Careers of the Future: 42 Professions of Tomorrow

By Teodor Teofilov

One-quarter of U.S. jobs are under the threat of being automated, especially the repetitive and boring ones, a recent study by the Brookings Institute, a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC, which conducts in-depth research that will lead to new ideas for solving problems facing society at the local, national and global level, has found.

The researchers found one-quarter of jobs in the U.S. are at “high-risk” of automation, since 70 percent or more of their tasks could be done by machines. Another 36 percent of jobs are at “medium-risk” as a machine could do between 30 and 70 percent of their tasks. Some 40 percent of jobs are at “low-risk”, with less than 30 percent of their tasks able to be performed by a robot.

With the constant innovation and major strides being made in technology, a large part of the U.S. and the world workforce will have retrain for new jobs that will arise — some of these new professions might seem odd. Cognizant, an American multinational corporation that provides IT services, including digital, technology, consulting, and operations services, predicts the jobs that will come about from the ones lost after automation takes over in a November 2017 and October 2018 report.

The reports are written as hypothetical job adverts and some do require quite a bit of imagination, while others are not far from our current reality. Below are the 42 jobs that they expect will arise in the near future.

Data Detective

Currently we leave vast amounts of data online and in the near future companies will need data detectives to go through it all and generate answers to business questions and make recommendations based on their findings. This will be done through investigating the data generated by the “Internet of Things end points, devices, sensors, biometric monitors, traditional computing infrastructure, next-gen fog, mesh, edge, neural capabilities.” The position isn’t hard to imagine as many businesses already spend time and money going through people’s data so that they can sell them products.

This position will allow people who are fans of TV series like CSI live their dream, without all that pesky blood that comes with crime scenes. Data detectives will have to identify and examine data sets from multiple sources, uncover new sources of data, mix, compare and analyze data sets from multiple data sources and write reports and present their findings to the company. The data detectives will provide businesses and organizations with data-driven insights on how to improve.

Bring your own IT Facilitator

This position is pretty much what it sounds like — an Uber-like IT person. In this position the focus will be to combine a company’s shadow-IT operations with its workplace strategy with the aim being to create an automated self-serve IT platform. Shadow-IT isn’t anything new — it is pretty much the use of hardware or software that is not supported by an organization’s central IT department. It is usually the result of impatient people wanting access to hardware (USB, smartphone etc.), software (Google Docs, Skype etc.) or a specific web service without taking the official steps to obtain it through the corporation itself.

Shadow-IT provides innovation in today’s world and it will be embraced by companies, which will have to create policies to oversee and monitor its acceptable use. The responsibilities for this position will include leading a shadow-IT steering group, educating employees on the benefits of shadow-IT and running innovation hackathons.

Ethical Sourcing Officer

Ethical sourcing officers (ESO) exist for when corporations decide they want to have their decisions guided based on what is ethical and not what is profitable. If a corporation decides to provide humane working conditions to its employees, the ESO will be in charge of touring all factories and monitoring and ensuring that every step of the process are in accordance with the decision made by the shareholders.

As an ESO a person will “maintain the ethical footprint” of a company by making sure indirect expenditures are in alignment with the values of the shareholders. To be successful the ESO will undertake research and head a team of analysts to gather, examine and provide the information for the successful implementation of the shareholders values.

Artificial Intelligence Business Development Manager

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Courtesy of Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

With the development and growth of the AI sector, this job is for someone at a hypothetical AI-driven computing service company. Although the position title might sound fancy, the job itself isn’t so. In the description of the job, Cognizant underlines that “there is one thing that AI cannot do and won’t be able to do for the foreseeable future — sell itself.”

The AI Business Development Manager will be a sales person, but for AI, because “selling AI (whether in its “raw” compute form or packaged into a business service) requires human input and effort.”

