By Ian Walker

The future is full of possibilities. But how do I choose? Illustration: Christopher Downes

The future is full of possibilities. But how do I choose? Illustration: Christopher Downes

FLYING planes and steering ships from an office, online “body-guarding” and helping protect against devastating disasters. These jobs could be your future.

Machines and robots are already building cars, driving trucks and even making pizzas, so the days where a human hand is always needed are gone.

Out with the old …

Australia’s peak scientific research organisation, the CSIRO, says 44 per cent of today’s jobs will be automated, computerised and robotised by 2030.

Mark McCrindle is a futurist, someone who researches lives and society to imagine what the future will look like, and he says machines and robots now drive vehicles, make things in some factories and pick some crops.

… and in with the new

“But we are using technology to create new jobs,” says Xanthe Smith, an analyst with Deloitte Access Economics which gives advice about money and public policy.

“Where once the only alternative to the bus or train was a taxi, Uber, which began what we call ride-sharing, now has over 12,000 drivers in Australia. “All those people have jobs because an app on our mobile phones lets us ask them for a ride in their car.”

More babies create new jobs

Cloud computing, social media and smartphones have also created jobs such as mobile app developers and social media managers, says Mr McCrindle.

Generation Z:

* Born 1995-2009

* 18 per cent of our population

* 9 per cent of today’s workers

* 31 per cent of workers in 10 years

* They’ll have 17 jobs in five industries in their life

* They’ll average three years and four months in each job

* They’ll spend 14,000 hours in school, university and college

Source: Mark McCrindle

“[But] record birth rates and more affluent parents are creating new childcare services and carer roles too,” he says.

Australia’s future

An accounting firm, KPMG, predicts that remote-controlled vehicle operators, big-data analysts, customer-experience experts, personalised preventive-health helpers and online chaperones will be big jobs in the future.

And with China moving from being poor to rich and needing more of our products and services, Ms Smith reckons farming, gas, tourism and education will be where most Australian jobs are found.

“As the world’s population continues to grow so will the demand for food,” she says. “We have lots of space where we can grow grains, fruit and vegetables and produce meat and fish.

“The world wants clean energy and we have lots of gas, and are going to need young Australians to train and work in areas such as science, engineering and construction.

“We think there are going to be lots of tourism jobs for young people working as tour guides, at hotels and even for airlines.

“And just like with tourism, more people in Asia can afford to come here to be educated and this will mean growth in the number of jobs teaching them.”

Pull up a chair

Driving trucks, planes and ships from the comfort of an office chair might sound a little out of this world, but with more and more vehicles with no crew (UVs, or uncrewed vehicles) this will be the future of drivers, pilots and captains. Drones, bomb-disposal robots and deep-sea searching submarines are examples of UVs. The army, navy, air force, police, emergency services, agriculture, construction, photography, mining and transport are all areas where remote-controlled vehicle operators will be needed. But people will have to keep watch over what they’re doing.

Source: KPMG

Life after school

Mr McCrindle thinks children today will have five careers and 17 jobs in their lifetime, meaning a job change about every three years.

“[To succeed] it’s important not just to focus on academic outcomes but on the people skills; not just the learning but on the ability to work well with others,” he says.

Ms Smith says skills with computers, IT (information technology) and the digital world will be vital.

“Knowing about these is going be useful no matter what job you pick,” she says.

Living the dream

Crinkling News asked kids around Australia: what would be your dream job when you grow up? And what is the job you think you’ll end up doing?

Lewis, 9, NSW

Lewis, 9, NSW

Lewis, nine, New South Wales

Dream job: scientist studying sea creatures

Actual job: rescuing marine animals

Reilly, 8, WA

Reilly, 8, WA

Reilly, eight, Western Australia

Dream job: rollercoaster ride operator

Actual job: dentist

Luke, 9, VIC

Luke, 9, VIC

Luke, nine, Victoria

Dream job: vet and saving animals and NBA player

Actual job: vet

Tom, 8, TAS

Tom, 8, TAS

Tom, eight, Tasmania

Dream job: dentist

Actual job: school teacher

Lilly, 10, SA

Lilly, 10, SA

Lilly, 10, South Australia

Dream job: working at the Costa Rica sloth sanctuary

Actual job: writer

Deepika, 7, WA

Deepika, 7, WA

Deepika, seven, Western Australia

Dream job: movie maker

Actual job: author

Daisy, 7, NSW

Daisy, 7, NSW

Daisy, seven, New South Wales Dream job: professional netball player for the NSW Swifts

Actual job: a very good person, probably a doctor

Angus, 11, NSW

Angus, 11, NSW

Angus, 11, New South Wales

Dream job: film writer and director

Actual job: accountant

Elsa, 10, SA

Elsa, 10, SA

Elsa, 10, South Australia

Dream job: zoologist or scientist who works with animals

Actual job: scientist

Reuben, 9, SA

Reuben, 9, SA

Reuben, nine, South Australia Dream job: car designer or mechanic

Actual job: car designer


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