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Five careers that are future-proofed

Jobs you’ve never heard of are coming to a recruiter near you

Drupal is one of those tech topics that makes you remember early digital innovations came from bell-bottomed hippy types. Photograph: iStock

Drupal is one of those tech topics that makes you remember early digital innovations came from bell-bottomed hippy types. Photograph: iStock


Drupal developers

Drupal is one of those tech topics that makes you remember early digital innovations came from bell-bottomed hippy types, before the suits, black polo necks and hoodies arrived. Drupal is powerful, scalable content management software, but it’s not even a product so much as “a project”. Anyone can download, use, work on, and share it with others. It’s also free. The Drupal community – and in this case the use seems apt – is one of the largest of its kind in the world, with more than a million developers, designers, trainers, strategists, coordinators, editors, and sponsors working together. “We build Drupal, provide support, create documentation, share networking opportunities, and more. Our shared commitment to the open-source spirit pushes the Drupal project forward. New members are always welcome,” it says, which is good because right now recruiters are looking for them.

Blockchain explainers

Cryptocurrencies may come and go but blockchain, the technology underpinning Bitcoin, looks set to be positively transformational long into the future. Described as a distributed ledger technology, it effectively does away with the middleman in a range of transactions, from money transfers to property sales and even aid distribution. While, of course, this means demand for blockchain developers will grow, so too will the need for blockchain marketers. After all, how can any business, sector or industry recognise the transformative benefits blockchain offers them if all the talk around it is so incomprehensibly dull and technical?

Sustainability engineers

Sustainability engineering is the process of using resources in a way that does not threaten the environment or deplete materials for future generations. According to Unesco, sustainable engineering requires an interdisciplinary approach in all aspects of engineering and should not be designated as a sole responsibility of environmental engineering, in case that’s what you were thinking. Rather, all engineering fields should incorporate sustainability into their practice in order to improve the quality of life for all, and a whole new discipline has arisen to make sure they do.

IES modellers

Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES) is 3D performance analysis software used to design energy-efficient buildings. According to its makers, it uncovers hidden costs, energy and carbon savings, and is typically supported by integrated consulting services. Though it started off being used for individual buildings, its capabilities have expanded to such an extent that it is now helping create sustainable cities. Its tools and technology are increasingly used to assist regulatory and rating agencies, building owners, facilities managers, sustainability and energy managers, architects and engineers, all of whom are going to increasingly need someone who can use it.

Gene therapists

The Crispr genome editing tool has been causing a stir in recent months, reaching a crescendo in November, with a scientist in China’s unconfirmed report of having edited the genes of a baby, with a view to safeguard it against HIV (which the child’s father carried, apparently). A general outcry ensued but there’s no doubting the notion of editing genes to treat or prevent disease is taking hold. Whether or not it leads to unknown health consequences, or indeed to social ones, such as the emergence of a whole new divide between rich, infallible super humans and poor, susceptible normal ones, remains to be seen. One thing is certain, it’s going to give rise to a whole new raft of employment, and not just for lawyers.