Top 10 Jobs in 2030: Skills You Need Now to Land the Jobs of the Future

Posted a year ago
Top jobs in 2030 header

Do you remember what life was like before iPhones existed?

What about before Facebook?

The internet?

Probably not.

By 2025, we’ll lose over five million jobs to automation.

That means that future jobs will look vastly different by the time you graduate university.

Future jobs will involve knowledge creation and innovation. Machines will be freeing you up to explore, experiment and find interesting solutions to complex problems, like pollution.

Have a look at what engineering students at Northwestern University are doing. The Solar Car Team gets to design, build, and race cars, all while saving the environment!

Northwestern Solar Car Team  Hands-On Engineering

Future Skills

Although no one can accurately predict what jobs will look like in the future (which won’t stop me from trying!), there are seven skills that will be essential to your future success.

1. Mental Elasticity and Complex Problem Solving:

The future is going to bring about problems you've never seen before in a world you’ve never experienced. In order to solve these problems, you’ll need to have the mental flexibility to think outside of the box, see the big picture and rearrange things to find a solution. Luckily, this skill is highly developable and simply takes practice. The more difficult problems you tackle, the more bendy your brain will get!

2. Critical Thinking:

Technology may be able to automate many of the jobs that currently exist, but you probably wouldn't trust it to do your critical thinking for you; as such, your future career will require you to have excellent critical thinking skills. You’ll constantly need to be analysing various situations, considering multiple solutions and making decisions on the fly through logic and reasoning.

3. Creativity:

Worried about robots stealing your job? The more creative you are, the less likely you are to lose your job to a robot! While robots may be better than you at calculating and diagnosing problems, they aren’t very good at creating original content, thinking outside the box or being abstract. Yet.

4. People Skills:

Listen, machines are going to take over eventually and technology is going to get much more advanced, so us humans have to stick together! If you want to succeed in the future job market, you’ll need to learn how to manage and work with people (and robots), which includes getting in touch with your emotions, having empathy and listening,

5. STEM:

Even though science, technology, engineering and mathematics jobs are super hot right now, don’t expect them to go away in the future. As technology progresses, you’ll need to have more advanced STEM skills to keep up. Also, coding.

6. SMAC:

You’ve heard of STEM but you probably haven’t heard of SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud). Learning all of these skills/platforms will make you stand out in the future job market!

7. Interdisciplinary Knowledge:

Your future career will require you to pull information from many different fields to come up with creative solutions to future problems. This skill’s easy to work on as well. Start by reading as much as you can about anything and everything that interests you.

Jobs of the Future

Future jobs

Now that you know what skills will make you successful in the future, let’s take a look at some future jobs!

Disclaimer: All of these jobs do not currently exist and may never exist so please don’t blame me if you tell your parents that you want to be a trash engineer and they laugh in your face.

1. Trash Engineer

This may be the oddest future job but it’s by far one of the most impactful.

Humans produce 2.6 billion pounds of trash annually, and what do we do with it all?

Throw it in a landfill.

There is no way this practice is sustainable, so we’re going to have to think about something else to do with all of our rubbish.

In comes future you!

A world renowned trash engineer who’s solving the earth’s waste problems one wrapper at a time.

You could turn our rubbish into clean gas! Or figure out a way to make it combine to make it strong enough to construct buildings with!

The possibilities are endless but it’s up to you to come up with the award winning ideas.

Skills Needed: Strong STEM skills, critical thinking and mental elasticity.

Best Undergraduate Majors: Civil Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Trash Engineering

Top 3 Unis:

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Cambridge, Massachusetts (MIT)

MIT is the best school in the world for civil and chemical engineering. Although it doesn’t currently have a Trash Engineering program, it’ll probably be one of the first schools to implement the program.

QS World University Subject Ranking: #1 in Civil and Chemical Engineering

2. University of Cambridge: Cambridge, England

Cambridge is less likely to pioneer a Trash Engineering program (the school is pretty quite traditional) but you can definitely get a great engineering foundation at the uni and then start your own Trash Engineering business!

QS World University Subject Ranking: #2 in Civil Engineering and #4 in Chemical Engineering

3. Stanford University: Stanford, California

While MIT will definitely implement a Trash Engineering program (and maybe even start the whole movement), Stanford will bring it to the west coast and Silicon Valley will back it.

QS World University Subject Ranking: #2 in Chemical Engineering and #5 in Civil Engineering

2. Alternative Energy Consultant

People cannot survive on fossil fuel forever, so alternative energy sources are the only hope.

I’m sure you’ve heard of solar, wind and hydroelectric energy. The question is, which one is right for your home, your community and your city?

This is where an Alternative Energy Consultant comes in.

