Dad, when I grow up ..

I sat my two kids down this morning, and asked them what they wanted to be when they grew up, so in 2030.

Mia, who is nearly eight, has been quite consistent in her ambitions to be the combination of a zookeeper and vet, with a bit of global travelling with friends and funding these travels with stints as a lifeguard and working in national parks. Nature is clearly the draw card for her.

Oliver, who is six, wants to be able to study whatever subject at University that will enable him to invent the ‘JuniorTwo’. This, according to Oliver, will be a new type of Xbox that will know exactly what game you want to play by reading your mind and you will use your hands to control the game. Gamification here he comes.

The more I think about the future the more you realize that any association with technology and artificial intelligence will be keeping you busy in the future. However, it did get me wondering what will some of the future jobs be and what will not survive? Here are a few to consider:

Nostalgists / interior designers who will help the wealthy elderly design spaces that reflect their favorite decades. This career path combines the roles of therapist, historical researcher and interior designer.

Telesurgeons / specializing in performing surgeries on patients in far off locations. In addition to a degree in medicine, these surgeons will have backgrounds in robotics and telecommunication technology. (this one is already starting to happen)

Personal worker brand coaches / in the not too distant future digital distance will be attractive for companies opting for highly skilled freelancers over staff. The demand for these “on demand” workers will result in an increased need for individuals to brand themselves to set them apart from the competition. This consulting field is growing, and will continue to.

Rewilders / will help undo the damage that humans have caused to the countryside. This means tearing down fences or ripping apart roads and replacing them with forests and natural greenery. Kids interested in wildlife management, agriculture and environmental sciences will be great fits for this career. (this could be one for Mia)

Professional tribers / as more companies rely on on-demand workers, the role of a professional triber—a freelance professional that specializes in putting teams together for very specific projects—will be in demand. (now I like the sound of this role)

Garbage designers / These designers will make careers out of perfecting the art of upcycling. Upcycling is a way to use rubbish to create new, better quality items. They will see to it that upcycling attempts are efficient and successful. Examples, are already starting to appear.

Urban farmers / Small artisan farmers will continue to grow in numbers as urban farming becomes a small but significant part of the food chain. Individuals and companies will spring up to teach and assist amateur urban farmers to lead a healthier and more eco-conscious life.

End-of-life planners & therapists / By 2025, the World Health Organization predicts that 63% (63%, wow!) of the global population will live to over the age of 65, and some well past their centenary. As the average age continues to get older, end-of-life planning and therapy will become hot job sectors.

Simplicity experts / will find ways to help businesses streamline and simplify their day-to-day operations. They’ll be tasked with condensing, for example, three days of work to half an hour of work or reducing 15 administrative steps down to just three.

3-D printing design specialist / yes, there has been a boom in the manufacturing and prototyping industries for years around 3-D printing, yet the large majority of the consumer population seem to have little interest in learning to use them. An increasing number of people will come to appreciate the advantages of 3-D printing, which means they’ll hire people to design and print their own objects for them.

Virtual reality experience designer / Part of the expansion of the Internet of Things into our homes will involve the increasing use of virtual reality for both work and play. Offices could become obsolete (great, there goes my job) if you can just log in virtually from your home office and interact with your colleagues as if you were in the same room.

Neuro-implants technicians / It may sound like science fiction, but advances in neuro-technology are set to explode in the next decade. Luke Skywalker’s robotic hand, digital telepathy, and even downloading your mind to a computer, could soon come to be. All this means neuro-implant technology will be a hot growing career field.

Gamification designers / Games make excellent tools for helping people of all ages to learn new skills. The gamification designer will combine game logic with everyday activities, events, services and products to make the world a more playfully challenging place.

On the downside, here are some professions potentially on the chopping block by 2030:

  • Front-line military personnel will be replaced with robots (oh that will be fun, can’t wait)
  • Private bankers and wealth managers will be replaced with algorithms (imagine how boring The Wolf of Wall Street would be)
  • Lawyers, accountants, actuaries, and consulting engineers will be replaced with artificial intelligence (read my post ‘Elementary, my dear IBM Watson from last week, it is already starting to happen.)
  • Social media experts will become redundant. Simply, our familiarity with social media is becoming a basic job requirement across many industries. Experts are needed now, but the Gen Z’s know more than the experts already.

As I tell my kids, what is important is to do whatever makes you happy, and if you don’t get it right first time, change. Life is too short to not enjoy your work.

Thanks for reading,


(I have directly referenced a fair bit from the following great articles, click here and here.)

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