Modern Australian Magazine

Future-proofing your career prospects

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As technology continues to advance at pace, there are many jobs and careers that are simply being replaced with technology. And the rate at which this is happening is, frankly, astounding. Artificial Intelligence, automation, digitization, and the internet are all partly responsible for accelerating this process. It has now got to a point where futurists are actively advising and predicting what jobs will still be in demand in ten- or 15-years’ time. The reality is that that is how fast things are changing that a decade is now a very long time.

Behind the scenes

Any job that is behind the scenes in the digital space is a good place to be. We specifically say behind the scenes because it is up front where the change is rapid. So, while social media might be big now with plenty of people employed as social media or community managers, the reality is that social media is changing quickly and may not even be relevant in ten years. But the technology that underpins it, and which will underpin whatever it is that replaces it, will not go away. So, assess your strengths and look to play to them. Do a course in programming, get some design qualifications or a diploma project management, would all be good ideas. The nice thing with all these jobs is that they are the technology, and no matter how it changes people who are part of these processes will be needed.

Leadership

While there are definitely areas of overlap, there are also major differences between leaders and managers. Futurists have pointed out that many management functions can be completed by computers or software, a situation that cannot be replicated with leadership skills. The message here is to work on your leadership skills so that you are able to get roles that require vision and courage and the ability to get people to buy into a dream. Roles that play to this are politicians, CEO’s, entrepreneurs and activists.

Sport

The sport continues to move from an area of amateur enjoyment to one of the highest paying areas in the world. Be it as a professional cricketer, football player, tennis ace or racing driver there is a desire to see top athletes performing at the limit. Sport is also very closely regulated to prevent abuses like drugs or technological assistance, so it goes without saying that big money will continue to be paid in the future to watch athletes perform – nobody wants to see robots duelling it out at the MCG in the Boxing Day Test.

Intuition cannot be replicated

As much as there is a lot to be said for big data and AI, intuition is something that simply cannot be replaced by machines. That gut feeling that so many people draw on in their day-to-day work will continue to be important. Investigative journalism and police work are things that fit into this category. And while machines like polygraphs may become more commonplace in this line of work, the ability to interview a suspect and ask the right question is something that will still be needed. Sometimes the list of suspects is simply too long to polygraph everyone.

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