You’ll be an expert in all things energy and go from city to city around the world assessing the best sustainable energy source for each place.

Skills Needed: Strong STEM background, mental elasticity and people skills

Best Undergraduate Majors: Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Renewable Energy Engineering, Environmental Studies, Physics, Mechanical Engineering

Top 3 Unis:

1. Oregon Institute of Technology: Klamath Falls, Oregon

Oregon Institute of Technology is one of the only colleges in the US that offers a Bachelor’s degree in Renewable Energy Engineering!

QS World University Subject Rankings: N/A

2. University of Texas, Austin: Austin, Texas

As an engineering student at University of Texas, you have the option to participate in an Energy Systems and Renewable Energy "core" program that’ll teach you about both traditional and renewable energy resources, which will be crucial to your consulting career.

QS World University Subject Rankings: #34 in Environmental Science, #44 in Engineering and Technology

3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Cambridge, Massachusetts (MIT)

MIT offers an Energy Studies minor and understands the importance of energy across all fields, so it is actually a crucial part of your curriculum, regardless of your major. MIT also offers extensive summer research opportunities in the alternative energy field.

QS World University Subject Rankings: #1 in Engineering and Technology, #3 in Environmental Science

3. Earthquake Forecaster

With big earthquakes happening more frequently, someone’s going to have to come up with a way to accurately map the Earth’s core and figure out how to actually predict earthquakes with plenty of warning.

Skills Needed: Strong STEM background, critical thinking, and complex problem solving skills

Best Undergraduate Majors: Geoscience, Physics, Geophysics, Geology, Math, Computer Science

Top 3 Unis:

1. California Institute of Technology: Pasadena, California (CalTech)

CalTech’s Geological and Planetary Sciences (GPS) undergraduate program will give you a deep understanding of all things geology and planetary science related combined with a strong background in chemistry, physics, math and biology as well as hands-on experience in your field of interest.

QS World University Subject Rankings: #7 in Physics and Astronomy, #12 in Math, #27 in Computer Science

2. University of Colorado, Boulder: Boulder, Colorado

Boulder has two undergraduate geology programs, one that has to do with the broader aspects of geoscience and one that focuses on geophysics, namely the structure and processes of the Earth’s interior.

QS World University Subject Rankings: #51-100 in Physics and Astronomy, #101-150 in Math, #201-205 in Computer Science

3. ETH Zurich: Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich: Zurich, Switzerland

This Swiss program is both a geology and a geophysics major combined. You’ll graduate with a strong foundation in geology, mineralogy, geochemistry and geophysics. There’s also a Bachelor’s degree in Earth Science but it’s only available in German.

QS World University Subject Rankings: #8 in Maths, #9 in Computer Science, #10 in Physics and Astronomy

4. Medical Mentor

As machines and robots take over the medical field by diagnosing patients and even performing surgery, a new role in the medical field will emerge:

Medical mentors!

As a medical mentor, you’ll be in charge of patients after their appointments, surgeries and other medical procedures.

You’ll check in on them, make sure they are following their doctor’s (or robot’s) recommendations and help them break through the negative factors that are impeding them from getting (and staying) healthy.

Think of yourself as a nutritionist, therapist, exercise counsellor and friend all rolled into one.

Skills Needed: Strong STEM background, critical thinking, people and interdisciplinary skills

Best Undergraduate Majors: Psychology, Nutrition, Dietetics, Sociology, Biology

Top 3 Unis:

1. Harvard University: Cambridge, Massachussetts

Harvard is the number one psychology program in the world. That being said, many of the psychology courses Harvard offers would be very beneficial to your success as a medical mentor, with courses including, Diet and Exercise, Evolutionary Genetics of Complex Human Traits and Fighting Cancer with the Mind.

QS World University Subject Rankings: #1 in Psychology, #1 in Sociology

2. New York University: New York City, New York (NYU)

NYU has the perfect combination of majors for your future career: Nutrition, Dietetics, Food Studies and Global Public Health. In fact, NYU encourages you to combine these majors to create what will one day be known as the medical mentorship major!

QS World University Subject Rankings: #10 in Psychology, #15 in Sociology

3. Stanford University: Stanford, California

Stanford is always on the cutting-edge of new technologies and developments in all fields. It’s proximity to Silicon Valley encourages exploration and ensures that new ideas (like medical mentors) have a place to evolve. It’s biology program is top-notch and will help you become the best medical mentor you can be!

QS World University Subject Rankings: #2 in Psychology, #5 in Sociology

5. Organ/Body Part Creator

Every 12 minutes a new name gets added onto the already long waiting list for organ donars.

In a few years, it’ll be up to you to create organ and body parts from stem cells and other materials that don’t yet exist.

