What skills will be required in 2030?

Like a slow cooking stew with a strange mix of ingredients, our future workforce is already bubbling away in the background, creating an aroma for a future we are only just starting to get a whiff of.

With ingredients that include metaverses, blockchain technologies, cryptocurrencies, augmented realities, biofilms, drones, droids and organ creators – it sounds like something straight out of a science fiction movie.

If you’re still at school or young in your career, it will serve you well to pay attention to these future workplace trends. There are opportunities for many to study for some of these career paths and be top in their game – just when it is needed. In life, timing is key!

Even if you are older and already entrenched in your industry and career, it will also serve you well to understand where the future is heading, particularly in the digital and technologies that will affect your industry. For example, if you work in Information Technology, obviously your skills are constantly needing updating to keep up with change – I.T professionals expect this. But rapidly changing technologies will influence the playing field for many other industries (if they aren’t already) including finance, marketing, human resourcing, manufacturing, health care, engineering and many more. Sticking your head in the sand is not the best option. Educating yourself on the direction your industry is taking and keeping your skills up to date will ensure you stay relevant and successful in your field.

Let’s get back to that strange stew brewing and delve deeper into some of the more whacky ingredients that will make up our workforce in the future. According to social and industry forecasters, these are just some of the jobs and skills required by 2030.

1.       Augmented-reality journey builder

Aaaah, virtual reality! Is it better than reality? According to the billions of gamers out there, it most definitely is. Augmented-reality (AR) journey builders can supply customers with any virtual experience they desire. The AR journey builders will, according to Cognizant’s 21 Jobs of the Future, “design, write, create, calibrate, gamify, build, and — most importantly — personalize the next generation of mind-blowing stories and in-the-moment vignettes”. Skills required for this industry include a film school degree as well as experience with multiplayer online role-playing games. Which is a nice segue-way for our next role.

2.       Metaverse planner

Already providing retail jobs selling VR headwear gear and other accessories for gamers, the metaverse is kind of already here. With celebrities like Snoop-Dog and big brands like Adidas investing in metaverses already, it’s set to explode the internet with individuals and companies buying up land, shops and more. Apart from digital designers, one of the roles required is the metaverse planner. “The Planner,” according to a blog for Honeypot, a European job platform for tech talent, “will need to drive a strategic portfolio of opportunities from proof-of-concept to pilot to deployment.” Planners will need management experience and an entrepreneurial spirit.

3.       Biofilm installer

What is a biofilm? It’s a collection of microbial cells attached to wet surfaces – eeeeew! They are the source of 80% of microbial infections but are also a remarkable tool for sewage treatment, oil spill cleanup, and generating power. In the building industry they are also important. According to the Canadian Scholarship Trust (CST), “By coating certain surfaces in the bathroom and kitchen of homes, they will become key tools for environmentally friendly buildings.” Basically, they are helping to solve our dirt, in an environmentally friendly way. Environmental scientists, construction trade workers and cleaners could all very well skill up in biofilm installing.

4.       Makeshift structure engineer

The invention of 3-D printing was not that long ago but already it is helping to build furniture, prosthetic hands and more. In the future, makeshift structure engineers will, according to CST deploy 3D printing to construct temporary buildings for those in need after natural disasters or armed conflict, something the world is in dire need of already. “3D printing will be able to print the parts needed to create small housing units, similar to trailers, in several hours or days, so that they can be assembled quickly for those in need,” CST says. Industrial designers and structural engineers could well train to become makeshift structure engineers.

5.       Algorithm bias auditor

Have an interest in computer science or data analytics? Well algorithms are quite likely your thing already! Already influencing much of our life already (think Spotify, Tinder, Netflix etc) algorithms are also now used in contemporary hiring processes, offering a more balanced and less biased way of recruiting. The world World Economic Forum, says “it’s a near certainty that when it comes to how they’re built, verification through audits will help ensure the future workforce is also the fair workforce.”

6.       Rewilder

Who wouldn’t want a title like this?  Rewilders are crucial for the environment and will work to transform unused mining regions or previous concrete jungles into a green belt for wildlife. Again, according to CST, “Rewilders will focus on undoing the blight of two centuries of industrial revolution, replacing aging factories and unneeded buildings, roads, and fences with forests and native species.” If you have an interest or a background in agriculture, wildlife management, and environmental science, this could be your job for the future.

7.       Human-machine teaming manager

Bringing together the future of robots and machines with the humans that deploy them, this role according to Cognizant, “will identify tasks, processes, systems, and experiences that can be upgraded by newly available technologies and imagine new approaches, skills, interactions, and constructs. You will define roles and responsibilities and set the rules for how machines and workers should coordinate to accomplish a task.” There’s possibilities for persons who have an interest or background in experimental psychology or neuroscience coupled with work in computer science, engineering or HR.

8.       Digital currency advisor

Digital currency is ‘touted’ to replace the fiat currency, supported by blockchain technology that provides more security, more speed in transfer and also, a more socially system – but not until government regulations catch up. Regardless, trillions of dollars has been invested in crypto coins that include Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum, and many others. “Digital currency advisors,” CST says, “specialize in these currencies and show people how to manage their wealth by using the right balance of systems.” If you have a background in accounting, data security, I.T or financial management, this career path could see you ride the biggest financial wave in history.

9.       Autonomous car mechanic

Yes, cars apparently will drive themselves in the future and there are autonomous cars already being worked on by companies such as Tesla and Hyundai. We also have hybrid cars, smart cars and EV’s so already mechanics are needing more computer skills than ever. An understanding of technology in automatic mechanics is going to be crucial moving forward.  Less monkey-wrenches, more diagnostic tools. If you have an interest or background in cars and technology – voila!

10.   Trash engineer (aka, Garbage designer)

We are literally drowning in our own trash and according to the United Nations, humans produce over 2 billion tons of garbage each year. There is literally nowhere else to put our trash and the overspill is overwhelming and for our environment, it’s catastrophic. To the rescue, Trash Engineers!  The Thrillist weighs in: “Garbage designers . . . will be charged with coming up with clever methods to upcycle trash on a large scale, and manufacturers of everything from toys to clothes to furniture will hire them to find more efficient ways to use and reuse their by-products.” If you’d like to help solve one of the world’s most crucial problems today, this could be a career path for you. A background or interest in materials science, environmentalism or industrial design will help you become this superhero.

And finally…

The good news is, the way we work in the future is set to also improve with signs of this ‘silent revolution’ happening now. Post-COVID has seen a reinventing of how we view our day-to-day lives or our work-life balance. The so called ‘mass resignation’ was inspired by people being forced to stop and smell the roses (or take up sourdough baking), stepping far away from the office and the congested traffic. With better technologies, this can only lead us further towards reshaping the way we work – for the better.

Skill360 provide a range of training courses and programs that can help you enter or enhance your career path – wherever that takes you! Visit www.skill360.com.au

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