The Professions of the Future

Comments (20)


Professions of the Future

By: Sam Vaknin, Ph.D.

Predicting the future is a tricky business. There have been countless ridiculous failures at identifying the trends and products which will determine the future shape of our life and our environment. Even more difficult is trying to guess which of us will be deemed a useful member of the community - and which an obsolete relic. To a large extent, the answer to this question lies in determining the useful professions of the future. This is an age when people are determined, defined and categorized in strict accordance with their professions. Whereas during the Renaissance, a person might have been defined by his range of interests (remember the likes of Leonardo da Vinci), by his familial, religious, or ethnic affiliations, by his or her gender and so on - today the first and foremost question is a person's profession. The first question that we must provide a clear answer to is: What constitutes a profession (as opposed to a hobby), a vocation (as opposed to an avocation)? To qualify as a profession, the act must bear the following hallmarks:

  • It must be continuous and pursued for a long time.
  • It must occupy most of the waking hours.
  • It must yield earnings or compensation whether in money or in kind.
  • The person must have an advantage in that field of knowledge or activity, at least over laymen. In other words, the categories of laymen and expert - which are the result of highly specific education - must exist and prevail.
  • It must be hierarchically layered with clear flows of professional authorities and responsibilities and with a clear career path (progressing up the professional ladder).

The second relevant question is: What are the trends which determine our future? It is useless to look at microtrends. These are too volatile and, in principle, unpredictable. Much more important are the trends that last for hundreds or even thousands of years. These are usually not the results of technological conjuncture or geopolitical upheavals. Rather, they are the outcomes of characteristic human activities which are uninterrupted. Healthcare, for instance, is such a human activity. Humans - terrified of death and infirmity - always wanted and are very likely to continue to want to improve their health and thus to postpone the inevitable and better the quality of what is available. Another such overriding tendency is education: this is a part of the human survival kit. By educating oneself, by studying a profession, by learning more about the world - one better one's chances to survive. Out of this set of human, almost deterministic activities, a group of overriding trends emerges:

From Less Mobility to More Mobility

People, goods and, lately, information became and become, daily, more and more mobile. Physical distance has been shrunk. A global marketplace has formed. Information is almost instantly available anywhere. This was described as the global village - an outdated concept which might soon be replaced by the global home. All the professions which has to do with more mobility will benefit and represent preferred professions of the future. The moving of people: pilots, drivers, the car industry, sophisticated traffic planners and automotive innovators, tourism related professions and so on. The moving of goods: shipping, trucking, air and modern train travel. This area is already so specialized that I do not consider it as offering opportunities in the future (put differently, I do not regard it as a growth industry). The moving of information (today dubbed: "The Service Industries"): Trading systems, the Internet, Networking and communications related professions, the field of communications within the computer industries, telecommunications, entertainment related professions, technologies of banking. The creation of destinations for people, goods and information (commonly known as Markets or Marketplaces): advertising, marketing, trading, design, image and public relations experts.

The Age Polarization of Society

Better medicine will lead to a polarization of the age structure of society: there will be more older people and more younger people. Gradually, as birth rates fall and contraception becomes widespread, a reverse pyramid will be formed: most people will be middle aged and old. This offers a clear view of professions which will be required in the future: Professionals to take care of older and younger people (which have very similar needs): nurses, paramedics, nannies, entertainers, leisure time professionals, companions, specialized equipment manufacturers, operators of homes for the very old or for the very young, pension planners, manufacturers of specialized medical and paramedical needs and products for both age groups, legal and accounting specialists in pension and inheritance laws and tax planning. Virtually every industry and field of human activity will have to adapt themselves to these demographic changes. Age-related expertise will develop in each one of them. This applies to the arts (mainly music and cinema) as well as to the crafts, to industry as well as to agriculture, to infrastructure as well as to government. Human society will be enormously influenced by these shifts.

The Fragmentation of Society

Initially, society was composed of very large units. People belonged to tribes "nations". These were groupings of up to hundreds of thousands of people. They felt amply defined by this belonging. Nothing was left out when you said that a certain person was "Hebrew". Nothing needed to be added. Stereotypes were more than sufficient and, usually accurate.

Later, the concept of family fully emerged. First, in a very extended form: the family comprised a few generations and all removed family (blood) connections. Gradually, the family shed more and more layers. People began to be called by family names only 250 years ago. The nuclear family was an invention of the 19th century, when the industrial revolution and modern methods of transport and communication broke families apart. Even this relatively small units came under a debilitating attack in the last 50 years and the nuclear family underwent a nuclear implosion, it disintegrated. Today, the basic unit of society, its cell, its atom, is the individual.

People will tend to isolate themselves: stay more at home, work from it with flexitime, form and break up short term attachments to other humans or be engaged in non-committal activities with others, activities which will not threaten their absolute freedom and mobility. Solitary media will be predominant: the Internet is a one-user medium (television was a family medium).

