Your Child's Job Doesn't Exist Yet

Get prepared for what the world of work might look like in 2034.

Back when I was sitting cross legged on carpet tiles, I wanted to be a fashion designer. The girl next to me wanted to be a Unicorn. There was no telling either of us.  

  

You'll have seen the hyped-up, fearmongering articles about how "all children want these days is to be Mr Beast," or "my child wants to be a twitch streamer and won't do any maths homework."  

  

Although this seems farfetched, you only have to look back a decade or so to realise that the tech landscape has become unrecognisable... and will continue to evolve before our eyes. Your children are, in all likelihood, studying for jobs that don't exist yet.  

  

So, what did tech look like ten years ago? And what jobs might we be working in a decade's time?  

  

Let's explore.  

  

  

  

What was going on 10 years ago? 

I know, I know - 2014 feels like last week. I hate to break it to you, but we're closer to 2030 than we are to the Solange and Jay Z elevator drama. 

  

In 2014, Apple released iOS 8 and unveiled the very first Apple Watch. Google went on a buying frenzy, snapping up the now ubiquitous "Nest". Ellen DeGeneres temporarily crashed Twitter by tweeting a selfie with Jennifer Laurence, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey, and more. Flappy Bird was the most popular app on the App Store.  

  

And in the world of enterprise technology, we were looking forward to:  

  

  • 3D printers - touted as as moving production focus away from delivery and towards design.  

  • Internet of Things (IoT) - in its infancy at this point, we were looking at the idea of "connecting everything". Your toaster was going to have an IP address. 

  • Mobile-first business apps - we wanted to track our workers and customers, using GPS and NFC in new ways. 

  • noSQL and relational databases - Hadoop was the most promising contender in the emerging realm of Big Data.  

  • X-as-a-Service - No, nothing to do with Mr Musk. The idea that cloud service delivery of just about everything was just beginning to spawn.  

  • The Quantified Enterprise - the idea that anything that can be measured, will be measured.  

  • MOOCs and Digital learning - we were expecting learns from the education sector to flow into the enterprise and business world. 

  • Open APIs - we were looking forward to an interconnected future, with more self-serve capability and flexibility. 

  • Social business - we were seeing hints that social media might be evolving into an advertising tool.  

  

Yeah. Take a minute to read back through those. Pretty bang on, right? 

  

(By the way, I got most of these from zdnet.com - Dion Hinchcliffe, I think you might be the modern day Oracle of Delphi. Scarily good prophetic accuracy. Read the full blog here: https://www.zdnet.com/article/the-enterprise-technologies-to-watch-in-2014/) 

  

What jobs didn’t exist ten years ago? 

As the vast majority of those technological innovations materialised, we saw the introduction of "new jobs"... that we now consider permanently established. Here are some of the most ubiquitous:  

  

Social Media Manager 

Can you believe it!? This job defines a generation of young millennials and Gen Z. At the start, many became defacto SMMs thanks to their generational proximity to social media. Although there remain stigmatic stereotypes around the job and its value, it's widely understood that a good Social Media Manager is the difference between growth and stagnation, particularly in B2C markets. See the success story that is Zaria Parvez, Duolingo's visionary social media manager responsible for the cultural icon that is the (overtly threatening) Green Owl.  

  

Cloud Engineer/Architect/Computing Specialist  

If you'd asked me what a Cloud specialist was in 2014, I would have probably (from beneath my emo fringe) muttered something about meteorology. Today, half of US businesses use cloud technology, and the demand for the role, at engineer, management, and strategist level is both essential and in-demand.  

  

Data Analyst/Scientist  

Yes, data analysts existed a decade ago. But the scope of the role is now vastly different thanks to the slow creep of Big Data and analytics becoming a core driver for success. Data Analysts in 2024 are required to collect, clean, and interpret huge data sets. They present this information in a way that answers specific questions, or solves business problems. Because data is so omnipresent and essential, data scientists and analysts are required to have a strong foundation in programming, querying, and dashboarding tools like Tableau or Power BI.  

  

  

What are the technology predictions for 2034? 

Now we have our background sorted, how can we apply what we know to the future? First stop: What technologies are expected to become omnipresent by 2034? The World Economic Forum is focusing on these: 

  

  • Process automation and virtualisation: Next-level automation and virtualisation could automate around half of all work activities, generating massive data through IoT devices. 

  • The future of connectivity: Faster 5G and IoT connections could boost global GDP by trillions by 2030, transforming various sectors like manufacturing and healthcare. 

  • Distributed infrastructure: Hybrid and multi-cloud platforms will enhance speed, agility, and cybersecurity for companies. 

  • Next-generation computing: Advancements like quantum AI and autonomous vehicles will revolutionise businesses, particularly in finance and logistics. 

  • Applied Artificial Intelligence (AI): AI will increasingly drive interactions with computers, though its full potential is yet to be harnessed by most companies. 

  • Future of programming: Software 2.0 driven by neural networks will lead to rapid scaling of AI-driven applications, transforming software development. 

  • Trust architecture: Trust architectures, such as blockchain, will combat cybercrime and reduce security costs while enabling efficient transactions. 

  • Bio Revolution: Advances in biology driven by AI and automation will impact industries from healthcare to consumer goods, necessitating ethical considerations and strategic planning. 

  • Next-generation materials: Materials like graphene and molybdenum disulfide will revolutionise various sectors with their exceptional properties, reshaping industry economics. 

  • Future of clean tech trends: Clean technologies, including renewable energy and energy-efficient solutions, will disrupt industries as costs decrease, requiring companies to adapt for sustainable growth. 

  

What jobs will exist in 2034? 

  

Over the next ten years there are already clear indications as to which "new" jobs are going to become most important. Although we joked about the influx of "AI experts" popping up on LinkedIn mere days after ChatGPT launched... new tech inevitably drags with it a whole host of questions. And someone, somewhere, will be setting up an online course offering to answer those questions for $99.  

  

As novel technology is adopted and formalised, the idea of an AI expert, or a VR architect, will become more fact than fiction. Here are some novel jobs we believe will be commonplace in a decade's time: 

  

Quantum Computing Specialist 

With the rise of next-generation computing, individuals specialising in quantum computing will be in high demand to develop, maintain, and optimise quantum computing systems for various industries. 

  

Trust Architect 

As trust architectures become essential in combating cybercrime and ensuring secure transactions, professionals specialising in designing, implementing, and managing trust architectures will emerge to safeguard digital assets and data integrity. 

  

Synthetic Biologist 

With the advancements in the bio revolution, synthetic biologists will play a crucial role in designing and creating custom biological systems, including gene therapies, personalised medicines, and genetically modified organisms for various applications in healthcare, agriculture, and beyond. 

  

AI Ethics Officer 

As artificial intelligence continues to advance, the need for ethical oversight and governance will grow. AI ethics officers will be responsible for ensuring that AI systems are developed and deployed responsibly, addressing concerns related to bias, fairness, transparency, and accountability. 

  

Clean-Tech Integration Specialist 

With the increasing adoption of clean technologies across industries, there will be a demand for professionals who specialise in integrating and optimising clean-tech solutions within existing infrastructure. These specialists will ensure seamless integration and maximise the efficiency of clean-energy systems, sustainable transportation solutions, and eco-friendly building technologies. 

  

What will you be doing in 2034?  

It’s not easy to predict the path our careers may take – in technology moving sideways, diagonally, or out of the box is more accessible as valuable skills evolve and technology shifts.  

2034 isn’t that far away, really. Get a head start today by checking out your next role.