5 jobs of the future that could take over the workforce

Social media managers, content creators and coders are the jobs of today. But what are the jobs of tomorrow? The roles experts predict may surprise you.

A child wearing a jet pack and fist pumping at the sky

Could your parents have ever predicted your job? And for the parents among us, could you take a stab at what your child’s future career looks like?

The answer is you probably can’t. New careers are appearing at a rapid rate, in response to the world’s shifting technological and societal needs.

So, what roles will we all be vying for tomorrow? Based on recent changes in how and where we work, experts have made some educated guesses about the biggest jobs of the future. 

1. AI prompt engineer

Two years ago, this role didn’t even exist. Now, job listings for prompt engineers (or generative AI specialists) are turning up on SEEK more and more.

Prompt engineering involves knowing how to describe a task to an artificial intelligence tool like ChatGPT to get the right output. For example, you might prompt it to produce engaging text, translate a language, or write code—it all depends on what your business needs. And it can be complex work, requiring an understanding of language and a patience for trial and error. 

Who’s hiring now?

So far, it’s mostly large tech sector employers like Amazon hiring for this role in Australia, but experts expect job postings to become more popular once workplaces figure out how they want to use generative AI programs. 

What qualifications will you need?

In the US, where prompt engineering roles are taking off at a much faster rate, employers want people who have a degree in computer science or linguistics. Since many content managers are likely to become prompt engineers in the future, a qualification in editing or journalism could also be your door in. Forward thinking tech giants like Meta already look out for these skills. 

2. Virtual reality developer

In many ways, virtual reality is still in its infancy. As Jaron Lanier, the ‘father of VR’, recently put it in The New Yorker, the tech has been around since the 1980s but we haven't quite figured out how we want to incorporate it into our daily lives. 

But that’s changing every day. In Australia, where the VR market is expected to grow by 11.4% every year between 2024 and 2028, we’re investing heavily in developing the tech for gaming, defence, real estate and healthcare. Lanier also sees serious growth in areas like education, science and urban planning, where VR can enhance how we learn and make decisions.

None of this can be done without VR developers—those who build these three-dimensional worlds. 

Who’s hiring now?

In Australia, your best bet is to get a VR developer role with a tech startup or gaming development company, though opportunities are appearing across all sorts of industries. Recent employers of note include Boeing Defence Australia, which builds immersive aerospace training experiences; Zero Latency, which developed the world’s multiplayer free-roam VR experience; and XRHealth, a virtual telehealth clinic. 

What qualifications will you need?

A degree in game development or computer science, where you can get experience in the game engines Unreal Engine and Unity. 

3. Sustainability consultant

Sustainability consultants understand the impact that human activities have on the environment and recommend ways that businesses can reduce their carbon output. Their services are already incredibly popular thanks to regulation changes in Australia—but experts believe job listings will only skyrocket as we transition to clean energy.

Who’s hiring now?

The biggest local employers are mining and energy companies, plus the financial services and banking sector. That said there are sustainability roles available in just about every industry, meaning you can work wherever interests you most. 

What qualifications will you need?

It can depend on the industry, though a degree in environmental management or sustainability is generally required.

4. Ethical hacker

It sounds like an oxymoron, but ‘ethical hacker’ is a real job title—and a role most businesses will need on their payroll if they’re going to take cybersecurity seriously. 

According to Home Affairs, there’s a cybercrime in Australia every 6 minutes, with ransomware alone causing up to $3 billion in damages to our economy every year. 

Enter: Ethical hackers. They’re tasked with breaking into an organisation’s computer systems (with full permission) to find weaknesses and vulnerabilities. The org can then introduce better security systems to prevent major data breaches. 

If you have a penchant for coding and bending the rules, it could be the future career of your dreams.  

Who’s hiring now?

Any business with an IT department can hire an ethical hacker, but most roles are currently offered by large cybersecurity firms like CyberCX, government agencies and banks. 

What qualifications will you need?

Get started by earning a degree in information technology, computer science or cyber security. Depending on where you want to work, you may also need to get Australian Government security clearance. 

5. Personal brand consultant

In a recent report, the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) in London revealed all the potential paths it believes the global workforce will take in the future. And one path that seems quite likely is a rise in jobs that help us brand ourselves online—think roles like ‘personal brand consultant’ and ‘personal PR assistant’.

Personal brand consultants already exist. They tend to be sole traders who help professionals stand out on platforms like LinkedIn. But the RSA theorises that we’ll need personal brand consultants even more once automation takes over sections of the workforce, and emotional skills become highly sought after. They’ll help us promote our authentic selves on social media—and beyond. 

Who’s hiring now?

Personal brand consultants tend to get their start in public relations or influencer marketing roles before branching off into freelance work. You'll find roles listed on SEEK and LinkedIn with corporate brands, media organisations, and boutique marketing agencies.  

What qualifications will you need?

A qualification in social media, public relations, digital marketing or business will give you the skills you need to establish yourself in this role now—and adapt to whatever it might look like in the future. 

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