Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Programming Technology

Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs? 509

An anonymous reader writes: My niece, who is graduating from high school, has asked me for some career advice. Since I work in data processing, my first thought was to recommend a degree course in computer science or computer engineering. However, after reading books by Jeremy Rifkin (The Third Industrial Revolution) and Ray Kurzweil (How to Create a Mind), I now wonder whether a career in information technology is actually better than, say, becoming a lawyer or a construction worker. While the two authors differ in their political persuasions (Rifkin is a Green leftist and Kurzweil is a Libertarian transhumanist), both foresee an increasingly automated future where most of humanity would become either jobless or underemployed by the middle of the century. While robots take over the production of consumer hardware, Big Data algorithms like the ones used by Google and IBM appear to be displacing even white collar tech workers. How long before the only ones left on the payroll are the few "rockstar" programmers and administrators needed to maintain the system? Besides politics and drug dealing, what jobs are really future-proof? Would it be better if my niece took a course in the Arts, since creativity is looking to be one of humanity's final frontiers against the inevitable Rise of the Machines?
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

Comments Filter:
  • by Presto Vivace ( 882157 ) <> on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @02:49PM (#47459491) Homepage Journal
    but being a plumber or AC repair can't be shipped overseas.
    • by Shados ( 741919 )

      A/C repair doesn't pay very well, however with global warming, demand should skyrocket, so salaries may go up up and up!

      Bonus point if you do that now, as there's only 1 year left for usage of Freon in condenser maintenance, and a lot of people will have to replace their systems with new ones (and they're not even slightly compatible, so you have to replace the whole thing, which is brutally expensive).

      So I'd definitely recommend going that route.

    • but being a plumber or AC repair can't be shipped overseas.

      No, those jobs will not be shipped overseas, they will disappear. Look at the modular advancement of products. I do see a future where an HVAC system will be plug and play with parts sold at your local home depot. As for plumbing, why not use a "Lego" brand plumbing where "pipe A" connects to "pipe B" and snaps into place.

      People can and will be replaced as technology advances. The goal is cheap and disposable with minimal impact on quality. Manufacturing jobs are dead and a thing of the past. We all have t

      • HVAC is either hefty voltage or natural gas. Neither is going to be 'user' plug and play. Electricity *might* get to that point but it's still something a qualified electrician needs to do for the long foreseeable future. Natural gas will always require trained professionals.

        HVAC techs specifically are in demand because they must do everything that's required for HVAC: plumbing, electric, gas and minor construction.
      • Plumbing is already at the point where you can buy most of the stuff at your local plumbing/hardware store, and do it yourself. But most people can't be bothered. Same way that most people could easily change their own oil, or even make their own meals, but many people don't.
    • Yeah but you can bring guys in to do the work cheap. There's already work being done to open up the work visa program to blue collar labor.

      It's like that line from Temple of Doom. "Again we see there is nothing you can possess which I cannot take away, Dr Jones"...
    • I have an ex-roommate who does refrigeration repair ... the pay's okay, but the hours can really, really suck.

      He's on-call every couple of weeks, and might have to drive an hour away to fix a chiller at a grocery store; if they can't get to it and get it repaired before it warms up too much, they might have to destroy thousands of dollars worth of food. (and if you to go and get parts, you're kinda screwed) I don't think it's quite as bad as the 'always on duty' as some sysadmins get stuck with, but it ca

  • by Nkwe ( 604125 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @02:50PM (#47459513)
    Don't focus on specific jobs, focus on skills. Skills such as problem solving, understanding abstractions, and of course strong communication skills, both written and verbal. Skills involving dealing with and understanding people's needs will never go out of demand.
    • by sinij ( 911942 )
      Skills become obsolete or can be automated. If you rely on skills you have to dedicate yourself to a lifetime of learning.
      • by Nkwe ( 604125 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @03:17PM (#47459847)

        Skills become obsolete or can be automated. If you rely on skills you have to dedicate yourself to a lifetime of learning.

        While I could have been more clear in my subject line, I did hint at the kinds of skills I meant in my comment text. I wasn't referring to specific technical skills, but rather more generic, high level skills -- sometimes referred to by recruiters as "soft skills". While specific technical skills (such as a programming in a specific language, brick laying, or buggy whip manufacturing) may come and go, high level or abstract skills (such as communication and problem solving), will never fall out of need.

