By 2030, you might be an “emotional experience expert”, a professional “sense-maker” or a “health and fitness optimiser”, according to a new Commonwealth Bank report on the future of Australian jobs. Great news if you want a title that sounds like it was CATCHPA generated.
If watching repeats of The Jetsons (set in 2000) has taught me anything, it’s that predicting the future is a risky game.
Yeah, they were pretty off.
But the Commonwealth Bank Jobs and Skills of the Future Report, written by futurist Ross Dawson (the analytic kind of futurist, not the fascist kind), takes some pretty educated guesses at where Aussies will be in 13 years.
First up: we don’t know exactly what we’ll be doing, duh. Start-up culture and ever-developing tech means lots of ‘DIGITAL DISRUPTION’, and it’s very hard to predict what disruption looks like. And yeah, a lot of jobs will become obsolete, but Ross reckons creative-focused jobs will prosper.
“Technology is forcing us to be more human,” says Ross. “If computers can do things then there are no jobs in that space. So what we need to focus on is those things that are distinctly human, what machines can’t do; creativity and imagination, relationships and empathy with other relations – and truly understanding a subject.”
This robot arm cannot love.
Based off current projections, that’s bad news for anyone in manufacturing, agriculture, wholesale trade or electricity, gas, water and waste services. Or basically anything that doesn’t rely on interpersonal skills or creative thinking.
“If you are just using technology without creativity or understanding people, then that’s something that technology will be able to do,” says Ross. “[For example], many of today’s programming jobs will be replaced by computers, because they are not deeply creative. Just because a job is technology-based doesn’t make it immune; arguably, it’s easier to be automated.”
So where will all the jobs be?
While retail might seem like a dying industry, Ross reckons non-robotic customer service will be highly valued, which is not a terrifying sentiment at all.
We’ll need plenty of “bionic interface designers” too, to build whatever insane tech we come up with.
“Sense-makers” will be a big thing too, which tbh sounds a lot like a manager. And with more data than ever before, we’ll need plenty of analysts to probe stats and numbers, which is no shocker.
The health industry is likely to get the biggest shake-up though, due to our obsession with wellness.
“There’s two aspects to it: one is that we have an ageing populations, and then there’s also an increasing expectation to be healthier, to be helped to lead healthier lives,” says Ross.
Essentially, expect tech-wiz PTs at the gym and a whole sub-set of people making you feel bad about your body. Cool!
This, but more tech.
You can read the whole report here, but if you’re feeling a little creeped out by impending utopia-tech state, Ross says we shouldn’t necessarily fear change.
“I think there are some very real dangers and risks in what it could do to society and our roles in working society,” says Ross.
“But I’ve become more optimistic in the past year: not because tech disruption is slowing; it’s growing, but I see more options for those things that make us human; collaborate, related to other people, and those are these things we’ll continue to value as society.”
Ross did not comment on the plausibility of Blade Runners becoming a career.
Image credit: Blade Runner 2049/Warner Bros