A report by the World Economic Forum predicts that machines will do more than 50% of all labour globally by 2025. While many of today's occupations will continue to be a part of the future - some will transform into something entirely new or disappear altogether. Students who specialise in areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are well positioned to excel in the future world of work.
“Students need to seriously consider choosing a field of study that is futureproof after graduation,” says Rebecca Pretorius, country manager for Crimson Education. The global education company assists young people to gain entry to top-ranked universities in the United States (US) and United Kingdom (UK).
Degrees in STEM provide students a range of transferable skills such as problem solving, digital and numerical literacy, critical thinking and teamwork. The rise of automation and globalisation of the workforce requires graduates to have flexible skills to keep up with the digital landscape.
“STEM job opportunities are being created at a much faster rate than students can graduate to fill them,” says Pretorius. “These qualifications offer graduates a competitive advantage when entering the job market.”
A career in STEM allows young people to be leaders in ground-breaking technology, enhancing medical research and reducing the world’s environmental impact. “STEM opens doors to exciting and emerging careers. Graduates can use their skills to solve real world problems,” says Pretorius.
Those wanting to gain admission to study a STEM pathway should be involved in Maths and Science activities both in school and beyond the classroom. With an increasing interest in STEM-focused universities throughout the US and UK, it is important for students to understand how they can secure a sought-after spot at one of these top schools. “There will always be a demand for STEM graduates, especially as technology evolves and we need to maintain and build the digital world around us,” says Pretorius.
Jobs of the future – seven careers that could exist by 2050:
- Commercial space pilot – with SpaceX advancing space travel faster than we could imagine a decade ago, it could be time for potential pilots to reach beyond the skies.
- Extinct species revivalist – today’s zoologists could play a critical role in recreating species that have already gone extinct and reintegrating them into their natural environments.
- Organ or body part creator – make waiting lists for organ transplants a thing of the past by combining 3D-printing with stem cell research to grow organs on demand.
- Landfill worm operator – robotic earthworms, operated by humans will mine landfills to extract valuable resources previously thrown away. They could probably decompose all the waste we create too.
- 3D-printed food engineer – the world’s population is set to reach nine billion by 2050. Agricultural systems, as we know them, won’t be able to supply enough food for everyone. Food grown in laboratories and even 3D-printed are likely to become a part of the average diet.
- Mind-transfer specialist – with advancements in neuroscience and technology it might be possible to upload a human mind to a computer. Specialised computer chips could provide benefits such as telepathy, enhanced memory and paralysis treatments.
- Digital rehabilitation counsellor – as more of our lives revolve around social media and other online activities, there’s a growing awareness of how addictive technology can be. People will need to detox from their overconsumption of digital inputs.