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21 jobs of the future: A guide to getting – and staying – employed over the next ten years

In this report, we propose 21 new jobs that will emerge over the next 10 years and will become cornerstones of the future of work. In producing this report, we imagined hundreds of jobs that could emerge within the major macroeconomic, political, demographic, societal, cultural, business and technology trends observable today, e.g., growing populations, aging populations, populism, environmentalism, migration, automation, arbitrage, quantum physics, AI, biotechnology, space exploration, cybersecurity, virtual reality. Among the jobs we considered, some seemed further out on the horizon and are not covered here: carbon farmers, 3-D printing engineers, avatar designers, cryptocurrency arbitrageurs, drone jockeys, human organ developers, teachers of English as a foreign language for robots, robot spa owners, algae farmers, autonomous fleet valets, Snapchat addiction therapists, urban vertical farmers and Hyperloop construction managers. These are jobs that younger generations may do in the further off future. Others that we considered are somewhat niche forms of employment – e.g., tattoo removal artist or e-gaming sportsman – that will employ only hundreds of people. Those jobs, while interesting, are not covered here. Similarly, jobs that are already well understood and well developed, and which are set to boom in the short-term future – e.g., cybersecurity developer, cloud computing programmer – are also not covered in this report. The 21 jobs we present here are those that we expect to become prominent in short order. Most importantly, we believe these jobs will create mass employment, providing work for the many people in offices, stores and factory floors displaced or disrupted by technology. Our 21 jobs of the future are positioned over a 10-year timeline and according to their “tech-centricity” (see diagram, next page). Each is presented in the form of a job description. They’re not science fiction – they’re jobs your HR department will have to fill before very long. Some are highly technical, while others won’t require much tech knowledge at all. (Some may insist that one day all jobs will be tech jobs, but we don’t agree, and that certainly won’t be the case in the next 10 years.) Work has been central to mankind for millennia. Our very names convey that fact: Baker, Brewer, Glover, Woodman, Wright, Mason, Judge, Weaver, Hunter, Dyer, Fisher. In the future, work will continue to be core to our identities, our nature, our dreams and our realities. But it won’t necessarily be the work we know or do now. Read on to examine the new jobs that will be central to the future. You never know, one day you might be doing one of them.