Get ready; your future career is closer than you think.

Skills Needed: Strong STEM background, critical thinking, mental elasticity, complex problem solving and creativity

Best Undergraduate Majors: Biology, Genetics, Biomedical Engineering

Top 3 Unis:

1. Harvard University: Cambridge, Massachussetts

Harvard’s Molecular and Cellular Biology program is quite impressive. The uni’s coursework in this field is bar none. If you can get in, don’t pass up the opportunity to both study and research at Harvard.

QS World University Subject Rankings: #1 in Biological Sciences

2. Johns Hopkins University: Baltimore, Maryland (Hopkins)

Hopkins has one of the best medical schools in the world _and_ one of the best undergraduate biomedical engineering programs in the world because of the access you have to the medical school facilities!

QS World University Subject Rankings: #22 in Biological Sciences

3. Duke University: Durham, North Carolina

Duke’s biomedical engineering program is bound se you up for a career as an organ creator because you can study biomolecular and tissue engineering!

QS World University Subject Rankings: #33 in Biological Sciences

6. Memory Surgeon

What if there was a way to surgically remove bad memories, mental illness and destructive behavior?

Is it possible?

Would it be ethical?

Only you can unlock the answers to these burning questions by becoming a Memory Surgeon.

As a Memory Surgeon, it would be your job to remove memories, illnesses and behaviours t are causing people harm, in returning, saving the world from negativity!

Skills Needed: Strong STEM background, critical thinking, mental elasticity, complex problem solving and creativity

Best Undergraduate Majors: Biology, Chemistry, Neurobiology

Top 3 Unis:

1. Columbia University: New York City, New York

Two of Columbia’s neuroscience faculty members have won Nobel Prizes, so if you want to learn from the best of the best, this is the place for you.

QS World University Subject Rankings: #16 in Biological Sciences, #40 in Chemistry

2. University of California, Los Angeles: Los Angeles, California (UCLA)

UCLA conducts top-of-the-line research in learning, memory and addiction, which means its neuroscience program could propel you to the head of memory surgery in 30 years.

QS World University Subject Rankings: #9 in Biological Sciences, #9 in Chemistry

3. University College London: London, England (UCL)

If you’re keen on studying in the UK, UCL is the way to go. While most programs in Europe are three years long, UCL’s neuroscience program offers an optional fourth year focused on research.

QS World University Subject Rankings: #25 in Biological Sciences, #43 in Chemistry

7. Personal Productivity Person

In order to compete with the up and coming automated workforce, people are going to have to become as efficient as possible.

However, doing so is easier said than done.

Think about how many distractions you have in your life that hinder you from unlocking your full potential:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat
  • Netflix
  • Hulu
  • The 24-hour news cycle

...and more!

As technology continues to evolve, the number of distractions we have will continue to grow, unless, of course, we all have Person Productivity People (or PPP)!

As a PPP, your job will consist of analysing people’s daily lives and teaching them to silence their daily distractions in order to work harder and smarter.

Skills Needed: Critical thinking, creativity, people skills, mental elasticity, SMAC skills and interdisciplinary skills

Best Undergraduate Majors: Communication and Media, Physiology, Sociology

Top 3 Unis:

1. University of Southern California: Los Angeles, California (USC)

As the number one communication program in the world, USC will give you a great understanding of how new media and technology interact that will act as the basis for your PPP business.

QS World University Subject Rankings: #1 in Communication and Media Studies, #11 in Sociology

2. University of California, Berkeley: Berkeley, California

Berkeley’s media studies program will teach you about the media’s impact on the world through an anthropological, sociological and political perspective; all skills you’ll need to succeed.

QS World University Subject Rankings: #6 in Communication and Media Studies, #2 in Sociology

3. University of Wisconsin, Madison: Madison, Wisconsin

This uni has a perfect program for you! It’s called Communication Science & Rhetorical Studies and it’ll teach you all about how the media impacts human behaviour. If you want to be the best PPP, you’ll need to keep up with current media technology and understand its effects on people.

QS World University Subject Rankings: #5 in Communication and Media Studies, #6 in Sociology

8. Personal Internet of Things (IoT) Security Repair Person

We are used to calling plumbers or repairmen when something is broken around the house, but who do you call when your smart refrigerator gets hacked or your smart lights won't listen to you anymore?

A personal IoT Security Repair Person of course!

Dysfunctioning products due to hacking is just one of the many problems that the world is bound to face as our devices become smarter.

As an IoT Security Repair Person, you’ll be in charge of thwarting hackers before they cause any damage and fixing any damage that you’re unable to prevent.

