Recently I have learnt a new way of thinking; Futuring. This is a way of thinking about the future based on possible scenarios that our current contextual setting may be deprived of or heading towards. Alexander Crosby of UTS held a brief and mind-opening workshop ‘Valuing Student Voices When Exploring, Creating and Planning for the future of Australian Higher Education’ which was lead through group work where we had to analysis technologies within our past and present education and think about how these technologies may change in a future scenario with an educational context.
What struck me the most with the solutions my group came up with is this idea of a “Customisable degree” where by one can combine different course content over various degrees i.e. Commerce, Design and Engineering to create a customised skill set according to the students interests and aspirations. This made me think back to something Gerhard (A Visual Communicator and Lecturer) said at a lecture in my first year of university “By the time you finish your degree, there will be thousands of newly invented jobs that did not exist when you started your degree.” So essentially, we all could be potentially studying for a job that doesn’t even exist yet. Is that not crazy to you? Our world is so diverse and ever- changing that we can’t even consume knowledge and education at the same rate that the economy needs us to fulfil certain roles.
This is the time where high income jobs require an average skill set, we are all expected to have high-skill sets at pretty much all comfortable job positions (Friedman, T. 2013). So this is where I started looking into the new jobs that are out there and the way in which we can create an adaptable career and future for ourselves in such a rapidly changing world. While many jobs will remain the same, the acceleration of technology and data systems will change the nature of their work (Frey, T. 2011).
So what does this mean for us designers specifically? Will we require IT and Computer based skills? Should these skill sets be a choice via an elective subject or integrated within our mandatory studies? We’re seeing a future of an amalgamated force of employees. Here are a few futuristic jobs I bet you never knew existed:
- 3D-Printing Engineers
- Social Education Specialists
- Organ Agents
- Urban Agriculturalists
They all sound like a Hybrid of two fields right? So lets get rid of the one path, on job, one solution mindset and start thinking about how we can educate ourselves in the way we want. Stop thinking about the “status-quo” of a steady 9-5 job and start thinking about how you create an untouched field that caters to every social, emotional, intellectual and creative outlet your heart desires. Skills like problem solving, collaborative thinking, communication, creativity and critical thinking are far more valuable to a student than purely academic knowledge (Frey, T. 2011).
Perhaps it’s experience based electives we should be looking at. How can we develop our interpersonal skills and practical thinking skills in order to adapt to our ever-changing careers? The main idea is to be more “life smart”. Look at Richard Branson, and Steve Jobs – Multi Billionaires with low academic records to their name. Before you invest emotional stress into the idea of the future, invest you time into what you love and be the best. Do what you do differently, and better that everyone else.
- Bromstein, E. 2014. 30 Jobs with weird, futuristic sounding titles. Viewed 22nd October 2014 <http://www.workopolis.com/content/advice/article/30-futuristic-sounding-job-titles/ >
- Friedman, T. 2013. Need a Job? Invent it, Viewed 22nd Oct 2014 <http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/31/opinion/sunday/friedman-need-a-job-invent-it.html?_r=0>
- Frey, T. 2011. 55 Jobs of the Future, Viewed 22nd Oct 2014 <http://www.futuristspeaker.com/2011/11/55-jobs-of-the-future/>