jobs of the future

posted January 12, 2010

by Ian Wylie
The Guardian, Saturday 9 January 2010

It’s January 2020. You’ve commuted to the office in your titanium flying car, to be greeted by a robotic receptionist. You travelate to your 3D, virtual, interactive desk which pours you a tall decaf and scans the morning’s to-do list on to your retina …

Or maybe not. Just as we’re still waiting for the paperless office to arrive, the workplace of the foreseeable future will probably still be open-plan, beige and soulless. But according to futurists, trade unionists and human resource specialists, there’s a strong chance that in 10 years’ time, your job will be very, very different. So, what better time than the start of a new decade to figure out which sectors, industries and jobs are destined for growth?

By 2020, the UK economy will be even more globalised. The transition from fossil fuels to alternative energy will be in full swing. Rapid development in China, India and elsewhere will place huge strain on resources.

The gaming generation will be middle-aged – and virtual services will be the basis for many jobs. There will still be real jobs to be had – but you may have to switch careers to find one.

“Start from the assumption that 2020 will look nothing like now,” says Stephanie Bird, director of HR capability at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

“We can’t ‘future-proof’ careers,” she says, “but we can ‘future-adapt’ them.” So strap yourself in for our glimpse of the future.

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