7 jobs of the future – parents take note!

by Laurel Pretorius
Jobs of the future—parents take note!
Reading Time: 4 minutes
Are our children’s future jobs under threat from AI, or does it simply open up more opportunities for them in the working world? What careers should we be preparing our children for to protect their working future? By Laurel Pretorius.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is here and it’s a polarising topic of discussion. You’re either excited about it and all that it has to offer, or you’re threatened by it because you know that its coming for our jobs and our children’s future jobs. Either way, we should all be preparing for a world that includes AI, and furthermore we should be equipping our children with the necessary skills and knowledge to safeguard their working futures.

35% of companies are using AI and 42% of companies are exploring AI for its implementation in the future, according to a TechJury article. 38% of employees expect their job to be automated by 2023. 13% expect AI to eliminate positions entirely in their industry. AI technology is expected to create 12 million more jobs than it is expected to replace.

Yes, some jobs will become automated, and this is a fact which we all must face. However, there are several areas where human skills and expertise will continue to remain invaluable. In South Africa, a diverse range of industries and occupations present promising opportunities for the future workforce.

Let’s delve into the job roles that remain beyond the reach of AI. While AI may contribute to streamlining certain aspects of our work, these occupations still necessitate the essential human touch. 7 jobs of the future—parents take note! Baby Yum Yum

Here are 7 career paths to follow within the South African job industry which can start equipping our children for their future:

  1. Creative Professionals: The creative industry, including art, design, writing, and filmmaking, requires a human touch that is difficult to replicate. The ability to think critically, express emotions, and bring unique perspectives to the table will continue to be in demand. In fact, by learning to use AI responsibly as a tool, it could very well give your child the extra edge required to succeed in the competitive creative arena.
  2. Healthcare Providers: With an aging population and increasing healthcare needs, jobs in healthcare will remain essential. Physicians, nurses, pharmacists, therapists and other healthcare professionals will continue to play crucial roles in diagnosing, treating, and caring for patients.
  3. Teachers and Educators: The importance of education cannot be overstated. Teachers and educators have the power to inspire, motivate, and shape young minds. The personal connection and mentorship they offer cannot be replaced by technology.
  4. Social Workers/ Counsellors/Psychologists: As societies face complex challenges, such as poverty, inequality, and mental health issues, the demand for mental health workers will continue to grow. Their ability to provide compassionate care, support, and advocacy for vulnerable individuals is irreplaceable.
  5. IT Specialists: Coders and other experts in the IT industry will continue to play a crucial role in developing and implementing AI technologies. While AI has the potential to automate certain tasks, it requires skilled IT professionals to design, program, and maintain AI systems.
  6. Entrepreneurs: Entrepreneurship holds immense potential for the future workforce. It promotes innovation, job creation, and economic growth. Encouraging children to develop an entrepreneurial mindset can empower them to identify and seize opportunities, create their own ventures, and contribute to the South African economy.
  7. Trades: Jobs such as plumbing, electrical work, construction, and automotive repairs will continue to be in demand. These skilled trades require hands-on expertise and problem-solving abilities that cannot be automated. Highlighting the value of trades and providing vocational training can equip children with practical skills for the future job market.

Read more here on educating our kids for the future

Regardless of the potential threat posed by AI replacing jobs, we should also potentially consider the following 4 industries as promising career paths for the future in South Africa.

  1. Technology and Digital Services: South Africa has experienced significant growth in the technology sector, especially in software development, data analytics, and cybersecurity. With the digital infrastructure constantly expanding, there is a need for tech-savvy professionals.
  2. Renewable Energy: Do we even have to mention Eskom and our disastrous energy sector? There is a massive focus on sustainable development in South Africa right now, and the renewable energy sector is poised for expansion. Jobs in solar, wind, and hydroelectric power generation, as well as energy efficiency, will offer long-term options for workers who are skilled in this area.
  3. Agriculture and Agribusiness: South Africa has an incredibly rich and dynamic agricultural sector with huge potential for innovation and modernisation. The industry needs skilled farmers, agronomists, agricultural engineers, agricultural environmentalists, innovators, and food scientists to meet the growing demand for quality produce.
  4. Tourism and Hospitality: South Africa remains one of the planet’s most naturally beautiful and culturally diverse tourist destinations. This means there will always be jobs in tourism, hospitality management, ecotourism, and adventure tourism. In fact, the industry has started showing real growth again since the world opened, post-Pandemic, and is expected to continue growing, which means more exciting job opportunities in the future of tourism and hospitality.

At the end of the day, readying our children for the jobs of the future in South Africa requires a balanced and holistic approach. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education is crucial, but so is learning creativity, critical thinking, and social skills. Also, we should be educating our children in entrepreneurship, and trades, as well as future jobs that will become available in emerging industries.

So, while AI may currently seem like an ominous presence, there is also something to be said for the excitement that comes with our ever-evolving world. Let’s prepare our children for a future filled with endless possibilities.

Read more here on kids dreams for the future

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