Master of Edge Computing

Currently, as we use cloud computing services, all data goes to massive centralized data centers owned by a few companies — Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and IBM. However, it’s far more efficient and practical to process data where it is collected. As GE Digital puts it, edge computing “refers to the computing infrastructure that exists close to the sources of data, for example, industrial machines (e.g. wind turbine, magnetic resonance (MR) scanner, undersea blowout preventers), industrial controllers such as SCADA systems, and time series databases aggregating data from a variety of equipment and sensors.”

The master of edge computing will be responsible for overhauling the current internet infrastructure of a company into a decentralized one that uses edge computing. This will be needed as it will increase the processing capabilities of the massive data volumes that a company will have.

Walker/Talker

The world population is ageing and most countries in the world are experiencing an increase in both the number and proportion of older people in their population. This is poised to become one of the most significant social transformations of our time and data from the World Population Prospects: the 2019 Revision, states that by 2050, one in six people will be over the age of 65 (16 percent), up from one in 11 in 2019 (9 percent). For the first time in history people over 65 outnumbered children under five in 2018.

As we live longer thanks to technology, in the near future there will be a need for senior citizens to talk to. The walker/talker job will be just that — talking to elderly in need of companionship, listening to them talk and taking the more mobile of them for a walk. This will be great for people that like to listen and interact with their fellow human beings.

Fitness Commitment Counselor

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Courtesy of Vidmir Raic from Pixabay

Since the 1980s, worldwide obesity has nearly doubled with just over 200 million adult men and just under 300 million adult women obese. In the U.S. alone, it is expected that nearly half of the population will be obese by 2030. In 2004 the World Health Organization adopted the “WHO Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health” and later the “Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases 2013-2020” in an attempt to halt the rise of obesity.

As a direct consequence from the problem of obesity the fitness commitment counselor position will emerge. Although we have a lot of technology to track and help with daily movement, such as fitbits, it still can’t go the full length as it can’t hold the wearer accountable for their health. In the future clients will not only wear an activity tracker, but also have a fitness commitment counselor to keep them motivated and on track to better health.

AI-Assisted Healthcare Technician

The growth of AI is expected to explode and its impact on society and the economy will be significant. Healthcare won’t escape the change as researchers are currently looking into ways that AI can be incorporated, such as a more effective way of diagnosing diseases. From this the AI-assisted healthcare technician position will arise, according to Cognizant.

This position is pretty much nursing updated. The skills required are the same health care skills but with an added tech savviness to deliver them remotely, using in-home testing equipment and tools to diagnose and treat ailments, which will allow doctors to support these technicians and handle the harder cases directly. It will also be possible to perform surgery with the help of AI, with no medical degree needed.

Cyber City Analyst

Rapid urbanization is leading to smarter cities that aim to improve the lives of citizens through technology. Such cities aren’t just a trend, they are the future because the world is becoming more urab with 68 percent of the population expected to live in cities by 2050, according to the UN. Worldwide, smart city technology spending was $80 billion in 2016, and is expected to grow to $135 billion by 2021, according to a report from the International Data Corporation.

As the number of smart cities increases, cyber city analysts will keep the tech up and running, much like electricians maintain the infrastructure of the power grid today. The data collected from the millions of sensors across such a city that keep the services working will need to be kept working and this is where the cyber city analyst comes in.

Genomic Portfolio Director

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Courtesy of mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

The future holds the marvels of gene-editing technologies and the use of Crispr, a gene-editing tool that holds enormous potential to accelerate life science research, improve biotechnology, and even treat diseases, will take off in the future as predicted by Cognizant. This will give rise to many companies that will use such technologies to create new medicines at incredible rates.

A genomic portfolio director is the executive that will lead such a company and decide on what products need to be created. The individual in this position will have the task to create a strategy to market the new creations to the consumers and will have to ensure that the company keeps its foot on the gas.

Man-Machine Teaming Manager

Even today there is a need for good collaboration between man and machine, especially in factories. In the future, when there is a higher number of robots has increased significantly there will be a need for someone to be a referee of sorts between the partnership of man and machine.

