(English) Digital jobs, digital workforce.

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In this unit we look at how the new digital era might affect the types of job available and how new technologies might mean some jobs become automated. Will the rise of the machines affect you and how can you future-proof yourself?


Jobs of the Future

Listen to ‚Futurist‘ Mark Pesce talk about how work will be different in future (55 seconds in) and the suggestions of possible future jobs.


Think of some possible job titles for the future, here are some ideas to get you started.

      • Digital architect – Designs a selection of virtual buildings for advertisers and retailers to market their products;
      • Body part maker – Creates living body parts for athletes and soldiers;
      • Nano-medic – Creates very small implants for health monitoring and self-medication;
      • Vertical farmer – Farms crops upwards rather than across flat fields to save space;
      • Climate controller – Manages and modifies weather patterns;
      • Avatar manager – Designs and manages holograms of virtual people;
      • Memory augmentation surgeon – Helps preserve and improve memory in an ageing population;
      • Child designer – Designs offspring that fit parental requirements;
      • Omnipotence delimiter – Reins in our belief that anything is possible and we are all-powerful;
      • Personal medical apothecary – Provides a bespoke range alternative therapies;
      • Haptic programmer – Develops technology around the science of touch, such as gloves that make your hand feel warm, or wrapped in velvet.

In the video above, Mark Peske says that if a job can be automated it will be. Do you agree?

Have a look at these fun quizzes designed to help you think about yourself and digital transformation.

Thinking about future technologies – Will a robot take your job? Follow the link then type a job into the search bar, will the job become automated in the future?

There’s another similar quiz here if you’d like to double check!

Now we will look at ways to future-proof yourself. If your job is at risk of becoming automated you will need to think about career adaptability and resilience in the face of change.

Try this reflective quiz

Thinking about yourself – What animal are you?


Take a few minutes to reflect on what steps you can take to future-proof yourself, then watch the video about resilience.

If you’d like to find out more, there is a substantial body of literature on ‘career adaptability’ (Savickas et al., 2009; Savickas, 2011) as discussed in Week 1.

Building on this and reflecting on career resilience (Lyons, Schweitzer, and Ng,2015). we can think of resilience as ‘the process of bending and rebounding to overcome adversity’ (Hunter, 2001, p. 172) as noted by Lengelle et al. (2016).

This is a multi-dimensional phenomenon that varies according to contexts, internal variables, and external changes. Resilience is often viewed as a positive outcome ‘which is defined by the presence of positive mental health (such as positive self-concept and self-esteem, academic achievement, success at age-appropriate developmental tasks, etc.) and the absence of psychopathology, despite exposure to risk’ (Metzl and Morrell, 2008). This concept is also interpreted as a dynamic learning process dependent upon interactions between individual and contextual variables that evolve over time. In this sense, resilience refers to the capability to ‘bounce back’ from negative emotional experiences associated with adversity.

So what steps can you take?

You could employ some of the techniques discussed in last week’s lesson on Coaching and Peer coaching to help with problem solving and finding creative solutions.

You can look at your digital skills – see the next unit for ideas.




Bimrose, J., Brown, A., Barnes, S-A., & Hughes, D. (2011) The role of career adaptability in skills supply. Wath-upon-Dearne: UKCES (UK Commission for Employment and Skills). (UKCES Evidence Report).

Hunter, A. J. (2001). A cross-cultural comparison of resilience in adolescents. Journal of Pediatric
, 16, 172-179  Lengelle, R., Van der Heijden, B and Meijers, F. (In Press) The Foundations of Career Resilience,

Kettunen, J., Sampson, J. P., & Vuorinen, R. (2015). Career practitioners‘ conceptions of competency for social media in career services. British Journal of Guidance & Counseling, 43, 43-56. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03069885.2014.939945 doi:10.1080/03069885.2014.939945

Lengelle, R., Van der Heijden, B and Meijers, F. (In Press) The Foundations of Career Resilience, Springer Books.

Lyons, S. T., Schweitzer, L. and Ng, E. S. W. (2015) ‘Resilience in the modern career’, Career Development International, 20(4), 363–383.

Metzl, E. S. and Morrell, M. A. (2008). ‘The role of creativity in models of resilience: Theoretical exploration and practical applications’, Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, 3(3), 303–318.

Savickas, M. L., Nota, L., Rossier, J., Dauwalder, J. P., Duarte, M. E., Guichard, J. and Van Vianen, A. E. (2009) ‘Life designing: A paradigm for career construction in the 21st century’, Journal of Vocational Behavior, 75(3), 239–250; and Savickas, M. L. (2011) ‘Career Counseling’, Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Springer Books. 41 Metzl, E. S. and Morrell, M. A. (2008). ‘The role of creativity in models of resilience: Theoretical exploration and practical applications’, Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, 3(3), 303–318.

International Perspectives

The Future of Work and Skills

Digital Jobs, Digital Workforce

Digital Jobseekers, Digital Employers

Reflection and Further Resources

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