Skills Needed: STEM, Critical thinking, people skills, mental elasticity, SMAC skills and complex problem solving skills

Best Undergraduate Majors: Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering

Top 3 Unis:

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Cambridge, Massachusetts (MIT)

MIT has one of the best (if not the best) computer science programs in the world. While you’ll get an excellent education at MIT, you’ll also have the freedom to explore new pathways and discover how you can make your dream job a reality.

QS World University Subject Rankings: #1 in Computer Science, #1 in Mechanical Engineering

2. Boston University: Boston, Massachusetts (BU)

As one of the only universities in the US with an undergraduate concentration in cryptography and data security, BU is a great school to go to if you’re serious about becoming an IoT Security Repair person.

QS World University Subject Rankings: #51-100 in Computer Science, #151-200 in Mechanical Engineering

3. Carnegie Mellon University: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (CMU)

Cargenie Mellon believes that computer science is an interdisciplinary skill. The uni encourages you to take classes in other fields and apply your outside knowledge to your computer science courses. The more interdisciplinary knowledge you have, the better you’ll be at solving complex problems and ultimately excelling at your future career!

QS World University Subject Rankings: #3 in Computer Science, #46 in Mechanical Engineering

9. Flight Instructor

I know what you’re thinking, flight instructors already exist!

You’re right, they do, but what about human flight instructors.

Perhaps it’s only short distances at first but eventually people might be able to fly from Auckland to Christchurch or even to Sydney!

Once the flight revolution takes off, everyone will want to learn and wsomeone will have to teach them.

Skills Needed: STEM, Critical thinking, people skills, creativity, mental elasticity, interdisciplinary skills and complex problem solving skills

Best Undergraduate Majors: Communication, Astrology, Physics, Computer Science, Entrepreneurship

Top 3 Unis:

1. Northwestern University: Evanston, Illinois

Northwestern has an amazing communications program. In order to ensure that you’re the best training pilot ever, you’ll need great communication skills. Northwestern will give you those skills – all you have to do is bring your love for adventure!

QS World University Subject Rankings: #17 in Communication and Media, #51-100 in Physics, #101-150 in Computer Science

2. Elon University: Elon, North Carolina

The best way to prepare for teaching people around the world to fly, is by actually flying around the world! Elon has one of the best study abroad programs with over 100 options to choose from. It’s perfect for all of your travel needs!

QS World University Subject Rankings: N/A

3. Babson College: Wellesley, Massachusetts

Babson has the best entrepreneurship program in the US. As a flight instructor, you’ll need to have some savvy business skills, and a bit of creativity, to help people believe that they can actually fly.

QS World University Subject Rankings: N/A

10. Commercial Space Pilot

Elon Musk and Richard Branson are racing to space and soon, civilian space exploration is going to become a reality.

However, there’s one little problem… who’s going to fly us around?

We can’t possibly all become astronauts before exploring the moon (or Mars).

We’ll need someone who has the experience of an astronaut but is also trained to handle much larger rockets with many more people aboard.

Sounds like a tough job but if you’re an expert on space and have always dreamed of becoming an astronaut, it’s time to start thinking bigger!

I’m counting on you to become the best Commercial Space Pilot the future has ever seen!

Skills Needed: STEM, Critical thinking, people skills,creativity, mental elasticity, interdisciplinary skills and complex problem solving skills

Best Undergraduate Majors: Aerospace Engineering, Astrology, Physics, Computer Science

Top 3 Unis:

1. California Institute of Technology: Pasadena, California (Caltech)

When it comes to space, Caltech is the by far the best uni. Not only are it’s engineering, astronomy and aerospace curriculums top-notch, it also houses the Keck Institute for Space Studies, which is a think tank focused on space mission concepts and technology.

QS World University Subject Rankings: #7 in Physics & Astronomy, #27 in Computer Science

2. Princeton University: Princeton, New Jersey

Because of how small the astrophysics department is at Princeton (15-20 students), your education will be very hands on and personalised to your interests. Plus, you’ll have access to some of the best astrophysics facilities and technologies in the world!

QS World University Subject Rankings: #8 in Physics & Astronomy, #8 in Computer Science

3. University of Chicago: Chicago, Illinois (UChicago)

UChicago is always at the forefront of research, especially in physics and its astrophysics program will push you to your academic limits (in a good way). Don’t be scared! UChicago will make you fall in love with space.

QS World University Subject Rankings: #13 in Physics & Astronomy, #51-100 in Computer Science

Final Thoughts

Although a lot of the jobs that exist today will be automated by 2030, you should be excited about the future, not scared of it.

However, you shouldn’t limit yourself to the jobs on this list. Dream up your own list of potential future careers that use the essential skills outlined earlier.

Check out some of the most innovative companies in the world below!

Young innovators delegation

And remember, in the future, anything is possible.

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