The teamin manager will have to figure out and combine the strengths of man (cognition, judgment, empathy, versatility, etc.) and machine (accuracy, endurance, computation, speed, etc.) to create the most productive worker team possible. Companies will be on the hunt for individuals that will be able to develop an “interaction system through which humans and machines mutually communicate their capabilities, goals, and intentions, and devising a task planning system for human-machine collaboration.”

Financial Wellness Coach

Keeping track of your finances is hard now, but in the future, when cash becomes obsolete and electronic currencies such as bitcoin rule and automated loans and micro-payments are normal, it will be even trickier. There will be a lot of potential for “money leakage” and the fee structures of this new system will be far too complicated for the average person to understand.

Financial wellness coaches will have to help people keep track of their digital transactions and make the most of their money. “In the face of increasingly digital finance transactions, many banking customers are too time-crunched to fully understand fee structures and optimal approaches to financial management,” states Cognizant.

Digital Tailor

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Courtesy of matham315 from Pixabay

E-commerce market was worth more than $500 billion in the U.S. in 2018 alone and are projected to surpass $735 billion by 2023. The traditional jobs aren’t going to disappear but will get a digital update and the digital tailor is just that.

According to Cognizant, companies will require digital tailors that will make use of cutting-edge technology to take customers’ measurements, the clothes will then be produced and the tailors will return for a final fitting to ensure lower return rates through selling customers perfectly fitting clothes.

Chief Trust Officer

The future holds immense interconnectivity between investors and companies will have no choice but to be fully transparent. Because of an increase of secret cryptocurrency transactions suspicion will be abundant and this is where the trust officer will step in.

These individuals will be responsible for clearing suspicion and showing investors that the money they are putting into the company is used with the utmost integrity. Companies will need individuals with “the combined financial and regulatory acumen needed to deal in traditional and cryptocurrencies, with the PR expertise to maintain a positive public image that upholds our organization’s financial and public integrity.”

Quantum Machine Learning Analyst

Companies are investing billions in quantum computing and the amount is expected to reach $5.8 billion globally by 2025, according to a report by Allied Market Research. The next step would be to integrate machine learning and quantum information. This will require a whole different type of analyst.

The quantum machine learning analyst will be responsible for combining these for better and faster solutions to real-world problems. The end goal of these analysts will be to create a system that can learn from data and this role will be suitable for the most highly skilled individuals.

Virtual Store Sherpa

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Courtesy of Jens P. Raak from Pixabay

With retail moving ever faster to being online, in the future it can be expected that it will be fully online, with real-life stores disappearing. To help customers pick out the best item they need, for example a new dining table, the virtual sherpa will connect to them through virtual reality and will talk to them about their needs, advise them on products and finally dispatch a robot to deliver the item decided on.

This is pretty much being a shop assistant in the future, just online. There sherpa will not need a specific degree for this and will just help customers get the product that they need.

Personal Data Broker

Companies like Facebook and Google make a lot of money from selling our personal information to companies. Cognizant imagines a future where you will have full control over your personal data, meaning that you can make money off of it.

The personal data broker will have a simple job — to make sure their customers receive money from the companies they sell their data to. The person in this position will monitor and trade personal data on a newly created data exchange.

Personal Memory Curator

Cognizant expects that advances in memory and other brain-related healthcare will lag behind the increased life expectancy of people. To decrease the stress of senior citizens from their longevity it will be necessary to use virtual reality to create worlds for them to inhabit.

The personal memory curator will use the experiences of people to create realistic simulations of their past. Curators will also be responsible for managing the “advance memory statement” before the onset of memory fail.

Augmented Reality Journey Builder

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Courtesy of Milan Herzog from Pixabay

The development of augmented reality will allow for greater entertainment experience for the population of the future. It will allow for immersive storytelling and world creation that a person can live through.