    • by alvieboy ( 61292 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @03:10PM (#47459761) Homepage

      I'd go even further and say: Teach her to learn, and she will adapt herself to every job on the Galaxy.

      But if eventually this if not feasible get her to focus on whatever she likes to do. Like Confucius once said: "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life."

      We'll deal with the machines for her.


      • by mx+b ( 2078162 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @03:28PM (#47459965)

        I agree with Confucious there! As a teacher, I can say I have seen plenty of people chasing after the job-of-the-week. The company goes under, and you lose your job (or to keep it, you have to move out of state, country, live on an Antarctic glacier, etc.), then you have to retrain and spend a fortune. And they're not happy, because they lost their job, they're worried, they're in debt, more debt now because of student loans, and now they have to do some stupid job they don't really want to do for the oil company because that's the only way out they see. Nuh-uh. Don't let her grow up like that.

        Everyone I know that followed their own path (granted, small sample size, etc etc), has seemed to end up way better off. They do what they love, they are in demand because they are good at what they do, and just everything seems to have a way of working out. Make sure she knows (1) what she loves; (2) how to think and solve new problems; (3) give her an entrepreneurial spirit, so she can CREATE HER OWN JOB and take care of herself if she doesn't want/find one in the market.

        I think that last point is perhaps the most important. The best (and really only) way to prepare for the future is to learn how to take care of yourself. Create your own job, live on a budget and NOT be in debt (debt makes you a slave to the job trends since you can't settle for a more fun but less paying job), grow your own food, pick up a few trade skills to do house repair, etc... Of course definitely encourage higher level thought if she wants to be an engineer, but if she wants to be an artist, let her, as long as she knows how to take care of herself.

  • Engineering (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bhlowe ( 1803290 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @02:51PM (#47459519)
    Engineering has a strong future: Robots. Nanotechnology. Advanced materials. Hydrogen storage. Fuel cells. Automation technology. Rapid building techniques. Vertical farming. Take any industry she likes, then work with a company that is going to do it better with technology, using fewer humans to do the work.
    • Re:Engineering (Score:5, Interesting)

      by sinij ( 911942 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @03:15PM (#47459829)
      As an engineer, I can tell you have not considered all definitions of future. What about dystopian futures where access to technology is luxury and sustenance farming in increasingly arid climate rules the day?
    • Oh no.. Engineering isn't dead, but it's definitely not where I would suggest a young person head unless they just had "the gift". Do anything else first.
      • Re:Engineering (Score:5, Insightful)

        by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @03:37PM (#47460065) Homepage
        This is key. Engineering, computer science (actually, CS was part or the engineering faculty at my university), and other applied science disciplines are flooded with graduates who have no interest in the subject matter and only did the work required to pass the courses. There's so many computer science graduates out there who can't program that it's depressing.
  • ...unless you really bought into Kurzweil's book
  • by seebs ( 15766 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @02:53PM (#47459537) Homepage

    Seriously, try to imagine describing a lot of the things people do professionally now to someone 30 years ago. Some of them are genuinely incomprehensible. Quite a lot, even.

    You can't have a future-proof job. You will have to adapt as the world changes.

    • Seriously, try to imagine describing a lot of the things people do professionally now to someone 30 years ago.

      Prostitution . . . the world's oldest profession will be around . . . well, as long as humans are still around.

      • Seriously, try to imagine describing a lot of the things people do professionally now to someone 30 years ago.

        Prostitution . . . the world's oldest profession will be around . . . well, as long as humans are still around.


  • Mortuary Science
  • by Timothy Hartman ( 2905293 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @02:55PM (#47459557)
    Get some experience doing nails just in case.
  • you are talking about something bigger.

    You use your college focus to get the toolsets you need to be a generally competent employee. What you do with it, that is what is important.

    My degree is in Humanities, but I have a current career in IT, and the tools transfer to other careers.

    So should hers, whatever she decides. (Don't do Humanities, it is a crock now, all touchy feelly and not the critical thinking I got 30 years ago)

  • by emagery ( 914122 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @02:57PM (#47459585)
    At some point, I don't see the world being able to avoid a paradigm shift in how we measure careers, labor, etc... we have invested in and achieved so much in terms of automation, ai, etc, and yet we refuse to distribute the high efficiency benefits of these things to the very masses who brought them about and are being displaced by them. If it takes less labor, per person, to make the world work, then it truly should take less labor, period... not the same (or, as things have been going lately) more labor by the few still employed while those at the top of the economic food chain rake in the entire difference just for themselves. In the end, our current path is resource wasteful in a time when we can't afford it, and all for the actual benefit of very few people. It's an untenable and unsustainable practice that's going to have to change, and I don't see us regressing to old technologies just to reestablish old careers when we already have (and simply aren't properly dispersing) much better.
  • Would it be better if my niece took a course in the Arts, since creativity is looking to be one of humanity's final frontiers against the inevitable Rise of the Machines?

