The world is preparing to enter the fourth industrial revolution, and it is noticeable that most of the advice we are given barely prepares us for the next decade. It most certainly does not prepare us for the real jobs of tomorrow.

The truth is Artificial Intelligence is quickly learning to write code for itself. We now have self-healing materials that will allow robots to go from nuts and bolts to nearly flesh-like creatures. Not to mention those self-healing materials will completely change the way products are produced and consumed by dramatically boosting durability.

And, those two examples aren’t even barely scraping the tip of the iceberg of the advancements in technology. Once people really dive into technological innovations happening right now — what we have today and what is coming very soon — boggles the mind. But, most of us don’t hear much about it.

Programming and other jobs in tech will get us through the next 10 years, but what comes after that?

Well, the truth is, we just don’t know. But, in the next 10 years or so, these sectors could create highly sought-after jobs once AI/ML/QC gets a real stronghold on mainstream business.

#1 Digital DNA

The term “Digital DNA” is a buzzword right now that actually has a few different meanings and each definition is completely different. So, it can be a little difficult at this point to sort through the information when trying to research each one.

Digital DNA can be used to describe the following:

  • The process of encoding digital information onto synthetic DNA for storing big data. Microsoft has decided to spearhead leading this industry by automating digital storage on DNA. However, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done and it is likely that the industry needs will change over the next several years.
  • Creating a digital copy (digital twin) of a genome for customizing healthcare treatments. This can allow healthcare providers and patients to test out different medicines, vaccines, or diet adjustments to find the optimal treatment plans before a person tries it in real life.
  • The potential for encoding digital information into human DNA to enhance learning capabilities. We have discovered recently that we do carry some instincts through genetic memories. This is a hypothetical theory worth exploring.
  • Forensic analysis of computer crimes. Akin to physical DNA evidence in crime scene investigation, tracking the digital “fingerprint” or digital “DNA” to solve digital crimes.
  • Describing how an organization operates in digital ways. Think of the spiral pattern of a DNA strand and imagine the various working parts of a business and how they all tie together.

 

Possible Study Areas:

  • Bioinformatics
  • Computational Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry
  • Forensic Science
  • Biotechnology
  • Ethics/Philosophy

 

#2 Digital Metabolomes

Similar to storing digital information onto synthetic DNA, researchers have recently discovered that by combining various metabolomes — the building blocks of life — they can not only arrange them in specific patterns to store and retrieve digital information but also create the first steps toward biocomputers.

Remarkably, it seems as though digital metabolomics can not only store digital information but also may be able to process micro computations while suspended in a liquid solution.

Although this is a fairly recent discovery, combining synthetic digital DNA and with synthetic metabolomes could soon lead to dramatic changes across numerous industries. If researchers can figure out how to control the way that the metabolomes interact with one another in the solution, biocomputation capabilities will move from science fiction to reality in a very short period of time.

Possible Study Areas:

  • Metabolomics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Computational Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Ethics/Philosophy

 

#3 Quantum Archaeology

We are already seeing significant advancements in 3D printing individual human organs and body parts. The idea of quantum archaeology is to one day achieve 3D printing a human body in its entirety. However, it is not just printing a random person. Rather, the idea is to combine archaeology with technology to potentially resurrect historical figures.

Although it is impossible for us to synthesize a historical figure’s brain and thought process, for those who are alive when we perfect uploading our consciousness to the digital realm, we may one day be able to bring anyone back from the dead.

Possible Study Areas:

  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Historical Archaeology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Forensic Science
  • Biotechnology
  • Ethics/Philosophy

 

#4 Space Expeditions

We are on the verge of seeing entire new industries in space mining, exploration, colonization, and more. As we perfect the transportation needed to travel between different moons, asteroids, and planets, we have turned our attention to the possibility of mining these stellar bodies.

Mining on earth may soon be a thing of the past as we design robots to travel to various areas of the solar system to mine all of the resources we could possibly need.

Of course, if resources are no longer scarce, what will happen to current economics is anyone’s guess. But, that isn’t stopping a new generation of companies from going all-in on the idea. In fact, space is open for business.

