Editor’s Note: A few years ago I saw a video that blew me away concerning the changes in education and technology. This was back when Myspace was bigger than Facebook. But one of the things that the video said was something to the effect of, “we are preparing students for jobs that don’t exist.” Although I don’t agree with everything this guest post says (degree for homesteading), the understanding that times are changing so quickly should not be lost on the reader. Also, be sure to watch the video I referred to above and the newest version that has been produced. – Todd
Many of the degrees we have now we didn’t have 20 or 30 years ago. Majors such as nanotechnology and even homeland security are relatively recent offerings that have been introduced as our technology and our society has changed. Our society continues to change, including everything from technology to agriculture, arts to science.
Our educational system must keep pace with these changes in order to train workers for the jobs of tomorrow. Though it may be impossible to say what jobs will be needed in 10, 20 or 30 years from now, we can offer some predictions based on current patterns. Here are a few jobs we think will be important in the future but that do not yet have a college degree available:
The death of print has been predicted for some time, but it looks like it might finally be beginning its slow decline. Amazon has reported that it sold more e-books last year than it did print books, and more and more authors are choosing to publish their books themselves online instead of vying for a traditional publisher to accept their book.
A degree in e-book publishing seems inevitable as the publishing industry will have to adapt to these changes and develop a formal approach to this technology.
Everything and everyone is online these days, and trying to find information is often a bit like walking into a crowded ampitheater and shouting out a request. It’s total chaos. Online marketing helps people connect with the audience that is looking for their products or that wants to hear their message.
Surely, marketing degrees already incorporate study of online marketing. However, it seems necessary that the focus will need to shift exclusively to strategies for online marketing, such as search-engine optimization and social media marketing, specifically.
Our natural resources are quickly being depleted, and scientists agree that we must find alternative sources of energy that are sustainable. Research has been done on how to use a variety of materials for fuel, including corn and sugar.
While this research is being conducted, there are not yet formal degree programs that focus exclusively on biofuel study. Most engineers working in this field have to train under another degree program and then apply that knowledge to their work. However, finding alternative sources of fuel is becoming a priority, and more degree programs that focus on the training to find solutions to this issue are incredibly important.
As our population expands and our space and our resources become more scarce, homesteading and other types of communal living will start to become more important. Most homesteaders learn the skills needed for this style of living on their own, but as the demand increases, it is easy to see how there will be a need for leaders who can organize communities and provide training and resources.
A formal degree program could train these leaders and could help to support research that could find new, innovative solutions to make community living possible on a larger scale, to better use resources, and so on.
Sure, we have Norton and McAfee to protect our computers, but as we spend more and more of our time online (and make more and more of our lives available online), we are going to need greater security — like personal security. It is easy to envision a need for online security guards who actively protect your personal information, prevent identity theft, and even combat cyber-bullying or attacks on your reputation.
The technology is there to provide many of these services, but a formal degree program can focus on how to meet the needs of the individual, specifically, and can train leaders to find new and innovative ways to meet the demands that are posed by the changes in technology.
There are many other degrees that the future may see, such as those focusing on tiny architecture, specifically, artificial intelligence, or crop engineering to find new uses besides food for items such as corn, hemp and soy.
What degrees do you think the future will hold? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Chloe Trogden is a writer and manager for Helpdesksoftware.org. In her spare time, she enjoys camping, swimming and playing her guitar.
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