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Best Future Jobs and Careers That Require 21st Century Skills

Updated on January 13, 2019
Rock_nj profile image

I am fascinated by rapidly developing technology and what the world will be like in the future. I hope you enjoy this peek into the future.

If you are considering a career to pursue that will be in demand in the future, it is important to consider 21st Century jobs skills that will be required to excel in the job market of the future. Many 21st Century jobs have already begun to emerge but are in the early stages of development. Now is the time to learn about and train for them to take advantage of the wave of new career opportunities in the future. Most of these jobs resolve around high technology areas, but there is no reason to feel intimidated by technology. Face the future head on and be prepared for the jobs of the 21s century, many of which will require unique high technology skills.

The following are some of the future jobs that will be in high demand during the 21st century.

Prepare For Future Jobs By Obtaining Future Job Skills

Future Jobs will require a mix of current and new skills that will emerge during the 21st century/
Future Jobs will require a mix of current and new skills that will emerge during the 21st century/ | Source

21st Century Jobs and Careers Are All About Technology

If there is one theme that runs through just about every emerging job looking out into the future, it is technology. For those that want to get ahead in their careers, it is imperative that they embrace technology and ensure that they understand how to use it land new and emerging jobs or enhance their current careers. If you are studying to pursue a specific career, make sure you take technology-related courses that will enhance your skill set and prepare you for the future jobs of the 21st century.

Data Scientists, Data Miners, and Data Managers

The most quickly developing jobs to emerge in recent years are Data Scientist, Data Miner, and Data Manager positions. An enormous amount of data is continuously gathered by a wide array of entities and stored in massive databases. The problem that organizations have is how to take the enormous amount of data and turn it into useful and actionable information. The data needs to be vetted, logically sorted, and analyzed to make important decisions based on the findings contained in the data. This need for actionable data means Data Scientists, Data Miners, and Data Managers will be in high demand for the foreseeable future. There will also be many supporting positions in this field to help the experts compile, parse, and analyze data, so keep your eyes open for assistant positions that do not require the same amount of education and experience as the lead roles.

Data Scientist Is Already One of the Hottest Careers of the 21st Century

A career as a Data Scientist is one of the hottest careers of the 21st Century, as businesses find great value in understanding big data.
A career as a Data Scientist is one of the hottest careers of the 21st Century, as businesses find great value in understanding big data. | Source

Jobs and Careers of the 21st Century That Will Flourish

Electrical Engineers

An Electrical Engineer is not a new occupation, but it is one that will be increasingly in demand over the coming decades, as the world continues to become more electronic and automated. Somebody has to design all those electronics and automated systems. Companies will have a great need for Electrical Engineers to develop designs for new electronic products and updates to existing products. Governments will increasingly rely on electronics for military weapons systems, which will also boost demand for Electrical Engineers in the 21st century.

Space Scientists

Governments will continue to need Space Scientists for their programs that focus on exploring outer space. However, the big demand increase for Space Scientists during the 21st Century will come from private sector companies such as Elon Musk's Space X and Richard Branson’s Virgin. These companies, among others, are increasing their efforts to launch satellites and develop space leisure travel services. These private efforts will require scientists and engineers to design and develop the satellites, space vehicles, and other equipment needed to carry out their outer space business plans.

Drone Operators

Drones have slowly found their way into more and more industries, as new uses for drones are developed over time. For example, the construction industry uses drones to do periodic aerial assessments of building construction projects to determine how they are adhering to project schedules and designs. Drones are also used to perform inspections in areas that are hard for humans to reach, such as high roofs or towers. The increasing demand for drones is increasing the need for Drone Operators who can skillfully direct them to perform given tasks. While this position may someday become highly automated, there will still be a need for drone experts to ensure drones are functioning properly.

3D Printer Operators

3D printing is one of those technologies that will reshape the world we live in during the 21st century and beyond. A 3D printer can be used to manufacture many objects when needed in any location, which has big implications for streamlining both product development and manufacturing processes. These printers literally print objects line by line by precisely placing a plastic or composite resign during thousands of printer passes. They are operated via computer programs. However, humans are needed to develop design instructions and to ensure 3D printers are operating as designed.

Robotic Engineers and Robot Maintenance Personnel

The emergence of robots in many occupations will likely be one of the biggest personal and societal challenges to humans during the 21st century, as many jobs will be replaced by robots. But all is not lost. There will be great demand for Robot Engineers to meet the need to design a wide variety of robots. For those without an engineering degree or background, maintenance personnel that focuses on keeping the robot workforce in good working order will be in demand.

Computer Programmer

Computer programmers will remain in high demand for the foreseeable future, as the ever-growing need for code to run the increasingly electronic world will require a lot of programming. To prepare for the programming jobs of the future, make sure that you keep up to date about which programming languages are in high demand and which ones will be in high demand in the future, and focus your efforts on learning those languages.

Website Developer / Website Maintainer

Internet-based commerce and general interaction will continue to grow in the coming years. This need for an online presence will continue to create ample job opportunities for people who develop websites and website maintainers. While developing websites requires at least a moderate level of technical know-how and computer programming, the skills needed to maintain websites are much less technical. Even if your main career focus is elsewhere, having a skill set that includes the ability to maintain a website can give you an advantage when interviewing for a job, since companies and organizations always need people to update and maintain their websites, and often rely on a wide variety of employees to do so.