    Unfortunately taking art classes does nothing to actually increase your creativity -- it's an innate characteristic of the human soul (or brain, depending on your religious views).

    Tell her to go into medicine. There is no way doctors are gonna be replaced by robots, ever.

    On the off chance that some tremendous breakthroughs do lead to medical robots like in Star Wars, NOBODY will have to worry about getting a job. I'm not holding my breath though.

    • You know what's a lot easier than making a Star Wars-like medical robot? Creating an oversupply of doctors. Good luck paying that education off without the big salary!

    • The problem with medicine is tuition. A friend of mine got out of dental school about four years ago and has $330,000 in debt. I'm sure tuition today is higher still. By the time this girl is done an MD is going to cost a million dollars. Next, with malpractice insurance and the byzantine regulations, it's very difficult to be a doctor with your own practice these days. Everybody is ending up having to work for the big hospitals, or clinics administered by the big hospitals. Now you're just a salaried emplo

    • by ZombieBraintrust ( 1685608 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @05:02PM (#47461161)
      healthcare is going to be offshored. Countries are gearing up for healthcare tourism. You hop on a plane go to a spa and get several procedures done cheap. Once insurance companies get on board you will have no choice in the matter. You will get your choice of doctors from a list outside the country.
  • There is no job that will always exist.

    But an intelligent person will always be in demand, by ensuring that they are always the most knowledgeable and by working in the elite end of the business.

    The jobs that get destroyed are typically jobs that require the least amount of intelligence and skill.

    Take fashion. Few Americans make a living sewing any more - unless of course you are a fashion designer, rather than a piece worker.

    Taxi drivers may not exist in 20 years - but race car drivers will still ha

  • Look up the best careers. Most of them are in the health care field. I don't see robots/automated systems taking over health care any time soon.You will not be rich, but let's just say comfortable.
  • You get the picture, jobs that are onsite, and very hard to automate due to dexterity/strength requirements. Handyman also comes to mind.
    Barring honest labor you can always go law or civil service.

  • Caregiver... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Amtrak ( 2430376 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @03:01PM (#47459643)

    Seriously, I know it's all anti-fem movement and all that but someone has to take care of children might as well take care of your own.

    However, if having kids isn't your thing then you want to be somewhere in the robot design/maintenance track. So, something like Engineering or Computer Science would be best. Not everyone is good at math and abstract problem solving. Learn to do that really well and get some people skills and you should be able to stay at least marginally employed.

    Another option might be to join the Military. There will always be a need for Generals even if all the grunts are robots. Someone, has to tell squad A to attack point B, and I'm not convinced that the lowly soldier will ever really be replaced with robots. Someone will always fight once the robots are defeated.

    Also genetic engineering of crops might be a good thing to go into. We are going to need better yielding crops if we are going to support all the unemployed TV zombies the Robot's replace in the job market. Otherwise, someone might get the idea in their heads of limiting the population.

  • Depends on how long of a future you need to proof against, but I'd imagine jobs requiring human interaction and contact will be among the last to go. PT's, masseuses, and psychologists are probably fairly safe for the next fifty years.

    Becoming a physical therapist will be a great way to make a living off all the utopians who are injuring themselves with increasingly bizarre sports, plus you'll get to use the latest and greatest exoskeletons at work.

  • If you can think, write, and learn, you will always be able to find or create a job.
  • by sinij ( 911942 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @03:03PM (#47459677)
    Common dangers to your career and wages are:
    1. Outsourcing
    2. Automation
    3. Disruptive innovation
    4. Boom and bust economic cycles

    Ways to protect your career and wages are:
    1. Merit and Knowledge
    2. Restricted professions & credentials
    3. Union or government position

    Not all dangers are avoidable, for example disruptive innovation is all but unavoidable, but boom and bust cycles are easier to survive in a bigger industry.

    Not all way to protect career are available to everyone, for example merit and knowledge is unobtainable goal for significant portion of population (merit, by definition, it is zero-sum game). Additionally some have drawbacks - proximity to government or union usually has negative effect on one's maximum earning potential.