Possible Study Areas:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Robotics Engineerings
  • Atmospheric and Space Sciences
  • Physics
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Avionics Engineering
  • Meteorological Technician
  • Biophysics
  • Astronomy
  • Astrobiology
  • Astrogeology
  • Pneumatics
  • Computer Hardware Engineer
  • Electronics Engineer
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Life, Physical, and Social Sciences

 

#5 Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs)

There are several different terms to describe the merging of the human brain and machines to work together:

  • Brain-Computer Interface (BCI)
  • Mind-Machine Interface (MMI)
  • Neural-Control Interface (NCI)
  • Brain-Machine Interface (BMI)
  • Direct-Neural Interface (DNI)

 

All of these terms describe the same basic premise, but depending on their context may have slightly different approaches. Some may be invasive and implanted directly into the brain while others may work externally by fitting a special cap with electrodes onto a subject. There are many areas of research devoted to finding ways to merge the human brain and computers which will achieve various results.

In some areas of development, people with limited motor skills will be able to control devices with their thoughts. This is the case with Elon Musk’s new Neuralink implant set to begin human trials soon.

Possible Study Areas:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Neuroscience
  • Materials Science
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Mathematics
  • Biology
  • Biophysics
  • Electrophysiology
  • Genomics
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Ethics/Philosophy

 

#6 Next Generation Materials

Yet another area where the opportunity for advancements is far too long to list in this article. One of the most fascinating areas of development is self-healing materials.

These materials are being developed for just about every use you can think of from clothing and upholstery to car and machine parts to building and road construction materials. Imagine buying a shirt that is virtually impossible to rip and won’t fall apart no matter how many times you wear and wash it. Or, perhaps a car body that is immune to dents and scratches. How about never going over a pothole again? Finally, what about robots that can analyze, diagnose, and repair themselves?

Possible Study Areas:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Materials Science
  • Nanotechnology
  • Physics
  • Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Chemistry
  • Biomimetics
  • Pneumatics

 

#7 Replicators/Molecular Factories/Chemputers

Could it ever be possible to 3D print things you need out of “thin air”? Well, the race is on to make machines similar to the Star Trek Replicator available to a wide array of industries very soon.

Yes, scientists have been working on making the first generation of the Star Trek Replicator to turn carbon into materials to 3D print anything we can imagine. Want a cheeseburger or cocktail to materialize virtually from thin air? Well, pretty soon that may be possible.

Possible Study Areas:

  • Nanotechnology
  • Materials Science
  • Pneumatics
  • Chemistry

 

#8 Transhumanist Tech

I must level with you when I say that the term “transhumanist tech” means so many different things I wondered if I should group them together or list them separately. For the sake of making the article more concise, I decided to lump it together under this umbrella term.

Transhumanism is basically any form of technology that improves upon the human body — and some may say the human condition, as well — to push the body far beyond its natural limitations.

Some transhumanists want to upload their minds to a digital world and leave their biological bodies behind. Others want to declare aging a disease and find a cure for it (that’s actually closer than most of us may realize). Others want to merge their flesh with machines and become cyborgs. Still, others want to alter DNA to improve upon a wide variety of areas of the human body, perhaps to better adapt to space travel and colonization, or just living better here on Earth.

Although one may not think of it this way, we already have cyborgs living among us. For instance, those with cochlear implants, pacemakers, insulin pumps, brain-computer interfaces like Neuralink, bionic prosthetics, and other medical devices can be considered transhumanists. The same applies to those who have undergone gene therapies, IVF treatments, and other similar procedures. Some people are biohackers who take medications/supplements to try to defy aging or achieve certain physiological processes in their bodies. Bodybuilders are a great example of biohacking to push the human body beyond its natural limitations.

Possible Study Areas:

Seriously, too many to list. Most of the areas of study already listed in every other area above can fit into this category as well. Research the topics of transhumanism, posthumanism, biohacking, and neurohacking further to find if there are areas of it that interest you.

 

The Motto for the 21st-Century: Disrupt, or Be Disrupted

While a lot of this may sound like total science fiction, as we have explored above, a lot of it is either already here or already being worked on by various areas of science and technology. Each of these industries is disrupting our way of life in enormous ways that will have serious implications on the economy in various ways. Additionally, the human form as we know it will cease to exist one day. It’s anyone’s guess when that will be, but we should be aware of these advancements, make provisions to safeguard life and liberty, and be excited to see what is to come.

One thing is for certain: The education world of today is not preparing us for the world of tomorrow. While there may be millions of job openings in various areas of tech today, as more people clamor to fill that demand and more advancements are made, jobs will become scarcer and wages will go lower. It’s the simple law of supply and demand. The more standardized or automated a skill becomes, the less valued it is. If you want to maintain relevant skills for the coming decades, cross-disciplinary studies are essential.

If you are venturing into these areas and need help with your SEO and thought leadership strategies, feel free to reach out!