In recent years, we’ve encountered numerous studies warning us about the uncertain future of work, with attention-grabbing headlines like “85 percent of jobs that will exist in 2030 haven’t been invented yet,” as highlighted in the 2017 report from Dell and the Institute for the Future. However, until the public launch of ChatGPT in late 2022, many of us remained blissfully unaware of the imminent impact of generative A.I. As a result, these reports failed to instill a sense of urgency in us. But now, things have changed.

The transformation of the job landscape into something markedly different in just a few short years no longer seems like an exaggeration, especially with IBM’s recent announcement to replace nearly 8,000 jobs with A.I. over the next few years. This development has led everyone, from chief people officers at Fortune 500 companies grappling with unexpected headcount shifts to college students questioning the relevance of their chosen majors, to recognize the need for a better understanding of the future of work.

While it may offer solace to know that the job market has undergone significant transformations every few generations, with roles such as software engineers and digital marketers emerging while others, like lamp-lighters or knocker-uppers, faded away, it remains challenging to imagine a world where critical jobs could be supplanted.

To gain insights into the jobs of the future, I reached out to Kristin Fracchia, who leads a team of product marketers and analysts at Chegg Skills. Kristin and her team possess a deep understanding of job market trends. When asked about the jobs that don’t exist today but should be on the radar of chief human resource officers and training managers, she shared a sampling across various industries:

  1. Prompt Engineer: Although this job already exists, it deserves attention due to its rapid growth across diverse sectors. Prompt engineers were primarily found in A.I. companies in 2021 and early 2022. However, LinkedIn data reveals a 36-fold increase in job postings mentioning generative A.I. since last year. Open positions for prompt engineers can now be found in fields ranging from defense contracting to healthcare, with salaries reaching up to $300,000.
  2. Human-Machines Teaming Manager: As workplaces integrate A.I. and other technologies, relying more on human-machine collaboration to achieve business objectives, the role of the human-machines teaming manager emerges. This position goes beyond traditional people management, ensuring seamless collaboration between human and artificial intelligences.
  3. A.I. Ethicist: While A.I. ethicists have been present in tech companies focused on A.I. or research institutions, their role is expected to expand. Companies utilizing A.I. for work that impacts human well-being, be it physical, psychological, or ethical, are likely to employ A.I. ethicists either internally or as consultants.
  4. Digital Detox Therapist: With the rise of virtual therapy during the Covid-19 pandemic, niche therapy practices have gained popularity. As technology becomes increasingly pervasive, digital detox therapy may evolve from a mere suggestion to a specialized branch of therapeutic practice.
  5. A.I. Personality Designer: Siri, Alexa, and Cortana all possess carefully crafted interactive personalities. As A.I. permeates various industries and individuals generate their own digital twins, A.I. personality designers will become sought-after professionals for corporations aiming to engage customers and individuals seeking virtual fame.
  6. Biotech A.I. Engineer: The application of generative A.I. technology in healthcare, particularly in disease and genetic disorder identification, holds immense potential. Consequently, roles combining expertise in machine learning and biology are likely to emerge to keep pace with accelerating scientific discoveries.
  7. Smart City Designer: With the rise of A.I., urban planning might evolve into smart city design, focusing on creating cities optimized for the use of A.I. and other technologies in daily life. Smart city designers would leverage A.I. in collaboration with engineers, architects, city leaders, and citizens to plan user-friendly and sustainable cities.

Throughout the next decade, we must prepare ourselves for an increasingly different job market, where existing roles will be reimagined, and new ones will emerge seemingly overnight. A.I. not only shapes the future of work but also impacts the present. The recently released Future of Jobs Report by the World Economic Forum highlights that A.I. is now the third priority in company training strategies and the top priority for companies with over 50,000 employees.

Leaders in every industry must begin contemplating how to train and retrain their workforce for jobs like the ones mentioned above. While these roles might have seemed like science fiction just six months ago, they are now tangible possibilities that demand attention.

By Impact Lab