Director of Social Marketing

With social networking growing by leaps and bounds, social marketing has become an important position in any business or organization that is trying to promote its products or services. If you are in the field of marketing or considering entering the field, it is critical that you understand how to implement social marketing to reach potential customers in the places that they spend a lot of their time.

Alternative and Renewable Energy Designers and Installers

Alternative and renewable energy's share of the power generation market has grown tremendously during the early part of the 21st century. As costs continue to decrease, this trend towards cleaner and greener energy is expected to increase for many decades to come. There will be ample job opportunities for those who design and install alternative and renewable energy systems.

Cybersecurity Consultants

Prevention of data theft is a growing industry that will continue to grow for the foreseeable future. Cybersecurity is an excellent field to focus on if you have a knack for computer networking and programming. Beyond general cybersecurity that any company running a database needs, there are cybersecurity specialist positions that offer great employment opportunities. Experts that know how to deal with data being held hostage, how to restore damaged data, and how to deal with the aftermath of a data breach will be in high demand.

AI-Assisted Healthcare Technicians Will Be In Great Demand In Future Healthcare

An AI-Assisted Healthcare Technician is the human part of artificial intelligence healthcare delivery of the future.
An AI-Assisted Healthcare Technician is the human part of artificial intelligence healthcare delivery of the future. | Source

21st Century Jobs and Careers That Are Expected To Emerge In the Future

A business consulting company named Cognizant put together an interesting report called “Jobs of the Future” that extrapolates current technology trends to make educated guesses regarding new jobs and careers that are likely to emerge during the 21st century. In their estimation, these jobs and careers will emerge within five to ten years; however, they may be a bit optimistic with such a near-term projection. Essentially, their list provides useful insight into where future employment opportunities are heading as the century progresses.

The following is a brief summary of jobs and careers that Cognizant predicts will materialize and be in demand in the 21st century. For more details search for their “Jobs of the Future” report.

  • Man-Machine Teaming Manager – With robots increasingly becoming part of the workforce, a manager is needed to ensure both humans and robots are using their strengths to work together in the best ways possible.
  • Augmented Reality Journey Builder - Augmented reality is emerging as a new form of entertainment. Journey builders create custom augmented reality experiences to enhance user experiences based on preferences.
  • Digital Tailor – With purchases of clothing increasingly being performed online, companies will need tailors to visit regular customers to obtain their measurements to reduce clothing return rates.
  • Fitness Commitment Counselor – Tasked with ensuring their clients are keeping up with their fitness commitments.
  • Personal Memory Curator – Delivers positive personal memory information to elderly people who naturally lose some of their cherished personal memories.
  • Virtual Store Sherpa – Helps customers get everything they need in the dauntingly large superstores of the future.
  • Ethical Sourcing Manager – Ensures a company or organization obtains materials from sources that align with their corporate ethics and philosophy.
  • Highway Controller – Managers traffic by analyzing smart sensors and making adjustments to traffic controls as necessary.
  • AI Business Development Manager – Artificial Intelligence (AI) can do a lot of things, but it cannot sell itself, which is why an AI Business Development Manager is needed.
  • Shadow IT Facilitator – Interfaces with shadow IT elements within an organization to integrate their efforts into the organization’s business goals.
  • Personal Data Broker - Monitors and trades people’s personal data to ensure it is not being misused and the maximum amounts are being paid for use of such data.
  • Genomic Portfolio Director – Determines ways a biotechnology company can maximize their genomic portfolio by developing products that can produce sales from the portfolio.
  • Financial Wellness Coach – Help customers avoid unnecessary fees as financial services move increasingly into the digital realm where hidden and poorly understood fees will cost people a lot of money.
  • Chief Trust Officer – Oversees a company’s financial activities to ensure they are being done in a transparent and responsible manner to build public trust with company operations.
  • Data Detective – Investigates data to make determinations regarding sensible information and findings with the data.
  • Cyber City Analyst – Oversees the health of a city’s computer networks to ensure data is flowing freely.
  • AI-Assisted Healthcare Technician – Technology has opened up many avenues to provide remote and AI-assisted healthcare. This job is for the human part of remote and AI-assisted healthcare delivery; providing services and answering questions that AI cannot.
  • Genetic Diversity Officer – Ensures an organization is staffed by people with a wide range of genetic diversity.
  • Master of Edge Computing – In charge of ensuring an organization's IT infrastructure is interacting with the cloud and utilizing data correctly.
  • Quantum Machine Learning Analyst – Quantum computing will dramatically speed up computing times and power. This position finds ways to use quantum computing to get the most out of AI and robots.
  • Walker/Talker – In the digital world, some people do not have enough opportunities to have a human companion to walk and talk to. A walker/talker fills this need.

Jobs of the 21st Century Poll

Will robots and AI cause massive human unemployment in the 21st century?

See results

What will future jobs look like? A TED Talk.

© 2019 John Coviello


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    Post Comment
    • Rock_nj profile imageAUTHOR

      John Coviello 

      17 months ago from New Jersey

      I'm happy you found this article about future jobs interesting. It is certainly a fascinating topic. We'll see how it plays out over the next few decades.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      18 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      This is really interesting. So many new jobs and we are still sticking to the old ones that are disappearing.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      18 months ago from UK

      This is a very topical and interesting hub. It will be interesting to look back in a few years and see how much has come to pass.


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