Imagine me wanting to be able to draw? I love art and appreciate it; I don’t think that I had gone to a country without visiting its art centres and museums. But can I draw? Well in the future I will be able to draw, there will be equipment that is fixed to my brain (like an AI machine) and I will think of what I want to draw and the AI will draw it for me. Then I can ask it to change here and there, but will it be a masterpiece? Who knows. This is now being developed by Elon Musk’s cofounded companies OpenAI and Neuralink that will do a great deal of work on linking the brain to AI. This is the subject of this chapter. Future jobs or the future of the jobs.
Before we embark on the jobs of the future, lets first consider what we have to have as basic skills. We need STEM courses (or STEAM), these are science, technology engineering, Art and Math. Everything that needs to be done in the future requires the complete knowledge of these subjects.
Secondly, we need to have basic skills, OECD had lists some basic skills that are merited to be the most important for us to live in any century when it comes to 2030 and beyond, I feel these are going to continue as is, plus some more to be added:
- Critical thinking,
- Decision making,
- Information literacy,
- Research and inquiry,
- Media literacy,
- Digital citizenship,
- Information and communications technology operations and
- Flexibility and adaptability,
- Initiative and self-direction,
- Leadership and responsibility.
There are few more skills such as people’s skills and knowledge in various fields or interdisciplinary, you also need to know how to do research and search for information on the internet. It’s not enough to study to be a space pilot for example if you don’t know how to deal with people or the geography of earth and space. You may even need to study some history or poetry, as believe me it will be too hard to fly that space ship for that length of time if you do not have something to ponder upon.
Future jobs lie mainly in technology and how to manipulate it. You will need to know that AI (artificial intelligence) is the future, and instead of hoping to be a doctor, be a genetics scientist. Instead of wanting to be a pilot, be a space pilot, instead of wanting to be an electrical engineer, be an alternative energy engineer. Most of our homes will be built by 3D printers, so there goes the job of the civil engineer, and if you are hoping to be a teacher, than you may need to think twice as most of the courses will be online and you can just register to study them (MOOCs and Cursera has more than a million courses from top universities that you can study and then most probably get a degree in them).
Had we ever thought that newspapers will disappear? Well it’s going to disappear very soon, and most newspapers are not printed anymore, they are applications online. A journalist job can disappear too, as all of us have twitter and other social media, so the newspapers may pay us to tweet about any happenings in our areas or about a football match, or about discovery or anything that we can report on.
Robotics is the programme for the future, it will be applied in every walks of life, at home, in the car, in the factory, in accounting, in libraries, in banks, basically anywhere you can think of where a job can be done without human intervention will be done by a robot. So what do we study for this? Maybe we need industrial psychology? Of course, we will need to know how to programme, but if you are very skilled in mathematics (which I am sure you would be) then building robots and computer applications will not be that hard for you. For this to succeed we need to ensure the security of information, thus information/cyber security will be an important major to think about.
Don’t forget that our world will be linked, however, we still have many languages, and don’t tell me that knowledge of Arabic and English suffices? It doesn’t, you will need Chinese, Indian, German, French, and any other language. The good thing here is that you can learn languages alongside your university studies. Be perfect in them, and see the world that will open to you.
Also don’t forget that even though satellites are taking most of the photographs around the world, but photography, videography and the creative industry like film making, animations, web design, graphic design and almost all of the creative industry will still be there. We may use a robot to do some of the salient jobs, by linking it to our brain, but creative media need us. Thus these jobs will continue to exist.
Creative writing industry will continue to exist, maybe less printing will happen, maybe a capsule will be created and inserted in our brain chip so we can read the book while we are driving or sleeping; sorry, I didn’t mean driving as all cars will be driverless.
You can write to me and tell me what you think, or debate this article, as nothing is sacrosanct, and nothing is cast in stone.