A look at future jobs via Australia


I don’t know much about Australia beyond it’s the homeland of that ’80s band Men at Work who sang “Down Under.” (“Traveling in a fried-out combie, on a hippy trail head full of zombie…,” remember?) as well as Colleen McCullough, the gal who wrote “The Thorn Birds.”

And most important, Marlin finally found Nemo at Sydney Harbor, which led to the Tank Gang escaping the deathly clutches of Darla, the notorious baggie shaker.

All great reasons to consider Australia. There’s also the news that marine scientists, studying along Australian reefs, discovered hundreds of new species of aquatic animal life. And then CReefs (www.creefs.org” www.creefs.org), a group that takes a census of coral reefs all over the world to track the conditions and health of the reefs, writes it all down.

If scientists are still uncovering this many new species, imagine what is still left to find. Discover them or document them. Take your pick because either way, it sounds like a promising future. There will always be a need for people to discover what we don’t know. I have a feeling that leaves plenty to figure out.

And it all fits in to the “go green” concept, which can quickly get overwhelming when it’s coming in from every direction. Oh, the guilt! But it’s hard to argue that these efforts, big and small, from recycling this newspaper to determining what species are a sign of a healthy coral reef, are worthwhile. People to carry out these environmental responsibilities are in demand.

But what will it be like in 20 years? We’ll surely still be recycling and uncovering new and mysterious animal life. Will your career field still exist?

According to a 2006 Forbes magazine report, some jobs that are common place today may be extinct sooner than later. This top 10 list of jobs to drop and run from within the next 20 years included grocery store cashier, union organizer, construction worker, fighter pilot and call-center rep.

Their top 10 list of careers that don’t exist yet but will within 20 years included quarantine enforcer and drowned city specialist (two very “glass half full” careers, I’d say), gene screener (to analyze possible hires for employers and rule out people who might be predestined to abuse drugs or possess some other negative DNA trait), animal guardian lawyers (to represent nonhuman animals in all the court cases they find themselves in), and of course, space tour guide.

And the jobs that Forbes says will always exist? The classics: politician, tax collector, barber, mortician, religious leader, artist and criminal (apparently somebody at Forbes considers that last one a career).

Next time you sit down to plan your life goals and are tossing around sustainable career choices, remember to keep an eye out for natural disasters and at all costs, keep your DNA clean. You may one day find yourself evaluating somebody’s genes or preparing a summation for a misunderstood beagle.

If none of these work out and you find yourself in a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad job, there’s always Australia.


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