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Young people believe their future jobs may not even exist yet

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Nearly half of people aged 16-24 believe their future careers will be in roles that don’t even exist yet, according to a survey from BAE systems.

AI, VR and robotics were technologies that were identified as fields for some of the top careers of the future, while graphic design and philosophy were named as some of the most useful subjects to study for later careers.

The findings also revealed that 70 per cent of young people want more guidance on the skills that will be in demand in the next 20 years to help make informed decisions on further education and careers.

BAE worked with a panel of futurists and technologists to predict the job roles likely to exist in 2040. Their findings include:

  • Auto adviser – with increasing use of robotic automation by companies, an auto-advisor will provide advice to companies on where robotic automation can be applied to be as effective as possible working alongside humans.
  • VR architect – people in this role would create ‘digital twins’ for aviation or sea craft that could be combined with AI modelling to accurately predict which of the parts need maintenance remotely. They would be responsible for using virtual and augmented reality to map and monitor the lifespan of the component parts within the vehicle.
  • AI ethicist - as AI is trusted to make more complex decisions, it will need to be programmed and maintained responsibly. Someone in this role would ensure that AI is underpinned by robust ethics and does not display biases.

The survey found that less than one-in-five children think they have the skills required to future-proof their careers.

BAE Systems’s principal technologist Nick Colosimo said: “Advances in technology, engineering and science mean the workplace of today will look dramatically different in 2040.

“Whilst it’s impossible for today’s young people to know exactly where their career will take them in the next 20 years, a wide range of skills will be useful in future-proofing the careers of young people today.

“Indeed, subjects as varied as graphic design, philosophy, chemical engineering and cyber security will prove valuable for the jobs of tomorrow.

“Some of the best technicians at BAE Systems come from different backgrounds and as future positions evolve, it’s important that school leavers embrace the element of the unknown to future-proof their careers.”

A report from last year predicted that one in five existing jobs in Britain are likely to be displaced by 2030 as a result of automation and globalisation.

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