New roles are created daily as a result of changing technologies and customer expectations.

Workers hoping to remain employable must look ahead and prepare for what is coming.

Trend forecaster Michael McQueen predicts emerging roles will include 3D organ printer technicians, who specialise in printing organ tissue; neural augmentation specialists, who deal with the ways brains and technology interact; bio-identity managers, who ensure private data is secure; neuromarketing managers, who apply the sciences of the brain and nervous system in marketing contexts; telepresence events managers, who run virtual reality workspaces or meetings; and virtual worlds entertainment producers, who create immersive new films and games.

He also predicts chief experience officers – responsible for ensuring customers are delighted at every point of their consumer journey – will break into the mainstream.


"This type of role is being driven by ever-increasing customer expectations and the fact that data means we can now quantify and measure key customer metrics in a way we couldn't in the past," he says.

McQueen, author of How to Prepare Now for What's Next, says the future will require workers to constantly upskill and look for new ways to add value to their organisation.

Simply developing technical skills will not be enough and workers' focus should be on soft skills.

"There are 12-year-olds right now who you'll be competing with in the coming years and they've been coding their whole lives so you won't necessarily get your edge by being good technically," he says.

"Rather, it is communication, negotiation, creative and intuitive skills that will be most critical.

"These are capabilities that are not easily replicated by machines."

McQueen advises putting future plans into place as soon as possible.

"Dig the well before you get thirsty," he says.

"If you wait until change and disruption hit, you will find yourself operating in survival mode, not strategic mode."

Josh Sprague works in innovation management, finding ways to commercialise new products and services.

He says his role barely existed just three or four years ago.

"Digital plays a big role in society now with virtual reality and voice-activated devices like Google Home," he says.

"The role has got a big future."

Sprague came to his position as lead product manager for Goodwork via a Bachelor of Business (Entrepreneurship) and experience in banking, consulting and running a business that specialised in helping brands engage with Gen Y.

"The project I am working on at the moment is Goodwork – a networking app built for tradies," he says.

"It's similar to LinkedIn but for tradespeople. We connect trade to trade so they can self-organise and have a stronger network to get work done."

Five new jobs on the horizon


Robots and artificial intelligence (AI) will be part of the workforce in future, in one form or another. These workers will be responsible for designing their personalities.


There are likely to be new ethical questions that come out as a result of AI. Lawyers will be needed to specialise in this area in the same way an employment lawyer focuses on employment law.


These workers design products and services as part of the internet of things (IoT), which refers to the interaction between devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data. Examples include the sensors in driverless cars or wearable technology such as Fitbits.


As companies embrace more flexible workforces, dedicated human resources professionals will be needed to co-ordinate them.

Freelancing will present new challenges to organisations.


Consumers of the future will not only see messages through print, online, television and radio. Via IoT (the Internet of Things), new channels may include smart homes and cars. Visual executives will ensure this content – such as health updates or advertising – is well presented.