self driving google car

When you’re planning a career path to follow for the next fifty years, you’ll want to be sure of choosing something that lasts.

Of course it’s hard to know what jobs are likely to be around further down the line, but there are plenty of industries that will doubtless not only be around but will have thrived and diversified beyond what is around now.

This is all relevant because various sectors are actually shrinking due to their being automated or outsourced overseas. Manufacturing is in decline in the UK for both these reasons. In addition, plenty of businesses are staring at losses because their services are being replaced by online services – newspaper publishers and movie rental shops come to mind.

Even many jobs that we would once have thought were guaranteed for life, such as driver or chef, might in the coming decades be phased out as a result of automation (like Google’s self-driving cars, pictured above).

The most pragmatic thing to do is to invest your time and skills into something that will last for years to come. Here are the future-proof careers you should be looking into if you want a job for life:

Programmer

The demand for people who can build software is set to rise  over the coming decades, as our appetite for apps grows enormously. If anything, there may be too much competition in this sector, as children as young as five are now being taught to code in an effort to help the UK’s industry compete on a global scale. However at present, skilled and experienced programmers enjoy large salaries and high rates of employment.

Teacher

While so many functions are being automated and computerised, there will always be a need for human teachers and lecturers. Computers won’t take over teaching functions any time soon – machines aren’t very inspiring teachers and we’re unlikely to create robots that can give a full and engaging learning experience. That isn’t to say however that teaching will remain exactly the same, as distance learning and more automated research may become the norm.

Creative / Artist

Art isn’t always seen as a very stable career choice, but people in the creative industries can be assured that they won’t ever be fully replaced. Writing, composing, acting and visual art really can’t be imitated by machines, and in fact it’s easier than ever to get your work out there via the internet, even if it’s sometimes difficult to collect a pay cheque for it.

Social care

We’re living longer and longer, and this trend of longevity is set to continue. Somebody needs to care for the aging population and so growth will need to happen in private and public social service providers. I think it’s going to be a while before robots can be engineered to care for us like on ‘Humans.’

Doctor

Hopefully we’ll get much better at curing and treating illnesses in the near future. That said, disease and accidents will probably never be eliminated completely, and so we’ll need medical workers of all kinds.

As with many functions the job is likely to evolve, as machines will learn to diagnose patients, freeing up time for medics to focus on preventing people getting ill in the first place. Surgery might also be carried out by robots as they are much more precise than people.

Generally, the jobs that will survive will be ones that require an actual human being, in person rather than remotely. But even if your job is phased out in the coming years, you should be able to weather it, as long you have the right mindset and a willingness to adapt. Maybe it’s best just to do what you love.

Can you think of any roles that are future-proof? Post the role and the reason in the comments below.

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