Inventor: Until 1950, “inventor” was listed as an official occupation on the U.S. Census form. The job title will soon return as a new industrial revolution—fueled by advances in material science, robotics; 3-D printing; information technology; and nanotechnology—takes root and unleashes a wave of new (and practical) inventions.
Video-Book (Vook) editor: As electronic books and e-readers become more popular, a new generation of editors who are skilled at providing readers with information in multiple forms—text, graphics, video, etc—will be required.
Data analyst: The flood of new data which the world will soon experience due to the continued growth of sensors; RFID tags and video will create growing demand for individuals who can not only interpret and decipher this data but who can also display it in new and more meaningful visual formats.
Video game designer: As immersive video becomes more common in schools and businesses due to the continued growth of haptics; augmented reality; and virtual reality, a growing number of video game designers trained in these areas will be required.
Virtual nurse: Continued advances in video; real-time monitoring tools; and expanded bandwidth will make it possible to safely and effectively monitor patients from afar. As a result of increasing health care costs and an aging population, more healthcare providers will turn to “virtual nurses” to monitor patients until the services of an “on-location” healthcare professional are required.
Robot Technicians: As robots become ever more popular and people come to rely on them for everything from cleaning to companionship, they will increasingly become seen as part of the family. Therefore, unlike many consumer products, robots won’t simply be abandoned when a new model arrives. Instead, people will demand their existing robots be upgraded. This will require the services of trained technicians who can upgrade robots with the latest software and hardware.
Custom manufacturer: In the hands of creative individuals, continued advances in software; computer aided design (CAD) and rapid prototype manufacturing will lead to more individuals drawing their livelihood from designing and building custom-made products. Among the areas most impacted will be health care and the arts. Specially, bioengineers will soon learn how to design and build new organs (e.g. hearts, livers, kidneys); while artists will use the tools to create new products and new forms of jewelry and art.
Marine biologist: The incredible diversity of ocean is nowhere near being understood or appreciated. A new generation of marine biologists trained in everything from biomimicry to genomics will remedy this situation and apply many of the lessons of the ocean to problems back on land.
Fish farmer: The world’s growing population will continue to put pressure on fish supplies. In response, companies will turn to fish farms as a sustainable method for meeting this growing demand.
Change management consultant: As the pace of technology accelerates and knowledge becomes obsolete more quickly, the ability to unlearn will be just as critical as the ability to learn. In increasing numbers, organizations will call upon the services of professionals trained in helping people adjust to the notion of “continuing change.”