Discover our predictions for the top 14 jobs of the future and find the right online courses to take for each career path.
The world is evolving, and becoming ever more digital, but what does that mean for your education and career? In this article, we dive into 14 jobs set to thrive in the future. So, whether you’re fresh out of school or university, or looking to switch careers, this article is for you.
Discover which new jobs will be around for decades to come, and find out which career paths are in danger of extinction. With your newfound knowledge, you’ll be better placed to plan your education and training in order to reap long-term benefits. Here’s to the future!
The best jobs of the future
Below, you can find 14 of the best jobs and industries of the future. Most of these roles are already available today, but they’re tipped to stay relevant for many more years.
1. Software developer (and other coding careers)
Coding is fast becoming one of the most sought-after skills for technology companies and between researcher groups. In a survey of over 500 tech workers and employers by Remote, 37% of respondents said that software developers will be the most important tech job in the future. That makes software developers the most highly-ranked job overall in the survey.
The increasing importance of programming has caused some European countries to add coding to the primary school curriculum – here in the UK, one school has even hired a child coding prodigy to teach coding at a school in Coventry. How old do you think the new member of staff is? Well, she’s just ten years old!
There is no doubt that coding is going to pave the way for new jobs in the future. But as it may take some time for those primary school kids to reach the job market, there is an obvious gap that needs filling for the immediate coding market. Reskilling to make this career change can even increase your salary by 38%.
So, if you want to seize an opportunity, now may be the best time ever to get into software development. Start your development by trying our Software Development Fundamentals ExpertTrack. Whether you’re interested in learning Python, developing your Java skills, or gaining Django certifications, we have something for you.
There are so many different things you can do with programming, and with our courses, you can try anything that takes your fancy. Perhaps video game design and development sounds exciting, or maybe programming applications is better suited to you.
2. Blockchain jobs
According to PwC’s Time for trust report, blockchain technology will enhance more than 40 million jobs globally by 2030, earning blockchain jobs our number two spot. The future of finance is definitely going to be heavily influenced by the rise of blockchain technology, and you can learn about decentralised finance or how to become a blockchain developer in our courses.
Most people not familiar with blockchain technology will have still heard about it – usually its association with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. However, blockchains are not just used for cryptocurrency. They’re standalone technologies that can be useful across industries.
They are already been used in the automotive industry to record the history of vehicles to prevent seller fraud. Nobody will be able to lie about the car’s mileage or maintenance when all this information is recorded on the blockchain and 100% secure.
Overall, the potential of blockchain is massive – and almost every industry will be crying out for blockchain developers in the future. You can gain an introduction to blockchain and its applications in our course by UCL.
3. Virtual reality jobs
If we had to choose an industry that’s going to be booming for the next few decades, virtual reality feels like a pretty good bet. The latest statistics show that the global market size of AR and VR is forecast to reach $296.9 billion in 2024, compared to the $30.7 billion market size that was registered in 2021. That’s nearly a tenfold increase.
With the 2021 announcement of the Metaverse, a series of interconnected virtual worlds created by Meta (formerly known as Facebook), it’s increasingly clear that VR and AR will be hugely impactful in the near and far future.
From marketing departments to video game developers, virtual reality is going to be a cornerstone moment for the job market and the whole of society. If you want to get started, try our Introduction to VR Programming, Design, and Unity course from VR Voom. If you already have some VR skills, our Construct a Virtual Reality Experience course might be an exciting choice.
4. Ethical hacker (or any job in cybersecurity)
Ethical hacking is a job in the field of network security that many people do today, but this job is sticking around for the long term. The only way that ethical hackers (or white hat hackers) will be out of work is if the internet disappears and is replaced with something else. That doesn’t look like a reality in the near future, or ever, meaning ethical hackers are not budging.
So, if you like the sound of a 0% unemployment rate, this might be a good career for you. What’s more, the number of ethical hackers is predicted to rise by 20% by the end of 2023, compared to the previous year.
If you want to try your hand at pretending to hack websites to see where improvements can be made, then one of our cyber security courses online may be interesting to you. You can even start with an Introduction to Ethical Hacking from Coventry University and the Institute of Coding.
5. Big data analyst
The world of big data has flourished over the past few years, and that’s not about to stop. According to reports by Statista, the global big data analytics market is likely to grow by 30 per cent by 2025, generating revenue of over $68 billion.
