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Graduates must future-proof their skills for the tech jobs of the future

Posted by Emma Sandham on 11th August 2016

‘When I grow up I want to be a space tour guide’ reads a newspaper headline, which of course grabbed my attention immediately because, well, who doesn’t want to become a space tour guide? It seems that the technology jobs of the future are already grabbing the attention of experts for tomorrow’s graduates. However, in this country we have a rising number of students who are concerned that their choice of studies now will not be fit for purpose when future bold technology emerges. A report titled Tomorrow’s Jobs, produced by Microsoft and The Future Laboratory, found that two thirds of students believe their chosen careers will no longer exist because of new technology in 10 years’ time.

With potential careers in the pipeline such as ‘virtual habitat designer’, ‘ethical technology advocate’, ‘IoT (internet of things) data creative’, ‘freelance biohacker’ and of course, ‘space tour guide’, multi-skill-based degrees are going to be an absolute must for the next generation. They all sound — well — futuristic and pretty sci-fi to say the least, but experts are assuring that we may one day need to transfer our skills to be better prepared for these industries. Artificial intelligence (AI) is at the forefront of this rapid-paced job market, which situates these seemingly fictional careers into plausible options considering how far AI has developed in recent years.

After recently graduating from university and starting a job in tech PR, I find myself firmly in this field — and hopefully one day my training will evolve to meet these future opportunities. However, if I ever did find myself looking for a job as a ‘virtual habitat designer’, I guess I would need to get myself a variety of qualifications in IT, design and architecture (and possibly some experience with VR technology!) — something very much presently available. Now that doesn’t sound too sci-fi does it?

Quite astonishingly, the research by Microsoft and The Future Laboratory explained that up to 65% of students currently in school will be training, learning and gaining qualifications for jobs that don’t even exist yet. So, if your children are having dreams of working in outer space, you may need to tell them to go for it! You could benefit rather nicely from their staff travel and space tour discount one day.

Photo credit.

Emma Sandham