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April 13, 2024

Skills for Tomorrow: Jobs that Don’t Exist Yet and How to Prepare

Skills for Tomorrow: Jobs that Don’t Exist Yet and How to Prepare

Think back to the start of the 2000s. Could you have imagined the job of “Social Media Manager”? Or “Drone Pilot”? These are just a few roles that didn’t even exist back then but are commonplace today. So, what does the future hold?

Predicting specific jobs is tricky. But we can definitely track how rapid changes in technology and the way society works are creating needs for entirely new roles. To stay ahead of the game, it’s time to start thinking about the skills you might need when job postings come around for things we can’t even imagine right now.

Why Are We Seeing This Shift?

A lot of it boils down to two big factors:

  • Technology Changes Fast: We’re in an era where artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, virtual reality, and whole fields we haven’t invented names for yet are developing at lightning speed. Just look at how something like AI image generators went from “niche nerd thing” to mainstream in less than a year! Each new tech breakthrough has the potential to create jobs that never existed before.

  • Our World Changes Fast: We aren’t just talking tech. Think about things like the push towards sustainability, changing demographics, and how the pandemic completely redefined the concept of “the office” for many. These shifts create new problems to solve, and those problems need people with the right skills to fix them.

So, What Kinds of Jobs Are We Talking About?

Here’s where things get a little sci-fi. Let’s brainstorm some possibilities based on the trends we’re seeing:

  • The AI Wranglers: AI is getting scary-good at things like writing and generating images. But someone needs to curate those outputs, manage the prompts, and teach AI systems to be even better. Think roles like “AI Creative Director” or “Machine Learning Ethicist”.

  • VR/AR Specialists: Virtual and augmented reality tech is getting better. We’ll need folks way beyond just game developers. Imagine “Virtual Tourism Planners” designing immersive travel experiences or “AR Construction Consultants” who visualize building changes right on-site.

  • Sustainability Squad: From businesses scrambling to adopt green tech to handling the complexities of new recycling systems, sustainability is going to be huge. We might see things like “Carbon Emissions Auditors” or “Urban Ecosystem Designers” becoming critical roles.

  • The Adaptability Experts: Maybe the biggest shift isn’t the specific jobs, but that change itself is becoming the rule, not the exception. We might see roles like “Corporate Forecaster” who analyzes not just financials, but broader social and tech trends to help companies adapt and “Lifelong Learning Coordinators” who help people constantly re-skill and stay updated.

Sounds Cool! So, How Do I Actually Prepare?

The good news is, even though we don’t have a crystal ball, the core skills that will matter in this ever-changing job market are ones you can start working on right now:

  • Tech Fluency: No, you don’t need to be a hardcore coder. But having a basic grasp of how new technologies work is essential. Play around with online AI tools, learn some basic programming concepts, generally, don’t be afraid to experiment.

  • Problem-Solving & Critical Thinking: This is more vital than ever. It’s about analyzing information quickly, figuring out what matters, and coming up with solutions outside the box.

  • Creativity: Automation is good at tasks, less so at original thought. Nurture your ability to come up with new ideas, tell stories, and find unique ways to approach problems.

  • Communication & Collaboration: Even as work gets more tech-focused, it’s still about people! Being able to clearly explain things, work with teams that might be super diverse and even spread out globally, those will be key.

  • The ‘Learn How to Learn’ Skill: Being adaptable might be the most important skill of them all. Get comfortable with teaching yourself, seeking out knowledge, and learning new things on the fly.

Is it All Doom and Gloom For Traditional Jobs?

Absolutely not! We’ll still need doctors, teachers, and plumbers (probably even more plumbers, honestly). But, even in those fields, there will be an increasing need to integrate new tech or ways of thinking. Even if you love your current job path, staying curious and open to learning new things is the way to future-proof your career.



Photo Credit: Envato Elements