    Now for more practical advice - a technical profession that interfaces with government, requires accreditation, and deals with local or critical infrastructure would be most stable long-term position. Civil engineer, food inspector, dentist are some typical example.
  • Heating, ventilating, and air conditioning. The job sucks, but it's steady. Automation of ductwork installation and repair is a long way off. Unlike construction, there's maintenance work; someone always needs their A/C fixed.

    • by Megane ( 129182 )
      The problem is that you'll probably have to work where there's no air conditioning, because it's either broken or hasn't been installed yet. That might not be fun in the summer in southern states. But at least you won't have to work in shit like a plumber would in "emergency" situations.
  • ... the oldest profession.

  • by notcreative ( 623238 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @03:06PM (#47459711) Journal
    Remember the Simpsons where Disco Stu shows Homer how Disco album sales are up 400% for the year ending 1976? "If these trends continue.... Ehy!" While I'm not sure how to spell that sound, I am sure that the idea of future-proof career is a dream. What careers seemed future-proof thirty years ago, and could anyone have picked the winners and losers? There's a hindsight fallacy there. Just like the stock market, if there was such a thing as a future-proof career then everyone would want it, driving the salary to zero and making it worthless.

    As other worthies have probably pointed out elsewhere in the comments, the best idea is to learn critical thinking and remain flexible. STEM education is valuable whether you're working in your specialty or not. Unlike Underwater Basket-Weaving or other majors that seem like a great idea as a freshman, STEM educations generally push students to learn basics about how the world works that can be universal (including submarine crafting mechanics). I have this same issue with my kids and I think the answer is just to let them know that building a network and constantly learning is the highest-payoff strategy but no guarantee. Anyone giving a job guarantee is, to paraphrase, lying or selling something.

    Also I'm planning to have my drugs delivered by Amazon Drones(tm), so that's not a future-proof occupation either.

  • Seriously? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Calavar ( 1587721 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @03:06PM (#47459715)

    Are you kidding me? You're planning your daughter's career based on predictions from Kurzweil and Rifken? They both have notoriously bad track records. Kurzweil is the guy who predicted that we'd have automatic translation for phones ten years ago. (He claims that his prediction held true because 2004 smart phones shipped with crappy text translation apps, but it is obvious from context that he originally meant real time voice-to-voice translation.)

    I have no doubt that much of what Kurzweil and Rifken predict will eventually happen, but their timelines are far too optimistic. IMO, the best advice you could give your daughter is to keep away from factory work (everyone will be replaced by robots relatively soon, even in China), law (far too many grads, far too few jobs -- you need to go to a top 10 school if you want any shot at a good job), and academia (same problem as law).

    • Re:Seriously? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MozeeToby ( 1163751 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @03:24PM (#47459919)

      If people like Kurzweil are right is the fact that planning for them is worthless. Kurzweil's predictions are, by definition, that the future is unpredictable due to rapid technological development. What on earth makes you think construction workers will have a job if Kurzweil's predictions were to come to fruition? Or Plumbers? Or even painters, actors, poets for that matter? In Kurzweil's future, you could have software that understands the human brain far, far better than we do today and could apply that knowledge to generate works of art of such sublime beauty that we'll look at Michelangelo's works like a toddler's scribbles (beautiful for what they are but ultimately primitive).

      There's no point in planning for that future because that future is so far removed from where we are today that it's not yet imaginable how we, as fleshy, living, breathing human beings, will fit into it.

  • by AudioEfex ( 637163 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @03:10PM (#47459769)

    What does she want to do. It's fine if she doesn't know yet, too many kids are forced into a box too early, but those are the types of questions you should be asking her. What is she good at? What are her hobbies? There may be jobs she doesn't even know about that may relate to them that you can help her discover. Picking a profession is not something really that should be done on statistics/probability.

    That said, of course it's good to reign in certain things - there aren't a lot of jobs for underwater basket weavers. But, you could suggest offshoots of that - either a basic business degree to run her own shop, or something in textiles/manufacturing. But it's always best to go with what she likes and/or is good at as a starting place - vs. figuring out what has the least amount of risk and going for it no matter what the profession is.

    This is where those "aptitude" tests that you take in high school might be helpful. I'm sure there are equivalents online, or her school might still offer them. I'd never use them as a sole resource, but they can help you find things that may not be obvious. In high school one of the careers that mine said was "law enforcement" which at the time I laughed at - yet now, in my mid-30's - I suddenly found myself working in a different field in the private sector, but as a financial investigator. Something to those tests, I think.

