In her book, Les Métiers du Futur (Jobs of the Future), published earlier this year, Isabelle Rouhan propels herself into the 2030s. The author believes that 85% of the jobs that we will have in 2030 do not exist yet. In an attempt to reveal what our future labor market will look like, she introduces us to new professions that will pop up in the next decade or so. The book recognizes that our society is going through major transformations, technology is constantly evolving, and our lifestyles and consumption patterns are following suit. That’s why some trades are disappearing while many others are expected to emerge over the next few years. Let’s fast forward to 2030 ourselves to get a clearer picture…
1. Neuroscience and the Neuro Manager
Approximately 100 billion neurons make up the human brain and neuroscience research is attempting to unravel all of its mysteries.
One of the most particularly interesting parts of the brain is the precuneus, located in the parietal lobe of the cerebral cortex, which determines our ability to be happy according to a study carried out in 2015 by Japanese researchers. Our brains apparently long for positive emotions, both at home and in the office. In the United States, some companies are already trying to introduce this exciting area of research to the way they operate in order to improve general employee well-being, but in the future, all managers could be guiding their teams with the help of neuroscience and emotional intelligence.
That’s why we can presume that in 2030, neuro managers could play a major role in employee welfare. They will implement managerial techniques that stem from neuroscience to help raise general morale and well-being among staff. Thanks to their understanding of the way the brain works, they will be able to introduce policies and procedures without causing too much emotional upheaval. In theory, to become a neuro manager, you would have to train in neuroscience and study the biology, psychology and chemistry of the brain, and then perfect your management skills to ensure the successful supervision of a team.
2. Robotics and Robot Monitors
According to the futurologist Ian Pearson, by 2048, there will be 9.4 billion robots performing some task or another on Earth. By 2030, we certainly won’t be far off that number: robots will be part of our home life and help us with difficult tasks at work. They will even be floating around our cities—25% of vehicles will be autonomous in 2030, according to research by transportation consultant Fehr & Peers— and Airbus and Boeing are already working on a prototype of a flying taxi. In theory, robots will be everywhere and we will almost definitely find it difficult to survive without them.
However, it will still take a while before they become completely self-sufficient. Robotics professionals have already warned us that a poorly configured or badly documented algorithm can have disastrous consequences, particularly in terms of discrimination. A robot feeds off its analyses and experiences to renew its configuration and make choices. So let’s just imagine an algorithm was in charge of recruitment: if it receives only applications from men for a period of time, it could come to the conclusion that male profiles are more suitable for certain positions and reject female applications. This actually happened at Amazon in 2014 when the company decided to test a new recruitment algorithm. This illustrates how robots, as programmed machines, are not without their flaws—and how worthwhile a career in robot monitoring could be.
This role will involve updating algorithms that make up the virtual brains of our new robot companions. Robot monitors will mainly work in laboratories, however they will also be on-site in companies such as Amazon and Google, which will need an army of these new generation counselors. Their role will be to make artificial intelligence robots autonomous, efficient and fair so they can cohabit with humans. They will need advanced skills: algorithmic writing and computer programming are the two fundamental disciplines that a robot monitor will have to master.
3. Cybersecurity and the Ethical Hacker
We pay little attention to cyber-attacks anymore, which still occur on a daily basis. For example, last year GitHub was the victim of the biggest DDoS attack of all time. A huge amount of requests were sent simultaneously to overwhelm the server, which could no longer process them. That’s just one example out of millions of virtual attacks that occur every year. The Online Trust Alliance estimates that there were more than 2m cyber-attacks last year that resulted in $45billion in losses, with actual numbers expected to be much higher because many incidents are never reported.
An increasing number of large companies are finally realizing how dangerous virtual attacks can be. Although there’s no obvious physical damage, a cyber-attack can be extremely expensive for a company. According to a recent study by Accenture Security and the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of a virtual attack is $13m and that number will continue to rise. Picture this: in 2030 the personal data business will be thriving. To avoid cyber-attacks, IT security departments in companies will have had to toughen up by setting up entire teams dedicated to risk prevention.
In 2030, ethical hackers might replace the computer scientists of the 2020s in the public administration sector and in private companies to deal with malicious hackers. An ethical hacker will always have to be one step ahead of cybercriminals and anticipate possible attacks by detecting any website flaws. As terrorists push the boundaries with new forms of cyber-attack, ethical hackers are highly unlikely to get bored. If this line of work already exists, it will definitely have an even more important place in society in 2030.
4. Health and the Digital Detox Therapist
In 2030, we are undoubtedly going to experience some sort of digital indigestion. Some of us will have become completely addicted to digital technology and others will be trying to walk away from it, but struggling to do so. If this is already a hot topic now, we can only imagine how bad it will be in 2030. According to a study conducted by Deloitte, in 2023 we will check our smartphones 65 times a day compared with 50 times in 2017. There is already evidence that this kind of addiction affects concentration levels, but we don’t yet know its long-term effects on our general well-being and mental health. Digital detox therapists will be needed to help the 2.0 addicts get clean.
Life will be far from dull for a digital detox therapist as patients come and go and waiting lists rocket. Their patients will be those who spend their days fidgeting on their machines at work, or those who are addicted to social media and can’t live without looking at their smartphone every 30 seconds. The digital detox therapist will have to deal with a generation that has forgotten what reality looks like. In the same way as a psychoanalyst, they will examine the emotional and mental processes that lead to addiction in order to help break the cycle.
Of course, many more new trades will come along, and a great deal of the ones we know now will evolve, and we will have to evolve with them. According to a study by Dell Technologies, today’s students will have had eight to 10 jobs by 2030. What is certain is that new technologies, as a whole, will be omnipresent in the trades of tomorrow. No sector of activity will be immune. The best advice to follow? Be flexible: anyone who is highly skilled, but only for a specific position, will have to adapt to the evolution.
Translated by Mildred Dauvin
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