The augmenter reality journey builder will take customers on a journey, much like great authors do with their stories. This job will require the writing, designing and building the augmented reality experiences and most importantly the personalization of the next generation of stories.

Highway Controller

Many companies are developing AI cars and Cognizant believes that the future holds a fundamentally different infrastructure of both roads and air space. The regulation will be vastly different from the one currently in place and will necessitate someone to direct and manage it.

Highway controllers will take on this mantle and will have to monitor, regulate, plan and manipulate both air and road space by monitoring and programming the AI platforms that control the vehicles. This position can be equated to an air traffic controller, but on steroids with an added bonus of even greater stress levels.

Genetic Diversity Officer

Technological advancement in the future will change the meaning of an equal opportunity employer from making sure they have a diverse group of employees of ethnic, gender and sexual orientation to making sure there is a good mix of people who have been genetically enhanced and those who haven’t.

Data Trash Engineer

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Courtesy of Pexels from Pixabay

The theory that junk data is useless is a rather flawed one. Even if data hasn’t been used in the past year, it has the potential to be turned into useful insights. Just like trash can be recycled and used again, so can junk data.

The job of the data trash engineer will be to identify unused data, clean it up and feed it into machine-learning algorithms to find hidden insights by not only increasing how much data is collected, but also improving the data quality. The end goal is to transform trash into treasure.

Cyber Attack Agent

The evolution of war will move from the physical battlegrounds in to virtual ones. This is already happening with the election interference in the 2016 U.S. election and the 2015 Ukraine power outage.

Cyber agents won’t just be there to defend against outside attacks, but will also have to mount an offensive of their own. In this position you will have to develop and deliver strategic cyber offenses against enemy infrastructure and public and private sector systems. Cyber agents will need to have a “track record of cyber hacking, “grey-hat-focused” software development or distributed denial of service attack experience.”

Juvenile Cybercrime Rehabilitation Counsellor

Although cigarettes, alcohol and drugs will by no means disappear in the near future, the youth of that time will have a vastly different array of temptations compared to today. In the future, the easy money and seemingly victimless nature of cybercrime will attract a large number of youths into it.

Juvenile cybercrime rehabilitation counsellors will have to work closely with the young cyber offenders to help rehabilitate them. A counsellor will have to first understand the cyber talents and then direct them toward digital roles that will make the most use of their talents.

Voice UX Designer

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Courtesy of yangjiepsy01 from Pixabay

Siri, Alexa and Google Home might be serviceable, but they lack the colour and creativity of human conversation. There is a lot of room for improvement and with the development of AI voice platforms in the future it will be up to the voice UX designers to tailor an optimal dialect for the customer.

Cognizant believes that in the near future linguists will be much sought after in order to provide a very personal AI voice platform. If voice interfaces reflect a person’s dialect and individual speech traits it will be more effective and as such voice UX designers will be needed.

Joy Adjutant

Even today there is an increased in the minimalist approach in the world, such as the Tiny Homes movement. In the future this will be gaining even more popularity, as people decrease the number of things they have as they are figuratively “drowning” in them.

The joy adjutants will have a simple mission — to help people make good decisions about objects that bring happiness to their lives. They will also help customers declutter and organize, by figuring out where to start when sorting out items.

Head of Business Behaviour

The widespread adoption of sensors and biometric technology in the workplace will allow for the understanding of the behaviour of employees. However, this will be a very challenging and complex landscape as there will be vast amounts of data, such as performance data, emotional data and interaction data.

Making use of all this data, the head of business behaviour will analyse it and create strategies that will improve employee engagement, productivity, well-being and workplace happiness. This position will also require a vigilant oversight of the privacy and ethical concerns around the collection of behavioral data and preserve the employees’ trust.

Smart Home Design Managers

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Courtesy of Pixaline from Pixabay

Smart homes are already becoming a reality as they can be environmentally friendly, provide better security and safety, handle regular household tasks and provide a more entertaining home. In the future smart homes will become the norm and will require design managers.

