More often than not, people are focused on the hot jobs for the next 5 years, jobs that are going to thrive in the future, or the jobs of 2040? Another way to look at it is what is going to be well paying, in demand, and carry the next generation into retirement. Young people who are just graduating college now will find the world vastly different when they hit 40 or 50 years of age.
With technology breakthroughs occurring at a geometric rate, today’s 20-year-old needs to start building a skill set for the future. Some may think being a Doctor, Lawyer, or Software Developer may be the career of the future since they are the hottest jobs of the 21st century. The truth is where the human race is headed is going to require anything but a traditional workforce, especially when it comes to the jobs of 2040.
From creating medical devices to creating prosthetic organs all the way to growing replacement organs, these engineers can create everything from a traditional pacemaker to a new body part. With the latest research showing that the global life sciences are set to reach 1.5 Trillion by 2022, the demand for these engineers likely won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Especially, when coupled with the ever-aging population.
It may be hard to believe, but In about 20 years those aged 65 and over will be close to 20% of the U.S. population. However, this population is not like the previous generations before them when it comes to their participation in the workforce. There has been a notable trend among this newer generation where people are not only living longer but more importantly working longer. By 2026 60% those aged between 60 and 64 are expected to still be working, and could potentially continue way past their early sixties.
According to one of the latest Career Builder surveys over 50% of full-time workers over the age of 60 will postpone their retirement. While this could be the result of the evolution of work and how it has changed over the years, there are many factors at play here. Personal finances and the affordability of retirement cannot be ignored and may, in fact, be the most influential factors. Two in Five workers who took the survey think they won’t be able to retire until they are at least 70, and they are not alone in thinking this.
With the estimated health care costs for a couple sitting around $280,000$ over the course of their retired lives there simply isn’t enough money to go around. With research from Vanguard; an investment management company, showing that the average 401(K) balance for people aged 65 and older was $196,907. The average account balance was even lower than half of that at $60,724.
Working longer, and staying healthy to do so will only increase the demand for advanced Bio-Engineered solutions.
Machine Learning Engineer
With automation playing a key role in many jobs today, automation will replace many jobs in the future. It’s estimated that by 2022 over 133 million new jobs will be created according to the World Economic Forum. When looking ahead to 2030, this number soars even higher as it reaches over 800 million.
Of the many jobs created, machine learning experts will make up the bulk of them, along with the managers of Machine Learning Engineers. While some may be wondering how Machine Learning Engineers may be in such high demand come 2040, it’s important to take note of what could and may be awaiting us all in the future. Specifically, the integration of our wants and needs in one infrastructure.
For instance, when looking at the American home from the future, everything from the materials it’s made of from, how it is made, and what it offers is likely going to change. Smart homes made by 3D-Printers, instead of day-laborers may take over as it will be more economical, and the same goes for the material. Additionally, when looking inside the smart home of the future could be integrated appliances. This may include a fridge that tells us what our grocery list should be to putting on your favorite TV show once it senses your feet touching the ground as you wake up in the morning.
Artificial Intelligence which at this point, would be the next step after machine learning could get here faster than we think, and open an entirely new market and millions of new jobs. It’s a bit early to predict, but the wave of machine learning and AI will most likely exist simultaneously with huge gains being made in each area over the next 20+ years.
Green Energy Engineer
As we all may know, we cannot live off of fossil fuels forever and we must turn to alternative resources for energy. By the time 2040 rolls around the renewable energy growth is projected to increase by over 400% according to BP. When it comes to these eco-friendly engineers renewable transportation is the name of the game, especially within the public infrastructure.
This includes anything from high-speed trains for people, and potentially to be used for shipping transport instead of trucks to battery powered buses. After all, with Tesla’s self-driving cars running on battery-power, we are not far from developing a ground-breaking battery-powered technology that will be able to power everything from trucks to airplanes.
When looking at the future expansions of clean energy Google is a great example of what companies may be achieving in the future. How you may ask? In 2017, for every kilowatt-hour of electricity, Google consumed they purchased a kilowatt-hour of renewable energy from a wind or solar farm that was built especially for Google.
As a result, Google was able to run on 100 percent completely renewable energy. Although running on solely renewable energy may be out of reach for some smaller businesses, some larger corporations may follow in Google’s footsteps and move towards utilizing renewable energy for some or even all of their energy needs.
What This Means For The Future
Although the world of 2040 and the jobs of 2040 may be nearly two decades away it’s important to look at how the jobs of the future will impact education and businesses.
The focus on technology may drive more STEM initiatives and programs beyond the college and high school level. The importance of a STEM-driven education will continue to take center stage will offer younger student learning opportunities down through the elementary and middle school level students. By educating these students at such an early age it may push more engineers into the market accelerating our innovative technology!
To push this even further think of the present technology that in many ways is less than 10 years old. From developing cars that can run on Co2 fumes to a making a prosthetic organ that functions just as any human organ. These innovations are here, now, and will help extend our limited resources and continue to improve our quality and length of life.
Although some of this may seem like far-fetched Sci-fi, it’s important to look at the big picture here. The rate progress we made within the past 20 years is nothing compared to how quickly things will evolve over the next 20. It is likely it may be 4 or 5X what we have seen in the past. This means workers and businesses will be able to push the envelope farther than ever before.
To keep up with this constant innovation employees may need to be reskilled faster and even go through training programs regularly to stay up to date with the latest technology. A business’s adaptability and acceptance of technology in order to stay competitive will be at the heart of their success in the future.
While it may be difficult to picture what 2040 will look like it’s important to take note of the early trends happening now to see the bigger picture that lies ahead. By doing so we may be able to advise the following generations about the potential jobs and careers that will shape their future and may just be one of the best jobs of 2040.