When discussing the careers of the future, there is often talk of several jobs being automated with technological advances in robotics. However, robots are still a long way from taking over, and in the meantime, the changing nature of labour market means that there will be new jobs in the future that do not exist now, but what are these jobs?
To begin looking at this issue, it is important to look at the present before looking at the future. So what jobs exist now that did not exist say, 15 years ago. Facebook started out of Zuckerberg’s Harvard dorm room in 2002; YouTube was only launched in 2005 and Instagram only started sharing photos in 2010. 15 years ago, it would be unheard of for companies to pay high salaries for social media managers and digital marketing specialists, in fact, social media did not even exist at the time.
However, now we live in the digital age and social media has become a massive advertising tool that connects billions across the world. The iPhone stormed the world in 2007 and started the software dynasty, creating the billion-dollar industry of app development, fifteen years ago the word 'app' did not even exist yet now millions have jobs as software and web developers. Even CoverShr would not have existed as blogs are a product of the growth of the web and the technology, without the internet, was not available.
Now, what about the next fifteen years and beyond? Data is becoming more and more important and is set to rule the future. This sentence may be ambiguous but consider Facebook. The social media website gathers information about you such as your favourite foods and music, lifestyle, habits etc. This information is invaluable to companies to give more targeted ads and to specifically target you personally. Uber holds data on common trips, eBay and Amazon hold data on consumer purchasing patterns. However, this data is often unstructured or has no structure at all. Statisticians and data miners will see incredible demand for their work as data becomes the new gold for business.
As well as this, globalisation is occurring all around the world, and to adjust to this we need to start thinking global, not local. According to Javelin Strategies, 20% of all online trades are already being done with foreign currencies and this is only expected to grow, so the those with knowledge of global finance and exchange rates are also going to see increased demand for their skills as well as strategists, systems architects and management consultants who can create companies’ international frameworks to expand with the new interconnected nature of the world.
The digital era is still growing, so this means that software developers in all aspects are going to be in demand. Technology is the future, with billions of people now gaining access to the web and its ever-expanding network, skills in programming will be in demand, and it is for this reason that the government is proposing that programming is added to the curriculum for all students.
However, this is a very limited summary of what the future can hold, fifteen years ago, nobody could have predicted the expansion of social media and the internet, and I am not attempting to predict the next breakthrough. The future holds a plethora of opportunity in new and existing fields that we would have never previously considered. Automation is a real possibility and some jobs will be replaced by robots, however, the future demands new skills and requirements.
“Talent, hard work and determination are the most important skills.”
To be successful you've got to be creative, be adaptable and although you may not know where you will end up, or even if that career exists today, trust that your talent, hard work and determination are the most important skills and they can be applied to almost all careers. So if you take one thing from reading this today, don’t limit yourself to the opportunities that are available today, invest in yourself and pioneer the future.