One of my big fears when thinking about jobs and career paths was my incapacity to know the breadth of options available for me to choose from. What if my dream job exists but I just don't know it?! Ultimately I have come to realise this way of approaching my options is more of a hindrance than an aid and certainly, with the dawn of the tech revolution, it's probably more important to be savvy with job choices and consider their longer term viability and compatibility with technological innovation. However I thought I would use this blog post to discuss one such job that I had not heard of before some summer podcast listening (see the linked podcast to explore the possibilities surrounding smart home technology) which has the capacity to be a hidden gem for some readers whilst retaining great relevance in today's job climate.
Whilst not claiming to be able to see the future, individuals in this role try to forecast what the future might look like. This includes, perhaps most prominently today, what the consequences could be of technology development and innovation. Certainly recent concern surrounding data handling on social media platforms was not accounted for early on in the formation of social media, leading to a flurry of panic and reactive legislation as data concerns surface. However, the field is not just limited to one specialism. Futurists could apply themselves to forecasting future political tensions, threat actors, business vulnerabilities etc. They could even advise with legislative attempts to promote safe and ethical innovation or in the consideration of unintended consequences that could stem from new law. Futurists provide this analysis to advise companies and individuals on the map of possibilities they could face and how to react in an effective and ultimately successful manner.
It helps us to protect against unknown risks and eventualities, two things that most of us like to avoid.
Another great thing about this job is that futurist insights can originate from across subject areas, each contributing different methods and analytical frameworks to begin predicting trends. So there isn't a specific degree that is more likely to succeed or give you a head-start if this is something you are interested in.
between $33 000 and $110 000. Average salary is around $83 000
Part of the appeal of a futurist career is the breadth of options within the career itself. For those who are nervous about the prospect of committing to one job, futurism provides options with work available within government, business, think tanks, international bodies, media. Of course, there is still the capacity to specialise once you have found an area you love.
So there you have it, a career that is by definition future focused and ever relevant: