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Careers of and for the Future
Amanda Reed, 2 Jul 10

io9 has posted a piece on their blog titled "20 Careers That Will Make the Future Less Dystopian" that is worth a look. They write, "We all want to make a difference in the world, and it would be awesome to be able to get paid for contributing to humanity's future. So next time you're between jobs and reskilling or retraining, here are some possibilities you might want to look into" (listed by category below):

Environmental - Beekeeper | Water Purification Expert | Seed-Bank Staffer (or organic farmer) | Environmental Lawyer and Non-Profit Worker | Environmental Cleanup Technician | R&D Tech at Automaker | Biologist

Medical - Stem Cell Researcher | Epidemiologist | Drug Researcher/Pharmaceutical Pirate | Bioinformatician

Political - Hacker/Cyberactivist | Debt Counselor | Teacher | Artists and Citizen Journalists | Translators

General Quality of Life - Aerospace Engineer | Anything for NASA's Near Earth Object Program | Urban Planner | Archivists/Librarians

A good list...Do you think anything is missing? The authors have invited feedback on their site, and I'd be interested to see what Worldchanging readers think in our comments below. Off the top of my head I'd say builders, carpenters, architects and landscape architects are a few missing links; after all, who will design and build all the excellently planned cities the urban planners imagine?

For a full description of each position and why they're important for the future, see the full post.

Image of beekeepers courtesy of Flickr photographer bwohack under the Creative Commons LIcense. BioEnergy Science Center Imaging of Plant Cell Walls at Multiple Scales via US Department of Energy Genomic Science Program.

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thte tredn for careers is people working from home and multiple positions

Posted by: Stan on 2 Jul 10

Those seem like very 'giving back to humanity' type of careers. I think I would be most interested in becoming a teacher. I don't think I am skilled enough to be a aerospace ;)

Posted by: Michael on 2 Jul 10

i'd like to see all builders become green and LEED certified. Building for a greener environment should be the standard. In Remodeling San Diego, we are seeing happen a lot, but not quickly enough.

I also work with a Toner San Diego company that gives extra incentive for customers to recycle their toner cartridges. Would like to see much more of that.

Posted by: Sal on 2 Jul 10

Interesting list of careers but I believe with the power of social media increasing and with the likes of Facebook becoming more powerful there will be plenty of opportunity for careers in this market and many that will have an opportunity to have a big influence on opinion.

Collin Davies
Swansea Photographer

Posted by: Collin on 3 Jul 10

I'm surprised there is no mention of energy professions - renewables, grid, IT. Materials Scientist, Computation and Mathematics is way more important than "cyber activist." They are people behind the scenes that really change the way we look at the world. Fundamentals, not flashy fronts of environmental and social change. I'm also surprised that the entire heading of "Economics" is missing, I think changing the way we think about the economy and finance will be a huge factor in improving our world.

Posted by: Chelsea on 3 Jul 10

Green IT is next hot career choice. IT is still booming but concern towards the impact of IT against environmental is increasing.

Posted by: Lake on 4 Jul 10

I think the trend is largely towards home based businesses and also service professions so that we will continue to see people work for themselves from home.
As a community it is obviously important that we become more socially responsible so renewable energies, recycling and research and development will be vital professions for the future.

Posted by: Steve Hall on 4 Jul 10

I have to agree with the previous comments-- there is a distinct lack of the basics here-- what good is a seed bank technician without farmers to grow the crops? What good is a water purification expert without hydrogeologists to find potable water in the first place? --Or any of the tech. and IT fields without basic resource people (i.e., geologists and scientists) to find the metals to actually build the IT you're using without fueling civil war in the Congo? Green Engineers to design new technology to adapt to a future where cheap energy may be much less abundant? Mediators / Conflict specialists to handle negotiations of sparse resources? Social workers to handle all of the trauma (for instance, that is currently happening in the deep south as oil washes up upoon its shores). Machinists... tool and dye makers, plumbers?

Idealism is great. Optism is great... but they need to be mixed in with reality a little bit more. None of the jobs mentioned above can function without an infrastructure in place to support them... and that infrastructure is built and maintained by blue-collar and technical jobs that already exist that aren't "hip".

Posted by: Joe on 4 Jul 10

I'd like to hear more about how a beekeeper will help contribute to humanity's future?

Posted by: Kevin on 4 Jul 10

Well, Nice list, but I think you missed some interesting jobs.
I was between jobs few months ago, I'm a programmer, I developed applications for the last 12 years and I decided, I want to do something else, something that will be better for me and will cause some joy and happiness to my kids as well as others.
So I came with the online games site idea, a site that kids and family can spend time together, play and have fun.
I think it is important at least as some of the other careers you mentioned, we have to make our present good at least as we want our future to be...

Posted by: Ben on 4 Jul 10

This is quite triggering news and I would love to see its result when time permits. But I guess other jobs should be placed in there and have them categorized too.

Posted by: angel on 5 Jul 10

I agree with Joe - where's the basics?
I definitely think gardener and botanist should be there, there is an ever increasing lack of interest or more importantly knowledge about the natural world.

Posted by: Kirsty on 5 Jul 10

Grand list of interesting careers you have listed. But where is there any on energy or new technologies in that area? It seems to me that we are faced with the need for new energies brought and made here at home. Let's get rid of our dependecy which is a MUST.

Posted by: lyndas9254 on 8 Jul 10

I think your right. having a wider career option for young generation, is of high priority.

Posted by: Debbie Fisher on 12 Jul 10

Architects should be on the list. The world needs them for a better future.

Posted by: your lose weight plan on 14 Jul 10

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