Data analysts are going to become the new leaders in the niche of business development. And they are already taking over the department thanks to big data and the ability to analyse huge amounts of information for the benefit of their employers.
Only by looking into streams of data can they make accurate predictions and inform business leaders to make the right decisions. If you like numbers and breaking down complex information into real-life decisions, this is a current job that should bring home the bacon for a lifetime. Check out our data analytics courses, from marketing analytics with the University of Virginia to big data analytics with Griffith University.
Lancaster University Introduction to Virtual, Augmented and Mixed RealityIT & Computer Science
Coventry University Ethical Hacking: An IntroductionIT & Computer Science
6. Content creator
There’s been a huge and undeniable boom in content creators over the past few years. But what exactly is a content creator? This is a relatively broad term that captures anyone who creates content for digital channels. Still, the most famous kind of content creator is the social media influencer – you can read all about influencer marketing in our blog post.
With more content being consumed daily than ever before – after all, global online content consumption doubled in 2020 as a result of the pandemic – the demand for content creators is only set to grow in the future.
From fashion bloggers to true crime vloggers, the possibilities for this career path are pretty much endless. You’ll need to be pretty social media savvy, so check out our Digital Marketing Content Creation and our Instagram Marketing Essentials courses to get started. You might also want to brush up on your copywriting skills.
7. AI jobs
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is much further along the process compared to virtual reality. With Elon Musk talking of putting chips in peoples’ heads to create superhumans, the possibilities of AI technology really do open your eyes.
But AI is not just about creating a new generation of humans. It can be about making functional robots and enhancing business processes. The developments in AI are almost limitless, which means these types of jobs aren’t going anywhere fast.
You may be thinking, if AI becomes better, smarter and more widespread, won’t more human workers be out of a job? However, PwC’s study on AI found that “any job losses from automation are likely to be broadly offset in the long run by new jobs created as a result of the larger and wealthier economy made possible by these new technologies.”
From learning about creative AI to exploring medical robots in the healthcare industry or discovering natural language processing, our AI courses will introduce you to the different career possibilities out there.
8. Data protection jobs
The laws around data handling and data privacy are growing by the decade. There is so much interest in our personal data because it can be used by marketing teams to help them sell, and by political departments to help them create targeted campaigns.
But on too many occasions our data is falling in the wrong hands and being misused or used illegally. This will create new jobs where detectives have to hunt down the use of data by certain companies, namely, data detectives who enforce data laws.
These types of investigations have already started, as evidenced by the investigation into Cambridge Analytica and how they helped swing the USA election and even the Brexit vote, which can be explained by watching the Cambridge Analytica Netflix documentary.
9. Gene experts/editors
The UK government predicts that by 2030, there could be more than 18,000 new jobs created by gene and cell therapy in Britain alone – so if you’re interested in genomic medicine, this could be a field to consider.
Gene editing is a controversial topic because it allows us to somewhat play the role of a god. But away from choosing our newborn’s eye colour or height, there is a medical use for it. With the power to edit genes and use genetic technologies, we will be able to reduce the risks of serious health conditions and vastly improve the quality of life for many people.
But this comes with a number of hurdles and pitfalls that will need to be addressed with legislation. What can we morally do? And what is off the table? Gene legislators will need to come in to get the industry started – and they already are – and then we will need medical experts to alter the genes and manage the whole system.
Although the whole topic can be sensitive, it is undeniably a huge step for mankind. You can learn more about the future of genetics in medicine, how DNA influences health, or how genomic medicine can help diabetes in one of our fantastic genetics courses.
10. Mental health jobs
Many people in society are working hard to reduce the stigma associated with mental health problems, opening the door for people to seek help and use professional mental health services.
But these mental health worker jobs won’t be going anywhere either. Just as people will always need doctors and nurses, we will continue to need mental health specialists to help us get through tough times. What’s more, skills gap studies have found that mental health skills appeared in unique job postings 230% more in 2021 compared to 2016.
The recent pandemic, recessions, environmental worries and even a boom in remote working could contribute to further demand for psychologists and mental health organisations. Depending on the area you’re interested in making a difference in, we have courses on a range of mental health topics, from depression, anxiety and CBT to helping students with complex trauma.
