The New Machine Age and Jobs

A few weeks ago we talked about how evolving technologies are giving many jobs the death penalty.

Careers that were staples of society ten, five or even two years ago are no longer viable job opportunities. The technologies they use or provide are just, obsolete. Even Journalists are no longer safe. Shaw communications just laid off 400 workers on April 14th, and the CBC announced that 650 of its employees (8% of their entire workforce) were being let go.

This of course leads to issues about why Canadian Universities are training youth for jobs that no longer exist, and what that means for the future of Canada – but we’re already talked about that.

Actually, you can check out that article HERE if you’re interested.

Today we’re going to address something different, and a little less pessimistic. We’ve talked about jobs that are dying out, but what about the new jobs that are being created?



Take me for example. My official title is the ‘Social Media Manager at P4Digital.’ What does that mean? Well, I am the woman behind the keyboard at my company. I manage a wide variety of social media platforms (from WordPress to Twitter), I answer all the questions that people fire at the company, I keep my co-workers informed on going ons in the world, and I produce content for this fantastic Blog!

It is a full time job, and one that keeps me on my toes.

The thing is though – this job didn’t exist five years ago. Oh sure, there were marketing managers, analog players in a world that didn’t really run in real time but thanks to the onslaught of social media, companies don’t have the option to be analog anymore. You need someone behind the keyboard to manage branding and company issues in real time. Hence, the birth of the Social Media Manager.

Things are changing quickly.



Figuring out what jobs are going to be popular in the future is not a new idea. There is an entire procedure that the Canadian Government goes through to try to predict what future careers will look like. It’s called COPS.

Didyouknow3Employment and Social Development Canada use this data to make projections about the future of labour supply and demand. The last report was released in 2011 and deals with projections from 2011 to 2020. You can check out their most recent report for yourself HERE.

Most major countries have a division similar to COPS. The UKCES (UK Commission for Employment and Skills) is used in the United Kingdom. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has the Employment Projects (EP) Program in the Untied States. This is not a new concept, or a very unique one.


What jobs will be big in the future? Lets start in the present. Many jobs today did not exist at all ten years ago. In fact, the top ten in demand jobs in 2010 did not exist in 2004. Some of these include:

  • SEO Specialist

SEO Specialist


  • Web/Online Analyst


  • Web AnalystChief Digital Officer (CDO)



There are many more:

  • App Developer
  • Data Miner
  • Admissions Consultants
  • Millennial generational Expert
  • Social Media Manager
  • Could Computing Technologist
  • Sustainability Expert
  • User Experience (UX) Designer.

The skills that are needed for these jobs show that digital literacy is incredibly important. In addition to other skills like creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, and entrepreneurship.


What jobs will be common in the future? There’s really is no way to tell for sure, but reports like COPS and experts can guess.

Andrew McAfee is an Economist and one such expert.

“In the world we are creating very quickly, we are going to see things that look more and more like science fiction and less and less like jobs.”

He was a speaker at a TED Talk back in June of 2013. The video is below.

He predicts that Siri will eventually take over Customer Service positions, and self driving cars will eliminate the need for Truck Drivers.

It will be the end of drudgery and toil. Jobs of the future will belong to the innovators. When we are able to print a 3D object as easily as we print a document, the hobbyists suddenly become the creators. Passion and doing what you love will take on a whole new meaning.

What will the jobs of the future be then? Well, Futurist Thomas Frey predicts they will be something like this:

  • Augmented reality Architects: Similar to the reality that Google Glass Provides, but on a much larger scale.
  • Alternative Currency Bankers: The Rise of Bitcoin and other digital currencies. According to Javelin Strategies, 20% of all online trades are already done with alternative currencies.
  • Locationists: People who specialize in adding the relevance of ‘place’ into our top global online communities.
  • 3D Printing Engineers: Experts in 3D Printing Technology
  • Privacy Managers: How to deal with privacy in a Digital Age.

He goes on to list many more jobs, each more fantastical than the last. You can see them all for yourself HERE

Ten years ago, we didn’t have Facebook. Twenty years ago the Internet didn’t even exist! Who knows what jobs will be born a decade from today. One thing we can safely assume is that it will be run by a generation with new and different values than what we have today.

Amanda Portelli, Social Media Manager at P4Digital

Follow us on Twitter @pfourdigital






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