“65% of the kids in preschool today will work in jobs or careers that don’t yet exist”


futurecareers-sm.jpgWhether I’ve got an audience of 3,000 people in Vegas, or a small CEO-level meeting of 20 people, I always open with the same observation.

It’s from an Australian study which concluded that 65% of the kids in pre-school today will work in jobs or careers that do not yet exist.

I then challenge people to think through the global trends at work which are making such a bold statement into a reality. And I often walk through the types of new careers that are emerging in every industry to emphasize the point.

Here’s a video where I am opening the WorldSkills International Competition in Brazil, talking about this theme!

So what are a few of these new professions? There are dozens: here’s five to start your day thinking about:

  • knowledge farmers: exponential knowledge growth, in part driven by social networking, is leading to information overload everywhere. KF’s are the uber-editors who immerse themselves in global data-feeds, extracting relevant knowledge and insight from data-torrents. They’re the new editors, and its their ability to apply their insight to knowledge-rivers that will place them in high demand.
  • location intelligence professionals: see my earlier post on this. I’ve been talking about this for years. These are the folks who are linking GoogleMap type data to existing business process and services, and who are building entire new global infrastructure on spatial information. This one is going to be huge!
  • mash managers: as innovation moves from the core to the masses, creative insight is emerging from those who learn how to take multiple new ideas, and input them into the innovation process. These people synthesize ideas from multiple sources, study markets, interpret insight, and decide how to re-evolve a product, service, brand, marketing campaign, or just about anything else. Their focus in “constant innovation,” and it’s their idea-immersive environment that drives them forward.
  • tactical controllers: in this wildly information-chaotic world, some people are busy searching for the next big thing. A new and very real profession emerges with those who step beyond the “minutiae-of-the-moment” and instead focus on providing tactical, strategic guidance on what-to-do-in-the-next-moments … they are the PR expert who knows how to steer the company through a global viral idea meltdown; the brand expert who knows how to re-energize a brand next week; the individual who studies what the global knowledge farmers are revealing, and who understands what to do next as a result.
  • analytical architects: the world’s big problems are being solved by those who are learning to throw sophisticated solutions at complex problems. These are the folks who will architect the smart-highway infrastructure; load-balanced two-way energy grids; just-next-week manufacturing processes for the era of the customization of one. They’ve combined an education in combinatory theory with big server farms to generate the new smart-infrastructure that is set to envelop us.

That’s a starting point. See your own new careers emerging? Let me know!


THE FUTURE BELONGS TO THOSE WHO ARE FAST features the best of the insight from Jim Carroll’s blog, in which he
covers issues related to creativity, innovation and future trends.