Robots we control with our brains? Reproductive veterinarians? Solar-powered split heating and cooling systems? Experts say they're all right around the corner and they will be commonplace before we know it. These are "Disruptive Technologies" — the phrase for the next generation of technological changes that are predicted to "disrupt" the world we know and take business, economies and our lifestyles to a new level. It also means new job opportunities. Even non-STEM majors can take part: Many of these industries are looking for communicators to tell their story.
Manufacturing and medicine already use robotics, but we'll soon see robots we control with our minds, Russian multimillionaire Dmitry Itskov said at the recent Global Future 2045 conference in New York. Other entrepreneurs and scientists envision robots with "humanlike" abilities, including dexterity, intelligence and senses. Far out? Not really. And there are already numerous job opportunities in electrical, agricultural, automotive and machine animation. Here are two examples:
Robotics technicians. They build and maintain robots, and may program robots. Generally this job requires a two-year degree in robot technology or a similar field. That may also include an apprentice program.
Robotics engineers. They design, build or create plans for building and programming robots, and often maintain robots. Must have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in engineering, often electrical or robotics engineering. Many students opt for advanced degrees.
We've all heard about DNA and the human genome. But what about plants and animals? Scientists are expanding their genome knowledge and predict an explosion of new jobs in agriculture and wildlife fields. Examples include:
Food scientists. They create responsible ways to develop healthier crops. A bachelor of arts degree is generally required.
Policymakers/analysts. These folks research, advise and help implement new policies regarding genetics as they affect economics, agriculture, political and social aspects of our lives. This job requires a bachelor of arts degree.
Reproductive veterinarian. These doctors specialize in animal reproduction and health. A doctor of veterinary medicine degree is required.
We're way beyond the electric car. Electric scooters are on the market now, with more electric vehicles to come. There's also a soccer ball that doubles as a generator (Soccket, produced by Uncharted Play). And we're hearing about solar-powered heating and cooling systems you can isolate in just one area without having to heat or cool the entire house. Jobs in this field include:
Energy storage application engineer. These engineers design storage applications for existing and new energy sources. Generally requires a master of arts degree in science or engineering.
Energy auditors and advisers. They are primarily sales and replacement specialists and the job most often requires a high school diploma or associate in arts degree.
Energy communication specialists. These people communicate to customers, the public and government agencies about the energy industry and products. A bachelor's degree in journalism and communication with specialization in energy is often required.
Marie Stempinski is president and founder of Strategic Communication in St. Petersburg. She specializes in public relations, content marketing, business development and employee motivation. She can be reached at [email protected] or through her website, howtomotivateemployees.org.