Smart home design managers will work closely with architects, engineers and clients to “design connected homes that cocoon inhabitants in a fully and seamlessly connected environment, using the latest integrated technology in an aesthetically and environmentally friendly manner.” They will have to be on top of the latest technological trends and find original ways to integrate technology with both traditional and contemporary styles.

Algorithm Bias Auditor

With the expected increase of AI use in businesses, it will be essential to ensure that the algorithms driving the AI are fair, legal and representative of the values of companies. Even today many of the biggest companies, such as Amazon and Google, rely on algorithms.

The algorithm bias auditor will have to conduct a methodological and rigorous review new and existing apps and systems within the organization and establish an inventory system that logs and tracks each algorithm, its objectives, its input and output, related human value judgments and consequences. The position will also require the establishment of guidelines and compliance methodologies that can easily be understood and followed by employees in an organization.

Uni4Life Coordinator

Cognizant believes that in the future universities will offer their alumni the possibility of lifelong learning. Coordinators will be needed to guide learners toward the best, most relevant programs for their individual needs and help them choose how to learn by offering personal advice and ensuring their learning plans are the perfect fit for them.

This position will also involve the use of a tool to collect data on lifelong learners to build an up-to-date learning profile and use predictive algorithms to make recommendations based on employment and skills data.

Cyber Calamity Forecaster

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Courtesy of Colin Behrens from Pixabay

As it is important to know whether you will need an umbrella tomorrow through your weather forecast, it will be increasingly important to understand and predict cyber conditions in the future. Governments, industries, societies and individuals will need to protect themselves and become more resilient.

A cyber calamity forecaster will have to monitor, detect and forecast cyber threats and predict what their impact will be. Forecasters will also have to accurately map cyber uncertainties, make predictions to prepare for their occurrence and be able to distinguish between highly improbable and wildly impossible cyber outliers.

Esports Arena Builder

The explosive growth of Esports won’t be stopping anytime soon and the global games market is expected to generate $152.1 Billion in 2019. This means that Esports will grow and with competitions already filling arenas, especially in South Korea, esports fans will want to watch their favorite player or team live.

Design-and-build construction managers will be necessary to define all tasks needed for the build-out of esports arenas. They will have to be able to scope and manage more specialised operational roles, such as: “contracts for laying down the latest in innovative “smart” foundations; installing miles of specialty cables; erecting immersive cage gaming structures; installing lighting and cutting-edge electrical systems and building locations; designing biometric AR/VR displays (including haptic feedback); and massive state-of-the-art high definition screens that can expand or contract depending on crowd size, cultivating capacity driven intimacy.”

Tidewater Architect

The warming of the world is a fact and climate change is threatening the world we live in. The expected rise of sea levels that will threaten every coastal city will have to be fought and the impact will need to be mitigated.

Tidewater architects will be responsible for the planning and execution of projects that work with nature — not against it. Excellence in hydro-engineering, civil engineering and architectural design derived from the principles of moats, floats, super-dikes and wetlands is essential to this role.

Virtual Identity Defender

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Courtesy of ar130405 from Pixabay

Advances in AI could soon make creating convincing fake audio and video – known as “deepfakes” – relatively easy. Making a person appear to say or do something they did not can take the war of disinformation to a whole new level. There is a need for ways to prevent this.

Virtual identity defenders will be capable of creating digital watermarks that can be authenticated and can prove the truth of something or someone and, conversely, signal an illegitimate intention in their absence.

Head of Machine Personality Design

Cognizant believes that the future of products, services and bots will be personalities that can establish a rapport with the consumers. This is where the head of machine personality design comes in. The person in this role will “inject the voice of the customer” into the machine personality brief, anywhere that the customer interfaces with a machine, product or service.

To do this, the head of machine personality design will use both quantitative and qualitative market analysis techniques. The role will also require the person to ensure a consistent branding experience across all automated points of contact and create an interface that has a personality.

