Sunday, 26 September 2004

What will her future be?

In 10 to 12 years, my daughter will graduate from university and will need to start work. By then, I will have retired. If I survive to 2020, my life expectancy will be extended by another 20 or more years due to the advance in medicine. She is the only child and hence she will have the responsibility of providing the means to her two parents. She will need a decent job - enough to support 3 with one income. If she gets married, has a child (isn't it a tendency for single child in modern developed countries?) and decides to stay home, her husband would need a job which can provide the means to 7 persons (assuming that her parents-in-law are in the same situation as her own parents).

What will the job market like in 2020? at least for developed countries like Australia?

Here is my speculation - no proof, no research, just based on my gut feeling.

In 2020, all physical production will be outsourced to developing or underdeveloped countries, like China and India. This is from the angle of developed countries - whether Australia will remain as a developed country is another issue!

Given the low starting point of wages, China will continue to capture low-end manufacturing jobs from around the world for the next decade, Anderson predicted. But by then, average wages are likely to exceed $100 a month, up from the current $50 to $60, and labor-intensive industries such as textiles and toys are likely to revert to countries now losing jobs to China, such as Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Washington Post

Just like we don't need any typist today, in 2020, there will be no jobs for repetitive white collar work. All jobs which can be automated will have been taken over by ubiquitous computing devices.

The only local jobs commonly available will be from the service industry - most are low paying jobs - restaurants, barbers, cleaners etc. Some high value service industry jobs, e.g. solicitors for real estate transactions or patent attorney, will under serious competition from self-service online businesses if not extinct by then.

Of course, new jobs that we cannot conceive today will be invented. However, I suspect some of these jobs will be ad hoc, "tiger-group" type of jobs to solve unforeseen problems in the automation process. These jobs will have short notice and need to finish in very short time-span. It is unlikely to have a constant team member structure - simply because the job nature will require different expertise!

Among the jobs listed in a job category from yahoo, can you identify which jobs will still be around in 2020? Many will, but some will be gone.

Again, the same question: How should I prepare my daughter to face the unknown?

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