  • People has that bad habit of dying...

  • People have to eat. Plan for migration into servicing food service machines at some future time. And then servicing food service servicing machines.

  • It seems like a profession where your identity, presence, and personal behavior is part of the product being sold. Possibly the only such profession?

  • There will be more of these jobs in the future than right now for sure, but there might not be many overall. Still, possibly the best bet for any job you'll need a degree to obtain.

  • Slashdot editor. Those guys are set for life! Timothy even has a lordship!

  • Capitalist (Score:5, Insightful)

    by meta-monkey ( 321000 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @03:20PM (#47459869) Journal

    We all know eventually the only ones profiting will be those who own the robots. So become a capitalist. Take that money she was going to spend on a college education and start a business instead. A few rules, though:

    1) It must not be something other people do for free for fun. Don't become a photographer.
    2) It must be something where eventually other people do the work while you make the money. Don't become a freelancer.
    3) It must be scalable. That is, adding workers/locations/production increases profits. This is similar to "don't be a freelancer," as there are only so many hours in your day.
    4) When you're finished, you can sell the business to somebody else. That is, it must be a business that accumulates assets, rather than just service contracts.

    Good luck.

  • Get a job building things for the future.. If you can handle the math and learn to build things creatively that is a good basis for a ton of careers.

    I told my daughter: get an undergrad degree in this.. if you don't like it later than get a Master's and change.. but getting an undergrad in something simplistic and simple later limits your options.

    College is expensive.. learn hard things there.

  • by oracleofbargth ( 16602 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @03:21PM (#47459881) Homepage

    The answer really depends on several things, but she should start by looking at what she is good at and what she enjoys doing. Trouble is, for kids coming out of high school, they may or may not really know either one of those things yet. I knew right off that I enjoyed writing computer programs (taught myself Basic and some C during high school), so I went for a CS degree for system programming in college, and ended up working as a sysadmin. My wife was the opposite, and didn't find out that she enjoyed working in health care until having to get a "real job" after a couple really bad years of college. I also have a nephew who spent almost 8 years in college, switching majors (and sometimes colleges) every semester for the first 5 years until he found a passion for social work.

    If she doesn't have a specific field that she is interested in, but she does want to go to college, I would recommend she pick a degree program that offers an Associates degree mid-way through, (or just go for an Associates of General Studies,) in order to make it easier to get a job or switch colleges halfway through, should the need arise. (In other words: be prepared.) If she wants to go into a field where she would need an advanced degree such as a Masters or PhD, I recommend picking a university that offers the advanced program she wants for her Bachelors' degree, as they often offer automatic acceptance to students who received their undergrad from them, and also may offer dual grad-school credit for some advanced undergrad classes.

    With regards to books recommending one avoid studying computer science, I have one statement: We have not reached the Singularity yet, and if nobody studies computer science, how are we supposed to get there?

  • foresee an increasingly automated future where most of humanity would become either jobless or underemployed by the middle of the century. While robots take over the production of consumer hardware, Big Data algorithms like the ones used by Google and IBM appear to be displacing even white collar tech workers. How long before the only ones left on the payroll are the few "rockstar" programmers and administrators needed to maintain the system? Besides politics and drug dealing, what jobs are really future-pr

  • Kitty (a blonde bombshell): Y'know I was reading a book the other day.

    Carlotta (a world weary diva): (taken aback) Reading a book?

    Kitty: Yes. It's all about civilization or something. A nutty kind of a book! Do you know that the guy says that machinery is going to take the place of every profession?

    Carlotta: (giving her a once-over) Oh, my dear, that's something you need never worry about.

  • plumbing, electrician, framer, mechanic, heavy equipment operator. if you're working for a contractor, not in-house at some firm, there will be boom and bust years. but no makerbot can do this work.


    * A trillion dollars in student loans.

    * Record high unemployment.

    * Three million good jobs that no one seems to want.

    The goal of Profoundly Disconnected® is to challenge the absurd belief that a four-year degree is the only path to success. The Skills Gap is here, and if we don't close it, it'll swallow us all. Which is a long way of saying, we could use your help...

    http://profoundlydisconnected.... []

  • Tell her to go to beauty school and become a hairdresser.

