With the accelerated changes in digital technology, particularly in artificial intelligence (AI), the workplace is on the verge of a real revolution. As a result, a Californian think tank led by the Institute for the Future estimated that 85% of the professions that will be carried out in 2030 have not yet been created.
It is in the wake of these observations and after having interviewed some thirty relevant actors from various backgrounds that Isabelle Rouhan, president of the recruitment firm Colibri Talent, wrote Les métiers du futur, in collaboration with Clara Doïna Schmelk. In addition to reflections on tomorrow’s workplace, they present a typology of trades that can articulate it. These trades are classified into three main categories, of which we present below an overview.
Evolving environments and professions
These types of professions and work settings already exist but are expected to change due to automation.
As an example:
Today’s teacher would become the teacher of the future, which would be divided into three models: professionals who would create online training, others who would put it online on different platforms and others who would specialize in learner mentoring.
Today’s data scientist would become the data interpreter, who would be a project manager responsible for ensuring that there is no bias in the algorithms. It would act in terms of defining the right problematics — for example, predicting performance — solving it using data science and usefully interpreting the results obtained.
Environments in revolution
Under the influence of automation, some work environments are expected to undergo radical changes.
As an example:
In the business world, the way a project is carried out is likely to change with the adoption of AGILE methodologies. The same should be true in management, where managers could use neuroscience — becoming neuro-managers — to optimize the work they do with their team(s).
Professions in radical innovation
At the moment, these professions do not exist!
As an example:
The robot educator whose mission would be to identify and supervise the limits, constraints and rights that should apply to robots; in other words, to define what would be allowed in the programming of algorithms to ensure that in human/machine relations, the rights of the former are respected.
The ethical hacker would be the one who, like a hacker, would test computer systems to ensure that our data is protected from all forms of possible violations.
Giving meaning: the truly human asset
It seems that to stand out from the machine, the human worker of 2030 will have to rely on his ability to “give meaning.” Without claiming that the future will necessarily prove her right, Isabelle Rouhan is nevertheless convincing in the foreword to her book.
“This projection is based above all on a deep conviction: in a changing world, the added value is to give meaning. It is the purpose of each of the professions detailed in this book, and the common point that unites them.”
Agility: the know-how of the future
The days when people practiced the same profession all their lives are over. As Rouhan explains in an interview, in this future workplace, it will be necessary to: capitalize on your behavioural skills (interpersonal skills, leadership and other non-technical skills), regularly question your skills, as well as be ready to train continuously and leave your comfort zone.
In such a context, the worker will necessarily have to be “agile.” “I think that the first knowledge that needs to be transmitted is, in fact, a knowledge of agility, it is a know-how of agility. Since we are going to change jobs several times in our lives, and since the job we are going to do in 10 years’ time does not yet exist, what we need to do is support children, and later adults, throughout their lives, so that they have the ability to be agile, to question themselves, to “reform” themselves if necessary,” explains the author.
We can link the importance of transmitting this knowledge of agility that Rouhan evokes and the need to develop metacognitive skills, as we saw in a previous article. It should be noted that metacognition is the ability to step back from one’s cognitive processes in order to adjust them to achieve a specific objective. This is probably one of our abilities that we need to start looking at closer.