MSNBC has looked into the crystal ball and concluded that these are the 10 careers for the future (and i’m guessing that like any good group of hack-futurists, they pivoted on the present and then did a google search). also, they define the future as 2012. you know, in the good ol’ days, the future was a long time from now.
the careers are thusly:
- Organic food producers, retailers. Insight from the present? Wal-mart is going organic, Safeway is going organic, the Gap is going organic… this must mean that organic is finally mainstream!
- Computational biologists. Insight from the present? The Human Genome Project required some serious computational firepower; there’s an explosion of data generally; we now need people who have the expertise to make sense of this data… hmm… is that really a job for the future or for right about now?
- Parallel programmers. Insight from the present? Intel is making dual and multi-core processors with the capacity to do multiple things at once. i have one in this macbook; if you have a computer less than two years old you probably have one, too. we’ll need programmers who can take full advantage of this technology. or rather, we need them already – like a year ago.
- Data technologists. Insight from the present? again, massive amounts of data flowing to us through the interweb, RFID chips, devices galore… who will make the data look nice? actually, the better name for this job really is Data visualization designer, whether it rolls off the tongue or not… and if we could really use a good powerpoint charter at the office to visualize a few bar graphs, then yeah, this seems like a semi-urgent need. especially when you consider that if you can’t draw it as a picture, people just don’t want to get it.
- Simulation engineers. Insight from the present? sims gone wild!!! through the power of processing we can create really really real sims for every purpose. it’ll be brilliant! it’ll be like second life, only useful!
- Boomer companions, caretakers. Insight from the present? everyone born after 1945 is getting old. and the nursing home doesn’t sound so hot. but here’s the piece that is definitely not from the future: $23-25,000 salaries. boo.
- Genetic counseling. Insight from the present? diseases suck but now we know their genetic markers and can prevent them by not having the little disease carriers in the first place. translation: gattaca was on to something!!
- Brain analysts. Insight from the present? we like to poke people in the brains. by poking (or super poking) people in the right way, we can determine whether they’re lying or telling the truth, if they’re mentally ill, identify their strengths and weaknesses and figure out to what degree they’re suckering for the latest ad.
- Space tour guide. Insight from the present? Branson is sending his very posh flight experience into space, there are space wedding packages, and soon, space tourism. if you don’t want to get stuck on the space version of Gilligan’s Island, i recommend staying home
- Robot builders, tenders. Insight from the present? robot parts are cheap! let’s build some. and then tend to them. because as every good technophile knows, tinkering with the thing is at least as great as just letting the thing work.