The hottest jobs of 2040

As automation reshapes the labor market, the jobs we know today may look unrecognizable in the future, Kristen Bahler writes for Money.

Many jobs in retail and manufacturing have already begun to disappear, Bahler notes. And nearly half of U.S. workers' jobs are at risk of being taken over by technological innovations, according to a study from Oxford University.

Luckily, about 85% of the occupations that will exist in 2030 haven't been invented yet, according to a report by the Institute for the Future.

Based on the predictions of today's executives, Bahler rounds up the hottest jobs of 2040.  

Job 1: Virtual store manager

More than half of mobile users call a business before making an online purchase, reports a recent Google survey.

Technology is reshaping the online buying experience, but people will likely still want a human connection in their consumer journey, says Amir Mashkoori, executive at ISDI Digital University. Organizations will want people who can bring a human face to their digital spaces, says Steve Cadigan, co-founder of ISDI.

Job 2: Robot Mediator

In some workplaces, robots and humans are already working together, Bahler writes. The Amazon warehouses, for example, rely on robots and humans to locate items, she notes.

And as automation continues, organizations may need workers who can help employees cope with robot colleagues, says Alan Strukalsky, the chief digital officer at Randstand USA.

Job 3: Robot Trainer

As programming becomes more standardized, employees may not need to understand the intricacies of machine learning to train them, says Avi Flombaum, dean at the Flatiron School.

In the future, robot programmer may become a more accessible, entry-level position, he predicts.

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Job 4: Drone Traffic Controller

As tech giants like Amazon and Google invest in drone delivery systems, a surge of drone-related jobs is inevitable, Bahler writes.

According to Flombaum, the rise of drone deliveries will create a need for air traffic coordinators.

Job 5: Augmented Reality Designer

Some firms now use augmented reality to create interactive consumer experiences, Bahler writes. But in a few decades, AR designers and engineers will be a hot commodity, Flombaum predicts.

Job 6: Micro Gig Agents

In the future gig economy, independent freelancers will need help navigating the new labor landscape, says Christie Lindor, a management consultant. The micro gig agent will connect freelancers to contractual projects, she predicts (Bahler, Money, 10/30).

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