All predictions have inaccuracies. Especially those related to technology and labor. It was predicted in 2005 that by 2020 the market would be overrun with nanotechnology and space workers, but instead today everyone needs SMM managers, data analysts, and programmers. Perhaps the next generation will generally work in jobs that have not yet been invented.

How the professions of the future are predicted

Any research begins with experts — scientists, politicians, businessmen, and specialists from different industries. They study the factors that affect the social and economic spheres of society in recent years. They pay particular attention to innovation and technological breakthroughs. It usually takes four to five years after a technology is released for the market to offer enough skilled workers. Therefore, those who already have the demanded skills can look forward to high salaries and attractive conditions.

Major labor market research is carried out every three to five years, after which conferences and forums are held. Each industry is discussed separately. At least one to two thousand people participate in these discussions. The goal is not only to collect scenarios for the development of society but also to determine the most likely ones.

Labor market trends

Experts from the World Economic Forum believe that by 2025 most companies will adopt the latest technologies in their work. Below are the specific innovations and the share of companies that are going to introduce them:

  • Encryption and cyber protection — 29%;
  • Robots — 10%;
  • Artificial intelligence — 8%;
  • Cloud computing — 17%.

Researchers predict that in the next decade information technologies and algorithms will be needed in all spheres, including humanities-related. Therefore, in the next five years, 97 million specialists from these industries will emerge.

Here are a few professions that will become popular by 2025-2030, according to forecasts by the World Economic Forum, Forbes, Business Insider, and RBC.

HI specialist

  • Duration of studies: 8-10 years
  • Best universities: Oxford University, University of Southern California, Harvard University, University of California Berkeley
  • Average salary in the USA: 84,058 USD/year
  • Where to work: France, South Korea, USA, Canada, Denmark

Health informatics specialists create software for medical equipment, work with big data, and structure medical information. They know medicine and information technology equally well. Typically, such specialists work in laboratories and research centers.

The population is growing faster than good doctors appear. Many third-world countries do not have access to quality health care. Life expectancy increases while chronic diseases remain. Experts believe that HI specialists can solve some of these problems. Technologies will reduce the time spent on treating complex diseases, automate the work of some doctors and make medicine more accessible.

Artificial Intelligence in medicine
Artificial Intelligence in medicine

Trend watcher

A specialist who monitors trends in the economy, politics, culture, and society. They provide detailed reports on how new dynamics are affecting business and consumer behavior. Companies need trend watchers to plan their marketing policies.

To become competitive in this field, you need to know foreign languages, economics, finance, and marketing. Trend watchers study the main players in the global market, their business models, and product concepts. Experts are sure that the best trend watchers will be employees with experience in consulting and digital marketing.

Bioengineer

Bioengineers grow tissues and organs, create new organisms, and develop instruments and equipment. Often they research drugs: insulin, human growth hormone, and nano vaccines. In recent years, such specialists have created artificial joints, cardiac stimulators, and heart-lung machines.

To become a bioengineer, you need to understand genetic engineering, biophysics, and computer technology. Prospective professionals complete their bachelor's degree in chemistry, biology, or physics, and then undergo additional training. They master molecular modeling, study the properties of proteins and the effect of nanoparticles on the body.

Data analyst

A data analyst collects, structures, and interprets data. Such specialists are needed in many companies, management, and science. It is time-consuming and expensive to introduce new products, so businessmen want to be sure they are not making the wrong decision. A data analyst can help with this. Experts believe that in any area where product and consumer data is stored, sooner or later there will be the need for a data analyst.

This profession is mastered not only at universities. Many online platforms offer courses in data analysis that anyone can sign up for. But for a data analyst, it is not enough to know mathematics and programming well. Such a person must have a good understanding of the business processes and the concept of the company in which they work. At the same time, most of the companies help young professionals to get comfortable and gain the necessary knowledge.

Urban ecologist

Urban ecologists build new cities safe for the environment. Experts are introducing biotechnology so that megacities become independent — create their own resources instead of taking them away from nature. Green cities have emerged in China, the United Arab Emirates, South Korea, and some European countries thanks to urban ecologists.

The profession combines urbanism, ecology, and architecture. The list of necessary subjects also includes statistics, international cooperation, and computer technology. Urban environmentalists often have to deal with the city administration, local residents, and environmental organizations. Therefore, work can be exhausting and stressful.

New ecological structures in urban areas
New ecological structures in urban areas

Urban ecologists' city project
Urban ecologists' city project

Project manager

The project manager takes the customer's idea and implements it. They monitor deadlines, assess project risks, keep track of the budget, and proof-check the results. The manager is fully responsible for the quality, team communication, and the generation of ideas.

Although full training does not take more than two years, the manager has to be well-versed in the field in which they work. They are familiar with the key processes and tools that are being used. A project manager can work on a project from the field of economics, logistics, art, and others. Therefore, in addition to the main specialty, you will have to quickly understand completely unfamiliar things. The profession can be mastered at a university and in online courses.

Specialist in AI and machine learning

This job belongs to the field of data science (not to be confused with data analyst). These specialists create artificial neural networks to automate processes, analyze trends, and develop products. There is no specific area of application — you can work in the field of health care, finance, urban planning, logistics, and others.

Unlike conventional programs, artificial intelligence does not work according to a strict algorithm. The programmer often has no idea how does the neural network make a decision. Therefore, their main goal is training. The specialist trains the program until it begins to give the most accurate result. Data science skills are acquired in special courses over one to two years.

Skills for the Future

New professions need new skills. Employers are looking for applicants with strong critical thinking, self-organization, effective communication, and a willingness to master new technologies.

  • Analytical thinking. A skill that allows you to recognize and solve complex problems. Analytical thinking helps you see the causality behind events, conduct research, and predict events. Analytical skills are often associated with critical thinking and the ability to analyze data.
  • Desire to learn. In a few years, 50% of employees will need to improve their qualifications or retrain completely. Usually, companies pay for training with enthusiasm. Employers believe investing in employee development is profitable. Therefore, the employee only needs the desire and ability to learn a lot.
  • Creativity and originality. Employers need employees who can look at the task from a non-standard point of view and come up with new ideas. Creativity is always about risk. To increase the creative skills that come in handy at work, experts advise to look for unusual connections between phenomena, ask more questions about the assignments, and observe how other employees work.
  • Use of technology. Today, for many jobs, knowledge of Excel, Word, and PowerPoint is sufficient, but the requirements will change in the future. Experts believe that soon applicants will need to know at least one programming language (for example, Python) and be able to analyze big data.
  • Stress tolerance. Being able to make informed decisions and act effectively during stressful situations is one of the key skills for 2025-2030. Employers understand that not only stress itself is dangerous, but also unhealthy methods used to suppress it (alcohol, smoking, overeating). The main ways to successfully fight stress are rest, a healthy diet, and support from friends and family.

Which professions will disappear

According to the World Economic Forum, by 2025, 85 million people will lose their jobs due to automation. In 2020, machines performed only 33% of work processes, but in five years this figure will reach 47%. At the same time, not everyone acknowledges these trends — in 2015, 40% of young people in Australia received a profession that will be partially automated by 2025[1].

What professions will robots replace

Most likely, a robot will not completely replace a person in any area. Artificial intelligence is not trying to crowd out workers and take their place. On the contrary, technology helps employees complete certain tasks faster and more efficiently — only repetitive or dangerous work is automated. Even if some complex operations are performed by artificial intelligence, a person will still have to accept and correct its work.

In this list, we have collected the professions, the demand for which has been falling in recent years. This means that jobs are being cut and some processes are being automated. Many professionals will have to undergo retraining or advanced training in order to maintain a place in the company.

Robot replacing fast-food employees
Robot replacing fast-food employees

Travel agent

Experts say that more and more people prefer a spontaneous vacation, rather than a well-planned one[2]. There is a scientific explanation for this — if a person makes a travel plan, then the brain perceives it as work. Therefore, we get more pleasure if we make an unexpected decision to leave[3]. The Internet offers an abundance of services that provide the client with the desired travel option for free and quickly. And the customer makes a purchase decision based on reviews, which are also published in the public domain.

But there will be exceptions. A travel agent is compared to a psychologist who empathizes and feels what the buyer needs at the moment. Moreover, people like to think that they are under the reliable protection of an expert who will save them money and time. Experienced travel agents know that it is impossible to prepare a high-quality tour on their own in two to three hours. It will take more than 20 hours to take into account all the nuances (which even the most complex program cannot do).

And yet, during a pandemic, it is difficult to make any predictions — it is not clear when people will again begin going on vacations to another country. Although even workers in the field agree that sooner or later this profession will transform. More companies will go online, the number of agencies will decrease, and there will be no room for low-skill specialists.

Courier

Before the next technological revolution happens and all cars become unmanned, couriers will change first. Robots and drones will replace humans. The developers believe that machines will be able to choose the optimal routes and complete the tasks faster than a person. In the near future, such machines will be lightweight robots with a maximum speed of 40 kilometers per hour.

This idea may seem unrealizable, but in 2020, a tech startup Nuro has already launched a robot that delivers products without human intervention. The mass launch of such machines, however, will require lengthy negotiations with the state administrations and will take a lot of red tape-cutting.

Another company, Starship Technologies, has launched compact robots that drive along the sidewalk next to pedestrians. Now they exist in several cities in the United States, but the developers have a long way of improving them ahead. Sometimes automated delivery vehicles bump into passers-by or animals, but this shortcoming will be corrected in the coming years.

Starship Technologies robot courier
Starship Technologies robot courier

Nuro robot automatic delivery
Nuro robot automatic delivery

Cooks in the fast-food industry

There is an 81% chance that employees in fast food chains will be replaced by robots[4]. This year already, the American chains White Castle and KFC are testing a robot chef. So far, machines have learned to make burgers, fries, and pizza. This will allow the companies’ outlets to operate 24/7 and allow employees to devote more time to disinfecting desks and ensuring safety during the pandemic.

Robot developers believe that automation frees people from hazardous and tedious work, rather than costing them their jobs. By the way, partial robotization will take place not only in fast food. The company Chowbotics has developed a salad robot Sally, that can cook 65 cups of salad a day when fully loaded. In California, hospitals and colleges have already bought about 200 units of Sally.

Accountant

Some researchers argue that the profession of an accountant is in danger of disappearing[5]. There is still no consensus on this matter. Most likely, only the work of low-skilled employees will get automated, whereas senior accountants will always be needed. Basic tasks (bank reconciliations, risk assessment, checking accounts) will be performed by artificial intelligence, and more responsible ones will be performed by humans.

But even if technologies can solve problems of increased complexity, the results of these calculations should be checked by an accountant. The specialists themselves believe that there is a lot of human element in their profession, which the program cannot cope with. In the work of an accountant, the role emotions play is very important. Clients often need support and confidence that they are served by a professional who can solve even the most complex problems.

Security guard and police officer

So far, the idea of ​​replacing guards or bodyguards with robots is questionable. A single mistake in the code can be very expensive, and past experiments to create the perfect machine for the job have been unsuccessful. But in the future, experts predict technologies that will make customers feel safe, even if they are not protected by a living person. Moreover, the robots don’t need either rest or medical insurance. This saves the company a lot of money.

Some believe that robots will be able to patrol the streets and guard critical facilities very soon. The American startup Knightscope has released its first models. They are 167 centimeters tall and weigh about 180 kilograms. The developers promise four built-in cameras that provide a 360-degree view, GPS, and an alarm system. The company reports that thanks to their robots, crimes in the area have decreased by 46%. However, not everything is so simple — the system sometimes makes mistakes. In 2017, such a robot voluntarily entered the fountain bowl of a business center in the United States and drowned itself.

Security robot in a business center fountain
Maybe it couldn't accept life with a dead-end job

Knightscope security robot
Knightscope security robot

What professions will never go away

  • Doctor. Robots help to carry out complex operations, structure data, or diagnose diseases using augmented and virtual reality. But in the medical profession, it is important to interact with the patient and give honest answers to health questions, sometimes ethically hard ones. This is especially important for health professionals in the field of mental health. Robots don’t have emotions or people’s skills, so they can’t become independent doctors.
  • Social worker. Such a specialist works with vulnerable groups (orphans, disabled people, retirees, victims of violence) who need support and sympathy. They do highly emotional work by empathizing and supporting clients. You can't teach a robot to do this either.
  • Professional sportsman. Already, championships between robots are being held, but they are not as spectacular as the usual ones. People love sports competitions for the emotions and empathy they invoke, and with machines, sports lose their zest.
  • Writer. Imagination and emotional experience play an important role in the writer’s profession. You have to constantly come up with something new, and you can't teach a robot to do that. The works made by a machine can only consist of combinations of extracts that were given to it for study.
  • Clergyman. Religion is not based on data or logical inferences. Its main component is sincere faith, empathy, and love. A person expects from a clergyman a deep conversation and connection with higher forces. And a robot cannot inspire, direct, or give spiritual advice.

How to choose a profession

If you decide to change your profession or are just choosing your first one, we advise you to read our article on career guidance. There you will find sites that will help you decide on the specialty, as well as common mistakes and tips.

Read more