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15 Cool Jobs You Could Have in the Future

Drones and robots may be replacing humans in the workplace, but here are some great gigs you can look forward to in the coming years.

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Space tour guide

A 2016 special issue of the journal New Space claimed that we may be settling on the moon by 2022 at a cost of $10 billion. Jeffrey Manheimer, Co-Founder & COO of Tripping.com, says, “Wealthy, thrill-seeking tourists are already paying $20 million for a week in the International Space Station and an estimated $175 million for a SpaceX tour of the moon.” Future lunar tourists will want to learn about the moon from qualified space tour guides: Scientists and space colonizers who know the ins and outs of Earth’s natural satellite. Check out these unusual high-paying jobs that aren’t for everyone.

Control panel in ship with steering gearAlexey Seafarer/Shutterstock

Maritime Virtual Security Officer

Driverless cars are already here, and autonomous boats are next. According to a report by Rolls Royce, the British company is planning to launch its first remote-controlled, unmanned, ocean-going ship in 2030. With the possibility of ships being digitally operated comes the risk of these ships being hacked. Merit Valdsalu, CEO at StandByMate, says Virtual Security Officers will become key figures of the crew. “As 90 percent of the world’s trade is carried by sea, hacking autonomous cargo vessels might sound tempting to a new generation of pirates, who could cyber-attack vessels from their computers.”

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Digital removalist

Social media, viral posts, and the complexity of the Internet make it difficult to delete embarrassing public and private moments that make their way online. Jon Brodsky, a manager at finder.com, says Generation Z is growing up without the awareness of the consequences that can come from a regretful digital footprint. “As this generation starts to enter the workforce, digital removalists will be in high demand to erase anything incriminating that could impact their future opportunities.” Check out these things that will probably be illegal in the next 50 years.

RoboMikeDotta/Shutterstock

Robo coach

Robots are here. Many people believe that they’ll take over our jobs (and then us), but machine learning isn’t perfect. Even robots are going to need human teachers to train and guide them. These trainers can help them learn the basics, like walking and talking, or the complexity of human emotions like empathy. “Robo coaches can help robots analyze complex trends on social media, for example,” says Harrison Brady, Communications Specialist at Frontier Communications. These will be the most in-demand jobs in the 2020s. 

Close up keyboard of a computer on focus at enter buttonimnoom/Shutterstock

Chief Automation Officer

Automated systems—from bill processing to mail sorting to automotive assembly—are already becoming a vital piece of most businesses. Soon there will be even more demand for tech-savvy employees to oversee and update these systems. Ruben Vergara Meersohn, CEO & Founder of Wall Street International, says, “It’s likely the Chief Automation Officer (CAO) will become one of the most sought-after professionals to bridge the gap between business and IT processes.” Check out 5 jobs that will be extinct in the next decade.

The drone and photographer man hands , The drone with the professional camera takes pictures.Aunging/Shutterstock

Remote drone drivers and pilots

How cool would it be to deliver packages from the comfort of an office? That’s the way of the future with delivery drones and self-driving trucks. The transportation industry will likely see less need for truck drivers traveling hundreds of miles daily and a greater need for remote drone drivers and pilots. Zach Howard, Business Development Manager at Nonstop Brokerage Inc., says delivery drones will become standard technology, and delivery companies will soon need to employ and maintain an entire fleet of drones with skilled pilots who can navigate the futuristic delivery landscape.

Computer game controllersHappy Stock Photo/Shutterstock

Gamification Marketing Specialist

This future expert will need to make online interactions feel like a game. Wes Lieser, Practice Director of Demand Generation & Marketing Technology at Versique Executive Search, says the Internet changed the buying habits of consumers these past 20 years, but it will have to work to keep future generations of customers. “Gamification isn’t just about keeping consumers engaged; it’s about keeping them entertained,” he says. The Gamification Marketing Specialist will help keep online buyers’ attention by making their experiences more playful and exciting. These might be cool future jobs, but we bet you never knew that these bizarre jobs existed in the past.

Amazed young woman touching the air during the VR experience. Horizontal studio shot.Mark Nazh/Shutterstock

Virtual reality programmer

The pricey headsets already exist—but the demand for virtual reality equipment is about to skyrocket. “All of the virtual reality and augmented reality adventures we will go on will require computer programmers and designers to create these new worlds,” says Andrew Selepak, PhD, a professor in the Department of Telecommunication at the University of Florida. “Since virtual reality is virtual, someone will have to create it, and more and more people will need to have the training and skills to deliver on the future.”

