It’s widely agreed that our present 5 year olds will have many careers once they have left school – and that many of these are not yet invented. For those of use trying to drag the education system into the 21st century, this is an exciting but challenging notion. While I am in no way suggesting that the sole function of education is to train for employment, I do recognise a need to prepare our young people for a world in which ‘death and taxes’ are the only certainties.

So I was interested in a report,  commissioned as part of the Science: [So what? So everything] campaign, which highlights examples of the kinds of jobs, careers and professions that could result from advances in science and technology in the period from 2010 to 2030. 

I quite fancied the first 2 and realised I would have urgent need of the 3 others (of 20) that were suggested.

Avatar manager/devotees/virtual teachers Intelligent avatars or computer characters could be used to support or even replace teachers in the classroom. The devotee is the human that makes sure the avatar and the student are properly matched. 

Social ‘networking’ worker We may need social workers for people who may be traumatised or marginalised by social networking.

Memory augmentation surgeon Surgeons could add extra memory to people who want to increase their memory and to help those who have been over-exposed to information and need more memory to store it. 

‘New science’ ethicist As scientific advances speed up in areas like cloning, we may need a new breed of ethicist who understands the science and helps society make choices about what developments to allow. It won’t be a question of can we, but should we? 

Old age wellness manager/consultant We will need specialists to help manage the health and personal needs of an aging population. They will be able to use a range of new emerging medical, drug, prosthetic, mental health, natural and fitness treatments.


 

I definitely plan to be like the woman above. I’ll start practising now.


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