In 2030, some of the most popular jobs could be vertical farmer, space pilot or body part maker, according to a new report.
A new report (.pdf) commissioned by the U.K. government and conducted by Fast Future asked a select group of futurists and thinkers to list what science and technology jobs they think would be most popular by the year 2030 -- with consideration to advances and developments achieved between now and then.
The group came up with 110 roles, of which 20 were selected for the study. As you might expect, the results are quite interesting.
For example, computers and robots are expected to transform the fields of medicine and farming. In medicine, the invention of new limbs and organs will allow for a new job for sports teams and the military: body part maker.
On the microscopic level, "nanomedics" would allow selected scientists to treat cancer and other resistant diseases at the cellular level.
But that's not all. Here's the complete list of all 20, with summarized descriptions:
- Body part maker: Create living body parts for athletes and soldiers.
- Nano-medic: Nanotechnology advances mean sub-atomic treatments could transform healthcare.
- GM or recombinant farmer: That's "GM" as in "genetically modified" or engineered crops and livestock.
- Elderly wellness consultant: As an aging population increases in size, we'll need folks to tend to their physical and mental needs.
- Memory augmentation surgeon: Like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, surgeons could boost patients' memory when it hits capacity.
- 'New science' ethicist: With the rise of cloning and other ethically-dubious practices, ethicists will be needed to ford the river of progress.
- Space pilots, tour guides and architects: Space tourism will allow for space pilots, tour guides and the architects that will allow them to live in lunar outposts.
- Vertical farmers: The future of farming is straight up. Vertical farms in urban areas could significantly increase food supply.
- Climate change reversal specialist: Regardless of what you think about human-induced climate change, it's clear we'll need scientists who specialize in altering it.
- Quarantine enforcer: When a deadly virus spreads rapidly, quarantine enforcers will "guard the gates."
- Weather modification police: If weather patterns can be altered and adversely affect other parts of the world, law enforcement will be needed to keep things legal.
- Virtual lawyer: As international law grows to supercede national law, lawyers will be needed to handle cases that involve people living in several nations with different laws.
- Classroom avatar manager: Intelligent avatars will replace classroom teachers, but the human touch will be needed to properly match teacher to student.
- Alternative vehicle developers: Goodbye, internal combustion engine. Zero-emission cars will need smart people to design and manufacture them.
- Narrowcasters: As in, the opposite of "broadcaster." Media will grow increasingly personalized, and we'll need people to handle all those streams.
- Waste data handler: Think of it as an "IT axe man"... for information. Waste data handlers will destroy data for security purposes.
- Virtual clutter organizer: Now that your electronic life is more cluttered than your physical one, you'll need someone to clean things up -- including your e-mail, desktop and user accounts.
- Time broker/Time bank trader: What's more valuable than precious metals, stones or cold, hard cash? Your time.
- Social 'networking' worker: A social worker for the Web generation.
- Branding managers: These already exist for celebrities, but now everyone needs a "personal brand" so others can easily digest who you are and what you stand for.
For complete descriptions and resources, see the original site.
Here's Fast Future CEO Rohit Talwar discussing the study in a video:
One more interesting factoid: according to the study, people are now expected to have eight to 10 jobs in a lifetime, owing to the rapid acceleration of technological development.