The professions which will cater to the needs of individuals and separate them from society (while maintaining the survival need to communicate) will be the professions of the future: Internet, entertainment (especially customized), telecommunication, singles-related industries (dating and couple matching, for instance, single's bars, to mention another), virtual reality, small businesses which can be run from home, agencies for temporary work placement and other professions catering to the conflicting human needs of being together while being alone.

All the other seeming trends are recurrent illusions. Thee have been ages of more or less democracy, more or less market orientation, more or less polarization between rich and poor people. The human race experienced numerous forms of government, of marriage, of economy, of management, of residence, of production, even of trying to predict the future. It was the wisest of all men, King Solomon, who said: "There is nothing new under the sun". True, but it is getting stronger.

About The Author

Sam Vaknin is the author of "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited" and "After the Rain - How the West Lost the East". He is a columnist in "Central Europe Review", United Press International (UPI) and ebookweb.org and the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory, Suite101 and searcheurope.com. Until recently, he served as the Economic Advisor to the Government of Macedonia.


His web site: http://samvak.tripod.com

Comments

Undecided 01.04.2007. 18:42

What would be a good medical profession to consider? I am still in high school and Im trying to decide on what to go to college for. I want to go into the medical field and eventually/possibly become some form of doctor one day. I know little about anything thus far so itd be a big help if someone could help steer me in the right direction of like professions and future majors practice medicine I should consider?

Undecided

Admin 01.04.2007. 18:42

Go onto this site
www.careervoyages.gov
it will give you all the info needed in the healthcare industry with projected openings in just about every state in every field

Admin

Anil Hanagud 19.05.2009. 10:49

How do I go about becoming a cricket umpire? I want to take it up as a profession in future and would like to go all the way in becoming a Test match umpire on the ICC's elite panel.

Anil Hanagud

Admin 19.05.2009. 10:49

Contact your local cricket association & start from there but you better set aside quite a few years until you (if ever) get to international standard

Admin

Allie Lane 23.01.2011. 19:34

What is the profession called when you follow kids with mental disabilities in their school? I know people that follow children who are autistic or mental challenged in their school. I would like to take place in the profession in the future, but not quite sure what its exact name is.

Allie Lane

Admin 23.01.2011. 19:34

Certified Paraprofessional, abbreviated to parapro. But in every state they go by different names.

Admin

One step at a time ? 14.05.2010. 07:05

How many professions are there that involve helping animals? I'm aiming for entering a profession in the future where I can help animals, especially wild ones. I want to dedicate my life to preserving and healing wildlife, as cheesy as that sounds. As a child I always wanted to be a vet, but I'm not sure if I could handle the pressure of performing surgery, where one small mistake could end their life. That really scares me.. How many other professions with animals are there?

1O points to anyone who can list the largest amount of ideas! =)

One step at a time ?

Admin 14.05.2010. 07:05

Here you go. There are a lot of opportunities.
Animal Career Categories
These are some of the fields and jobs that involve animal experience and training.

*Preventive Medicine (small animal, large animal, exotic, wildlife rehabilitation, research (private industry, university and government), military, zoo)*
Research Veterinarian
Veterinarian
Veterinary Technician

*Care and Conservation of Wildlife*
Biologist
Conservation Officer
Cooperative Extension Agent
Ecologist
Educator
Environmental Management
Environmental Chemistry
Forestry/Park Ranger
Interpretive Naturalist
Natural Resources Management
Wildlife Rehabilitator

*Pets*
Animal behavior
Outreach programs
Therapy and Psychology

*Zoos (training varies, ranging from exotic animal caretaking to biology*
Director
Supervisor
Keeper
Habitat Specialist
Research

*Animal Training*
Trainer (large, small and exotics) for work, show and entertainment industry, and obedience training
Volunteer (may require special training or previous work experience):
SPCA
Camps
4-H
Field Research
Future Farmers
Humane Societies
Nature Centers
Parks
Wildlife Rehabilitation Facilities
Zoos


*General areas of study and work*
Agriculture & Natural Resources
Education
Environmental Sciences
Fisheries & Wildlife Sciences
Law (Animal Welfare, Environmental)
Psychology
Science Technology
Veterinary Medicine

***You could even have your own business as a pet sitter or have a doggy day care.

Admin

Aaron 08.01.2011. 22:00

What is your profession or future profession and add your sign please? I am an Aries and I don't want a profession just a job that pays good and leaves me enough time to travel and do fun things.
My main priority is to have a good time while I am here on earth.

Aaron

Admin 08.01.2011. 22:00

Sweetie, there are only two types of jobs that pay well: professions and trades.