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Self-driving car mechanic

While some cars can already drive themselves, they won’t be able to repair themselves anytime soon. Syed Irfan Ajmal, growth marketing manager at ridesharing blog Ridester, says that thanks to the growth of ridesharing and unique technologies like autonomous cars, we should soon see the demand for driverless car mechanics soar. Take a hilarious look at what reporting car trouble will be like when driverless cars are the norm.

Rear view of two young people walking down the trail path on mountain. Young couple hiking with backpacks.Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

Local experiences guide

People anywhere can now share their rides using Uber and their homes through Airbnb. So, what’s next? Johannes Reck, CEO of GetYourGuide, says more travelers want “in-destination” experiences with locals, like walking tours, cooking classes, day trips, outdoor excursions, and more. This tourism market is expected to reach $183 billion by 2020, but today, it’s almost all still happening offline. According to Reck, “the first company to build a truly global marketplace for this diverse collection of ‘things to do’ won’t just be giving tourists a way to improve their vacations—it’ll be giving entrepreneurs with amazing cultural content a new platform for building and running businesses.”

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Alexa programmers

There’s no doubt the voice-control market will expand in the future, but Amazon’s cloud-based voice service is already here—and wildly popular. Margaret Groves from Engineered Process Improvement says there will be a huge demand in the coming years for Alexa programmers in every business to update phone applications, computer systems, operating programs, and more so that they function smoothly with Alexa. Check out 15 funny things to ask Alexa.

La Calahorra, Granada, Spain; Solar PanelsVibe Images/Shutterstock

Regenerative change officer

In the next few years, more companies are expected to look into how they can not only make money but also do the world some good while employing full-time staff. A profitability consultant for green and social entrepreneurship businesses, Shel Horowitz, says businesses will look at going beyond sustainability (keeping things the same) and into “regenerativity” (making things better). These regenerative change officers will assist in developing and marketing profitable products and services that turn “hunger and poverty into sufficiency, war into peace, and catastrophic climate change into planetary balance,” according to Horowitz’s site.

TreesEkaterina Kondratova/Shutterstock

Rewilders

No one wants to wave goodbye to our beautiful ecosystems. To save Mother Nature, someone will need to reverse the damage humans have done to the environment. Through the Jobs of 2030 project, the Canadian Scholarship Trust Plan predicts we will need rewilders to undo the destruction to the countryside caused by people, factories, cars, and intensive one-crop farming. These workers will be responsible for removing fences to restore flight paths for birds, replacing roads with forests, and reintroducing native species. Here are 12 weird jobs you didn’t know you could apply for.

Electronic circuit board with processor, close up.Volodymyr Krasyuk/Shutterstock

Cybersecurity threat attribution specialist

Online threats are only getting more and more sophisticated as technology continues to advance. Kayne McGladrey, Director of Security and Information Technology at Pensar Development, says organizations will need to study the tools, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) of each cyber-attacker in order to build a defensive strategy to contain them. “The role of the threat attribution specialist will be to find the common elements across various types of digital threats,” he says, and then to figure out whether it’s a known hacker or a new threat, and finally to inform the organization’s security operations center on how best to defend against future attacks.

Testing human blood. Skilled afro-american biologist conducting a test and wearing glassesDmytro Zinkevych/Shutterstock

Life extension technician

Even today, we’re constantly hunting for ways to look and feel younger. In 50 to 100 years, you may actually be able to hire someone to prolong your youth—and your life! Ira Pastor, CEO of life sciences company Bioquark Inc., says that progress in bio-medicine will allow us to control a majority of chronic degenerative diseases and reverse brain death caused by injury. He says we will likely “see lifespans in the 150-year to 200-plus-year range, with substantial health span extensions, hence the period of time you will be youthful will be as long, if not longer, than current lifespans.” Next, get a look at the ways a healthy life will look and feel different in 2020.

Noelia Trujillo
I have seven years experience in both print and online communications and currently work as a Media and Promotions Officer at a regional not-for-profit in New South Wales, Australia, where I manage the public relations, social media, marketing, advertising, promotions and digital design. I am also a freelance writer, editor and translator (Spanish/English). My work has appeared on WomansDay.com, Redbook.com, TheHipPocket.com.au and GQ Australia.