11. Data broker
Earlier we discussed some new jobs that data will create, and here is another. Just like brokers exist today by helping deals for commodities pass through seamlessly, the broker world will be rocked with a new type of broker – the data broker.
The idea is simple. These data brokers will be responsible for facilitating business agreements between data companies and those who want to buy chunks of data. They will make sure the buyer gets their data and that the selling company receives their money. All the while, ensuring that the data is not shared further, maintaining the integrity of the new data market.
The amount of data online is growing exponentially every day – the current estimate of how much data is created per day is 1.145 trillion MB – so we’re pretty confident that data brokers will have job security for many years to come.
12. Augmented reality developer
Did you know that the infamous Pokémon Go game was an April Fool’s Day joke that went on to make an insane amount of money? We’re talking billions – as of 2022, the total revenue is over six billion US dollars.
The reason for its success was that it was entirely innovative for the mobile gaming world. Combining a franchise that millennials grew up with and augmented reality was a masterstroke. Augmented reality changed the face of gaming and set a new bar, but it is proving effective in other industries like fashion, where augmented reality wardrobes enable you to try on clothes from home.
The uses for augmented reality are growing and that means there is a new call for developers with expertise in this niche of technology. You can learn more about immersive creative technology like AR in our course by NFTS and Royal Holloway, or try our Introduction to Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality course instead.
13. Drone expert/pilot
Drones are becoming more useful and popular by the day. In fact, The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International predicts that by the year 2025, at least 100,000 jobs will be created for drone pilots.
Drones can help us provide medical supplies safely, assess building structures with ease, and revolutionise delivery services. Drones are becoming part of society’s furniture and are only going to become more present over the next decade.
With that in mind, drone experts will be needed to manufacture these machines, maintain them, and arguably the most fun job of all – fly them. If you want to become a drone engineer or drone pilot, then we have good news for you. Expect to see more of these jobs become widely available across sectors in the not-so-distant future.
It is, however, important to be aware of the challenges and legal restrictions surrounding drone use, which is why our courses on drone safety for managers and using drones for security purposes might be useful to you.
Don’t forget that society is more entrepreneurial than ever before. Fuelled by the internet and technological advancements, the everyday person now has a better opportunity to start their own business or a small empire. With further tech milestones being met, like those listed above, these opportunities to start your own business are only going to get bigger.
If you have an idea or business dream, there has never been a better time to learn the entrepreneurial ropes and give your idea a chance to succeed. Our extensive list of entrepreneurship courses might inspire you, where you can learn anything from entrepreneurship in the food industry to building a start-up from scratch.
The Institute for Drone Technology How to Use a Drone for Security PurposesScience, Engineering & Maths,IT & Computer Science
FutureLearn Prepare for a Software Development CareerIT & Computer Science,Science, Engineering & Maths
Which jobs will not exist in the future?
Many of the jobs of today that will not exist in the coming decades revolve around the retail industry. Amazon has already opened a pioneering cashier-less store where secret technology recognises what you take from the shelves and charges it to your preferred payment type.
And Forbes has reported that Amazon is now selling their cashier-less tech to other retailers. This is part of a trend where new technologies and artificial intelligence will replace many jobs.
But it’s not just customer-facing roles in retail that are at risk of extinction in the near future. Smart vehicles that drive themselves may make driver jobs – including rail drivers – obsolete. This is a significant worry for governments that may have to contend with higher unemployment rates among low-skilled workers.
But simultaneously, the technology involved in replacing these jobs will create thousands if not millions of new jobs that are not even comprehensible right now. Ultimately, big leaps in technological advancements will create exciting new jobs, but may also create a huge gap between social classes and cause tensions that haven’t been seen yet in society.
So, which educational routes should you consider?
There’s no question that technology is the driving force behind many of the new jobs in the coming years, and the reason that some jobs will no longer be needed. Subsequently, if you are considering upskilling, it may be worth considering computer science and technology-related online courses or degree programs.
However, if your passions lie elsewhere, don’t let this stop you. While more creative industries may be more saturated, there will always be the need for artistic talent, individual expression and passionate creators in society – you may just have to work hard to find your niche.
In addition, career paths such as teaching, nursing and patient care will always be hugely important. This article exists more to tell you about some of the most in-demand new careers that exist as a result of changes and innovations in society.
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St George's, University of London The Genomics Era: the Future of Genetics in MedicineHealthcare & Medicine,Science, Engineering & Maths