1. Everything You Say and Do Will Be Recorded by 2030. “By the late 2010s, ubiquitous unseen nanodevices will provide seamless communication and surveillance among all people everywhere. Humans will have nanoimplants, facilitating interaction in an omnipresent network.” This is the terrifying one, at least from my perspective. It’s bad enough that our emails are recorded. Soon we will have to worry about every stupid thing we say coming back to haunt us someday.
2. Careers, and the college majors for preparing for them, are becoming more specialized. “Instead of simply majoring in business, more students are beginning to explore niche majors such as sustainable business, strategic intelligence, and entrepreneurship. Other unusual majors that are capturing students’ imaginations: neuroscience and nanotechnology, computer and digital forensics, and comic book art.” I like the idea of colleges and companies offering more diverse opportunities for people to find work that they love. And I love the idea of being able to major in comic book art. I do worry a little bit that super-specialization can make it easier to get trapped in the wrong narrow niche. A focus on career specialization should be accompanied by plenty of support in exploring your options before you commit to a course of study.
3. Professional knowledge will become obsolete almost as quickly as it’s acquired. “Most professions will require continuous instruction and retraining. Rapid changes in the job market and work-related technologies will necessitate job education for almost every worker. At any given moment, a substantial portion of the labor force will be in job retraining programs.” This may sound a little bit daunting (after all, how are we going to fit more training into our already-overstuffed schedules?). At the same time, I am thrilled at the prospect of companies offering employees resources to continuously evolve and grow. It will be a lot harder to get stuck in a bad career if all careers are constantly changing and periodic career changes are viewed as standard operating procedure for all workers. The average American worker already changes careers several times over the course of a lifetime. Won’t it be nice to have more resources and support when it’s time to change things up in our work lives?