Virtual Reality Arcade Manager

Virtual reality is expected to grow rapidly and VR arcades will be able to provide immersive, high-definition multiplayer experiences. This is pretty much the same as computer clubs that used to exist before PCs were in every home. Cognizant seems to believe that VR will become bigger than TV and from this the necessity for VR arcade managers will come about.

A VR arcade manager will manage the physical arcade and will liaise with the central VR software developers to make sure the latest and greatest VR experience is available and operational at all times.

Vertical Farm Consultant

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Courtesy of BrightAgrotech from Pixabay

Even today consumers want their food to be fresh and delivered quickly. In the future this will be even more pronounced and while demand increases and the increasingly unpredictable impact that climate change has on produce there will be a need for vertical farms to address the need for stable, localized farming with aeroponic systems that grow food in controlled environments, unhindered by the impacts of global warming, while using a fraction of the water required by traditional farms.

The vertical farming consultants will tend to these farms and advise communities on the best practices so people can eat healthier and source food locally. Consultants will work with community leaders and local governments to identify the optimal locations for farming sites within neighborhoods and train residents to operate the facility. Other responsibilities will be to create educational plans that advise people on the health benefits of plant-based diets and how best to prepare meals that meet their needs.

Machine Risk Officer

As AI becomes part of every part of our lives, it will present unknown challenges that will be more pressing and surprising to us. From biased and unexpected results to dangerous errors, the unintended actions of intelligent machines and how these errors could have an impact on a company will have to be addressed.

To address this, machine risk officers will have to manage the potential risks that can occur when intelligent machines fail. This position will also require the establishment of human-machine trust and will have to also protect a company’s brand, reputation and finances by considering machine ethics issues.

Subscription Management Specialist

Subscriptions play a large role today and in the future it can be expected that it will be even more impactful. From companies like the Dollar Shave Club, which delivers monthly supplies of razors and other personal grooming products, to HelloFresh that delivers healthy recipes along with pre-measured ingredients every week, many more companies will be present in the years to come.

This will require a subscription management specialist to construct a framework of linked subscriptions to establish and “advance customer familiarity, loyalty and a direct sales channel.” This position will be twofold — to investigate the “most suitable subscriptions for acquiring new customers, increasing the value of existing customers and reducing customer churn, while also undertaking micro-subscription service development by exploring opportunities to partner and develop a suite of micro-payment options for customers.”

Flying Car Developer

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Courtesy of Skye Studios from Unsplash

Terrafugia, a Chinese-owned corporation, based in Woburn, MA, U.S., is currently developing a flying car that is supposed to go on sale in the U.S. this year. The future of the skies being filled with flying cars piloted by everyday citizens is slowly coming closer to fruition. Cognizant believes that this becoming a reality is close and the world will need aerospace and car engineers to make these vehicles a reality for the masses.

People with experience in engineering, software development, aeronautics, battery technologies, materials development and many other positions will be needed to assist in moving flying cars from the planning table to commercial development.

Haptic Interface Designer

A haptic interface is a system that allows people to interact with a computer through bodily sensations and movements. Haptics are a type of human-computer interaction technology that “encompasses tactile feedback or other bodily sensations to perform actions or processes on a computing device.”

A haptic interface designer will use new materials and the ability to program responsive textures to maximize the impact of outreach campaigns. The role will also require the identification of which wearable and touch-surface platforms work best to combine and advertise a brand, product or service.

Chief Purpose Planner

“Purpose” is expected by Cognizant to become the new commercial battleground and as such believes that people will be needed to conceive, shape and launch dedicated purpose journeys. In this role a person will help clients build, maintain, manage and smooth out their purpose in the minds of an increasingly crowded market.

As a chief purpose planner you will conceive, shape and launch dedicated purpose journeys for companies. It will also be required that you help clients define and articulate their contribution to society and their purpose for both customers and prospective employees.

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