of studying not only medicine but computer programming and engineering as well. But imagine how valuable you would be to the world?

Read also: Three trends for 2016: robots, virtual reality and nanotechnology

 Person with digital glasses with icons floating overhead

Virtual and augmented reality design

With companies like Nokia and Google exploring virtual and augmented reality technology, we can see that there is much scope for careers in this field. From developing 3D models for video games to engineering devices for augmented reality movies; in this exciting field, engineers will have their careers cut out for them. Opportunities are limitless as increasing numbers of businesses are taking on projects related to virtual and augmented reality. Job titles in this field include VR developer, 3D artist and multimedia or optical design engineer. Creating new virtual worlds requires individuals who possess high levels of creativity, combined with strong technical knowledge.

Read also: Google Glass in education and training

Automotive technology and vehicle programming

The vehicles of the future are all going to be electrically powered and there is no doubt that they will be mostly driverless, too. Voice recognition commands, Internet connections, GPS mapping and more are all going to be standard features in many different types of vehicles. As you can imagine, this richly varied automotive industry of the future offers an array of career opportunities for people with science, communications, technical and math skills who understand the complexity of the algorithms and technology used in these vehicles.

Read also: Driverless cars: the catalyst towards futuristic smart cities

Ethical hacking

A contradiction in terms, you would think. How can a hacker be ethical? Cloud based services are used with increasing frequency, not only by individuals but also by businesses. Along with this increase we also see exponential growth in cyber-security related issues and the need for expertise. Even though the rise of threats such as cyber spying and cyber warfare is clearly visible, nobody seems to be prepared to handle cyber hacking situations. The field of cyber security requires computer and networking specialists – ethical hackers – who can penetrate computer systems in order to find weaknesses in the security systems that could potentially be exploited by malicious hackers. A CEH, or Certified Ethical Hacker, is a professional tasked with the creation of intrusion detection, virus creation and the development of network policies. One area of concern is the fact that ethical hackers can potentially use their skills for not-so-kosher purposes, which is why this type of position is not yet very main stream. There’s a privacy versus transparency debate, requiring the establishment of specific rules and regulations.

Read also: How cybercrime is overtaking physical crime

Too many careers to mention but the future looks bright

We’ve mentioned just a few of the many career options that will become available in the future and looking at the sheer number of breakthrough technologies of the past couple of years, opportunities will be virtually limitless. The future looks bright, there are some amazing opportunities out there and the key to capitalise on these is to acquire the skills and training needed to become successful in these new fields.

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This article is written by Richard van Hooijdonk

This article is written by Richard van Hooijdonk

Trendwatcher, futurist and international keynote speaker Richard van Hooijdonk takes you to an inspiring future that will dramatically change the way we live, work and do business.

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