There’s no doubt about it, the future of work, digital skills gap and the role of automation are dominating the headlines. There is a constant drumbeat of conversation surrounding flexible working trends, the demand for highly skilled workers, and doubt around the security of our jobs in the future.
With technology evolving at a tremendous pace, the UK is in the midst of a digital skills crisis (which is reportedly costing the country £6.3 billion every year) as we’re not training talent at the same rate that technology is evolving.
Due to this skills shortfall, the country needs to attract more tech talent, or better train and equip workers with the skills that are needed. Just recently a group of students became the first to graduate with a masters degree in data centre leadership, and MIT revealed it is committing $1 billion to make AI part of every graduate’s education. Whilst these efforts to train students and commit to better education won’t close the digital skills gap by themselves, they both are steps in the right direction.
In addition to addressing the skills gap through committing to better education, digital transformation is also opening up a range of new job possibilities for the future generation. I want to delve into the future of work and explore three of the most interesting jobs on the horizon.
Space Tour Guide
I’m sure plenty of us have done it: hopped on a tour bus around a city, be it in the UK or abroad, and soaked up the history. Well, who’s to say we won’t be able to do the same in space in the future? The space industry is becoming commercialised, and it’s estimated that 120 venture capital firms invested over $3.9 billion in private space enterprises last year. Richard Branson even stated recently that Virgin Galactic is ‘weeks not months’ away from reaching space. So once Branson’s passengers leave the atmosphere, they’re going to need a tour guide, right? That’s pretty much the premise of a space tour guide, someone with a vast knowledge of the universe accompanying a group of high-paying tourists in a rocket to outer space, for a quick non-stop tour of the galaxy.
Flying Car Engineer
When I was little, I used to think flying cars were a thing of the very distant future. They belonged in a world where people could fly alongside them, and smell-a-vision was a thing. Whilst the latter two may be a long way from existing, flying cars may not be –the first is set to go on sale next month. The cars will be able to fly at a maximum altitude of 10,000 feet and will have a cruising speed of 322 km/h, along with a 805 km flight range. Just like normal land-based cars, they’re bound to break down, so will therefore need engineers trained in repairing crucial safety equipment such as parachute systems, for instance.
Body Part Creator
Despite this job sounding like the career choice for the main character in a horror film, it’s actually a job which could help to save countless lives in the future. The medical industry continues to make vast progressions thanks to technology, with organ transplantation being just one aspect of it. However, if people aren’t signed up to the donor register, others in need go without. Technology is stepping in once again as researchers have taken the first steps to creating artificial body parts from recipient cells, meaning there would also never be an issue with rejection. A trachea, jawbone and bladder have all been manufactured already, and it’s expected that once researchers have mastered this, they’ll be able to create ‘cyber-organs’ which can monitor their working status over time.
All these jobs are significant in their own way, and each of them mark a milestone in technological advancement. Of course this is just a snapshot of the career paths our great, great, great grandchildren could follow, and I for one am excited to see where technology can take us.