And there are only two I can think of that leave you with time to travel and do fun things:
1. School teacher (summers off)
2. Seasonal outdoor construction worker in a northern lattitudes, where you get laid off every Fall (know a Canadian asphalt-paving foreman who travels in the southern half of the globe every winter).
... and both of these expect you to work hard during the months that you DO work.

Admin

One step at a time ? 14.05.2010. 06:51

How many professions are there that involve helping animals? I'm aiming for entering a profession in the future where I can help animals, especially wild ones. I want to dedicate my life to preserving and healing wildlife, as cheesy as that sounds. As a child I always wanted to be a vet, but I'm not sure if I could handle the pressure of performing surgery, where one small mistake could end their life. That really scares me.. How many other professions with animals are there?

1O points to anyone who can list the largest amount of ideas! =)

One step at a time ?

Admin 14.05.2010. 06:51

Personal animal trainer. You go to people's homes and train their dog.

University researcher.

Humane Society.

Veterinary technician.

Work at the zoo.

Admin

CalvinsWife_AddisynsMom 13.08.2010. 16:24

What degree do i need to get into a medical profession>? I KNOW THIS SHOULDNT BE ON THIS PART OF THE SITE BUT THIS IS THE ONLY ONE THAT ANSWERS IT SEEMS LIKE LOL..... i am going to college online because i have a 4 month old and possibly another on the way, i want to go into a medical profession in the future when my kids are at school but i dont know what i need, i want to be a nurse or assistant in an office for like babies or pregant ladies... can anyone help?

CalvinsWife_AddisynsMom

Admin 13.08.2010. 16:24

You could be a nurse or a nurse's aide. You could be a radiologist, a sonographer . . . . But at some point, all of these will probably require some kind of hands-on training/internships.

Good luck!

Admin

-LaLaLa- 25.06.2012. 12:03

What major do I need to chose to do programming and coding on the future job? I am fascinated in programming and coding. I would like it to become my future profession. Moreover, I consider jobs in the IT industry as easy to find. besides, generously paid too.

Now I need to chose a University to study in. There are lots of different majors offered such as Computer Engineering, Computer Science etc. I am so confused and lost in all those words. What is the right word for a major which I need to do? I want to write programms for computers.

-LaLaLa-

Admin 25.06.2012. 12:03

The correct answer would be Computer Science... if you want to primarily focus on software/programming. Computer Engineering also teaches programming but mainly lower-level software closer to the actual operation of digital hardware and the devices processors are embedded in(as opposed to software for desktop PCs). It also has alot of digital circuit design coursework...so it is basically hardware & software. If you have a high interest in both hardware & software you should do CE. There are other computer majors such as CIS, Computer Information Systems and MIS, Management Information Systems...but these are more business related and will not go into as much depth programming wise as CS would. It sounds like you are mostly interested in software and becoming a programmer/software engineer... if so you should do computer science...and you can choose as an emphasis software engineering, if available.

Admin

CalvinsWife_AddisynsMom 13.08.2010. 16:05

what degree do i need to get into a medical profession>? so i am going to college online because i have a 4 month old and possibly another on the way, i want to go into a medical profession in the future when my kids are at school but i dont know what i need, i want to be a nurse or assistant in an office for like babies or pregant ladies... can anyone help?

CalvinsWife_AddisynsMom

Admin 13.08.2010. 16:05

If you want to be a nurse then you may opt for Bachelor's of science in Nursing. By doing bachelor's in nursing you will be open to job prospects such as:-
* Nursing Teacher
* Assistant Nurse
* Supervisor of Health Section
* Trainee Nurse
* X-ray Machine Operator
* Medical Dressing Incharge
* Lab Assistant
You may opt for any of whichever seems more interesting as well as appealing to you. You may look out for colleges that offer degree in the above mentioned degree and much more at http://www.thedegreeexperts.com/sd-bachelor-of-science-in-nursing-189.aspx . All the colleges mentioned here are accredited and known for education they provide online.

Admin

Bently Slick 13.06.2008. 00:41

What do you think of my salary/profession/future? im 22. graduated from a university as a finance and management major with a 2.94 gpa. Got a job as a personal banker and make about $32,500 a year and dont know what i will be doing in the future.

I have been contemplating going back to school to do pharmacy because they make around $100,000/yr.

Im so lost with my career/life. dont know what to do. advice please.

Bently Slick

Admin 13.06.2008. 00:41

Your salary is about right for an entry-level position in your field, especially considering your GPA. I would stay in the specialty you chose and get some good experience there while the recession is putting all employment in jeopardy. Studying pharmacy might also be a mismatch with your background and skills.

Many financial management positions are filled by promoting experienced, technically skilled professional personnel. You should soon be moving up or even going into practice on your own. Your eventual earning potential is even higher than that of a pharmacist.

Admin

Write a comment

* = required field

:

:

:

:


* Yes No