    1. It's not outsourceable.
    2. It's unlikely to be automated due to the precision required involving sharp objects around the skull.
    3. It's more an art than a science.
    4. You get to meet people in your local community.
    5. The hours are reasonable.
    6. In general it's a respectable profession.
  • Health care is the modern issue. The societies which don't already have it are getting it. There's not enough health care providers now, and demand is only increasing.

    Doesn't really matter if you're a provider or an enabler (e.g. health and human services, medical transcriptionist, etc) ... demand is there.

    Sure, most doctors could be replaced (with improvement) with an expert system. But they will fight that tooth and nail for the foreseeable future, no matter the cost.

  • MBA/PHB/VP (Score:4, Insightful)

    by turgid ( 580780 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @03:40PM (#47460111) Journal

    Train for Management, Business Administration and Making Tough Decisions(TM). There is no way that our corporate masters are going to outsource/offshore/automate their own cushy positions or let the great unwashed get their hands on the robots producing the goods.

  • People fear automation and the progress of technology, that somehow it's going to put society out of work. I think this view is backwards. If you've worked in the labor force for a decade or more, you might have noticed that historically there have always been jobs where people sit around all day and do practically nothing. It's parodied in movies constantly because it's a reflection of what's pretty much always been the case. Like Patrick Bateman in American Psycho - just one character from a whole cast of characters who put their feet up on desks and got paid copious amounts of money for seemingly nothing. Or Sam Lowry's desk job in the film Brazil. That's just how it went, the technology didn't exist at the time to make companies efficient, and they needed to get certain work done, so companies just had tons of these almost meaningless positions. This is mostly the reason why global competition was such a wake up call in the 70s and 80s. We've gotten a lot more efficient and a lot of positions are just removed. There's really no future proofing of anything, and the term itself is marketing junk. If you want to provide value in the job market, have a career that requires creativity and has a high learning curve and high market value. Also, always be willing to learn new skills that will help you maintain this value since skills inevitably become obselete.
  • Life Lottery (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phizi0n ( 1237812 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @04:04PM (#47460367)

    Tell her to do what she enjoys for as long as she can because life is a lottery and you can't predict how it will turn out.

  • by PRMan ( 959735 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @04:15PM (#47460515)
    What does she LOVE to do?
  • hookers (Score:4, Funny)

    by umghhh ( 965931 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @04:23PM (#47460641)
    are not very easy to offshore and demand is not going away either.
  • Tell her to become an M.D. and specialize in obstetrics. Unless there are no humans, humans will still have babies, and the process of delivery will still be fraught with problems. If she likes art, then maybe industrial design. Widgets may end up being 3d-printed, but someone still has to make them look pretty.
  • by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @04:31PM (#47460785) Journal

    Considering that 25 years ago, someone talking about "the internet" would have been largely met with baffled stares, it's pretty sure that most of the jobs that are going to exist in the first world in 40 years may not have even been imagined yet.

    Then again, considering politicians inability to let ANY special interest group go unsatisfied, just about any job is "safe" - if the buggy-whip manufacturers had had better lobbyists, they'd still be employed too.

  • Stripper! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Jim Sadler ( 3430529 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @06:16PM (#47461925)
    Exotic dancers will probably do well over the next century or so and call girls can do well if they are really sharp looking and smart enough to handle the trade. Very few jobs will exist for humans in any area of work much sooner than most people think. Obviously society will have to pay people not to work. Freedom might become a much more real concept when people are freed from monetary demands. The very notion of concepts such as socialism, communism and capitalism will become quaint and obsolete concepts. The very basic fact that all people need to confront is that "TECHNOLOGY IS DESIGNED TO ELIMINATE HUMAN EFFORT". We are at the toggle point at which technology may actually pay off for humanity. So far the advance of technology has caused as much pain as joy.
  • by jmcharry ( 608079 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @06:51PM (#47462203)

    I graduated in EE in '69. Over my career everything changed at least once or twice. What I found most important was an understanding of the fundamentals behind the practices. That is, the underlying theory, physics and mathematics. With a firm grounding in those and a feel for how to apply them, I could keep up with the changes. I suspect it is the same in most fields.

    A couple of earlier posters noted she should do what she really loves to do, and that is of course correct, but concentrate on the basics at first. All else will change. Don't fight the changes, adapt to them, and exploit them. If you love what you are doing, it is part of the adventure.

    Still, life is a crap shoot. It takes a little bit of luck as well as careful preparation. Aristotle said count no man fortunate until he is dead.

The world is coming to an end--save your buffers!