Future jobs in the making

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Chief productivity officer

A Chief Productivity Officer (CPO) is becoming a popular role for companies that need someone to oversee and ensure technology is boosting productivity. It’s all about making sure your company stays competitive and able to analyse data to make decisions. This can include using technology to hire new employees and managing software to make sure employees can collaborate effectively from different areas.

This will see employees in IT roles and Chief Information Officer positions transitioning into a CPO role instead.

The skills required for this role include data and project management and financial skills.

Chief Automation Officer

Companies are starting to realise they need to adapt as technology advances, which is why a Chief Automation Officer (CAO) is so important. Their role will be to keep up to date with technology to see how it will impact their business so the company can quickly adapt to these advancements, especially when it comes to automating jobs. They also look outside the company for new technologies to see how they can be introduced to automate tasks in a company to increase employee productivity.  

The CAO bridges the gap between the Chief Information Officer’s (CIO) and Chief Operating Officer’s roles by ensuring business and IT work together.  

Typically the skills required include having a background in business management and/or IT and strong communication, analytical and adaptability skills. 

Space tour guide

A 2016 special issue of the journal New Space claimed that we may be settling on the moon by 2022 at a cost of $10 billion. Jeffrey Manheimer, Co-Founder & COO of Tripping.com, says, “Wealthy, thrill-seeking tourists are already paying $20 million for a week in the International Space Station and an estimated $175 million for a SpaceX tour of the moon.” Future lunar tourists will want to learn about the moon from qualified space tour guides: Scientists and space colonizers who know the ins and outs of Earth’s natural satellite. Check out these unusual high-paying jobs that aren’t for everyone.

Drone Pilot

Drones are set to take over the workforce and the demand for drones – and drone pilots – are predicted to become a growing industry. Drones can be used to inspect machines, deliver products and packages, and measure stocks on large farms. Flying a drone isn’t just about navigating the controls – a drone pilot has to understand flying regulations, operation procedures and safety protocols. 

Drone pilots will need a variety of skills, including the ability to communicate with a diverse group of people (clients, employees and managers) and work well under pressure. 

Maritime Virtual Security Officer

We already have driverless cars, so it makes sense that driverless boats are set to follow. But the introduction of remote controlled boats that are operated digitally means there is a risk that ships can be hacked. Virtual Security Officers will become integral to maintaining the safety of the boat and preventing cyber attacks. 

A background in cyber security and IT would be integral for the role, and skills around working fast under pressure and adapting to changing conditions will be highly regarded. 

Remote drone drivers and pilots

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Digital Removalist

The rise in social media means everything you do is there for the world to see –  sometimes not by choice, and sometimes because we don’t think about the consequences until it is up online. As the next generation begins to enter the workforce, a digital removalist will be in popular demand to remove online content- ora person’s ‘digital footprint’ – that could jeopardize someone’s career. 

A digital removalist is almost like an online detective – tacking down a person’s online presence and removing anything embarrassing, controversial or harmful for their image. 

A digital removalist will have to be IT savvy understand how to deal with their clients.

Ethical Technology Advocate

It’s expected that machines, AI and robots will become the norm in the workforce, and whilst we will need specialists to engineer and maintain them, there is one future career that is often overlooked – an ethical technology advocate. They will be tasked with advising how humans and robots should and would interact with each other in the workplace. They will also be in charge of robot advocacy as ethical questions such as ‘should robots be decommissioned’’ and ‘should robots be paid’ become controversial topics.

Psychologists and teachers would find this an easy role to transition into as they bring the empathetic, problem solving and interpersonal skills that would help them in the job, as well as the ability to educate and inform others on unfamiliar issues.

Waste Engineer

Humans produce over 2 billion tonnes of garbage each year, so it’s no surprise we will eventually run out of space to put it all. Future waste engineers will be tasked with coming up with ways to recycle and upcycle trash so it could be used again and again in different ways – from toys to clothes to building materials.

People who work in materials science, engineering and industrial design would be able to transition into this new role, bringing with them the technical, creative and problem solving skills needed for it.

Virtual Reality Programmer

Virtual Reality (VR) already exists, but is steadily increasing in demand as we find new uses for it. From recruitment and training to gaming and therapy, the uses of VR are limitless. But we will need programmers and software engineers to actually create these different experiences.

Creatives and out-of-the-box thinkers, as well as software and engineer developers, will thrive in these careers. They will also have to adapt quickly as technology and market demand changes, and be able to learn quickly to keep up as programs continually update.


With the rise in dying ecosystems and concrete jungles, it is more important than ever that we begin to reverse the damage that has been done to earth since the start of the Industrial Revolution. Rewilders will be tasked with transforming man-made constructs into green areas, replacing old buildings and roads with new forests and native animals.

These rewilders will need to have a background in agriculture, wildlife management or environmental science, and the skills to work in a team to build a more sustainable future.

Digital Currency Advisor

Cryptocurrencies are fast becoming the new way to exchange and make money, so it makes sense that you would need a financial advisor who understands how digital currency works and how to use it safely.

These future roles will likely be filled by people who have a background in accounting, finance and data security.

Important skills would include attention to detail, moving in a fast paced environment and feeling digitally confident.

Medical mentor

A medical mentor isn’t quite like a doctor – whilst doctors might provide a diagnosis and medical advice, a medical mentor would provide medicine and medical professionals to reach out to. They would put more emphasis on the aftercare of a patient and linking patients with medical professionals and medicine which is not accessible in their own country.

You would need to have a medical background and a skillset focussed on empathy, and good listening, problem solving and communication skills.

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