Are the Jobs of the Near Future Beyond our Imaginings?

Greater automation will render whole classes of jobs irrelevant. But if your job involves creativity, imagination, innovation, thinking, experience and leadership, the future is bright for you.

What do you do at work all day?


Technology is changing so rapidly that the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics and other agencies are racing to keep up. To that end, they are seeking public input on what kinds of jobs should be included.

For instance, if you work in social media marketing, the government does not have a current classification for your job. And as more sectors of the economy continue to morph into the vast technology leviathan that is our information and knowledge economy, our jobs promise to only get weirder. 

As Lauren Weber notes, "many employers believe technology is changing so fast that the careers of even the near future are beyond our imaginings."

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What's the Big Idea?

Can we predict the jobs of the future?

One thing we know is that greater automation will render whole classes of jobs irrelevant. Those jobs tend to involve repetitive activities that a robot could do much better than a human. 

But someone has to tell the robots what to do, and that is why programming is one skill that promises to only grow in demand. "It seems to me that programming is quite possibly the last job that people on this planet will have," the Skype programmer Jaan Tallinn told Big Think

That may be true, but we have not quite reached the end times just yet. As Dr. Michio Kaku tells Big Think, robots can see perhaps 100 times better than you, but they don’t understand what they are seeing. That is why Kaku says "blue collar jobs that are non-repetitive requiring pattern recognition will thrive." Why will gardeners, construction workers and policeman continue to have jobs? Every garden is different. Every construction site is different. Solving a crime is non-repetitive work involving a high level of pattern recognition. 

So that is why if your job involves creativity, imagination, innovation, thinking, experience and leadership, the future is bright for you. Now go and explain to the government what exactly it is you do all day.

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