9 skills your children should have for a bright future

Ed O'Meara
4 min readApr 25, 2019

As automation takes hold, what skills will a future workforce need to thrive?

Jobs are under threat. According to a McKinsey Global Institute report, 375 million jobs will vanish across the world by 2030. A 2017 Oxford study predicted job losses of up to 47% within 50 years.

As “children are our future” it’s worth planning their education and training to meet the unique challenges they’ll meet in an ever more uncertain world.

  1. Farming

While agribusiness is relying increasingly on mechanisation to feed a growing population, their intensive use of pesticides are poisoning the land and methodically eliminating the natural world.

Your special little guy or gal should be spending their summer vacations scratching a living from the dirt on an exposed hillside. Elevated positions will prove both inaccessible for large scale farming operations and are more defensible against the roaming leather-clad gangs that will begin to become a more regular sight in the next few decades.

2. Media studies

Every young person wants to be a YouTube influencer, and these presenting skills should be nurtured. For while their chances of making a living as a social media influencer are zero, a confident microphone manner will see little Billy attract much-needed allies and supplies as they broadcast into the wasteland over ham radio.

3. Plumbing and engineering

Do you know how to fix a leaking tap? How about wiring a plug, or a house? Will you know anything at all once the WiFi goes down? That’s right. We’re all skilless slaves to consumer capitalism now, but in the not too distant future, your bundle of joy might have to jury rig a stuttering generator with gaffer tape and rusted ceiling fan blades. It’s always handy to have a trade.

4. Motorcycling

While currently viewed as dangerous, motorbikes offer an efficient way to travel long distances over arid deserts on very little fuel. Less dangerous than a fuel-hungry campervan which might breakdown in a gravel-covered shallow gorge, only to be set upon by a gang of bloodthirsty raiders, who would then capture your children, sell them into slavery or murder them for sport.

5. Swimming

No brainer, this one. With rising sea levels, everyday will soon be a day at the beach. No need to worry about nasties lurking in the depths either. The acidification of the oceans and overfishing will leave the seas totally devoid of life, so it’ll be safe to go into the water at least — except from the tempestuous conditions that climate change is bringing.

6. Shelf-stacking/ stock checker

What is now considered a lowly occupation will one day be worth its weight in out-of-date tins of sardines. As junior is rooting through the crumbling shelves of a supermarket overgrown with weeds, the former disappointment of the family will now be a Merlin-like adviser on what could nourish the rest of thee tribe and what will make their toenails fall out again.

A good stock of canned prunes will buy many wives.

7. Investment banker

The combination of a culture of consequence-free risk and a complete disregard for the lives of others give investment bankers a great psychological edge for surviving through the collapse of civilisation.

No matter how little left of value there is on the planet, there will still be a powerful minority who will try to corner it all. Your little Eric could be that sociopath.

8. Priest

Like the investment banker, human beings are alone in the animal kingdom in producing specimens who demand a huge share of everything without contributing anything of any value. While religion on the whole may be on the decline in the West, religious fraudsters have never had so many private Jets or exotic holidays.

When people ask, “why did this happen?” your child will be able to pooh-pooh the science explanation and blame it on sin or something, trousering those gold teeth and wedding rings in the process!

9. Murderer

While murder has received a bad rap in these politically correct days, for most of human history, our greatest heroes loved them a good murder. From Alexander the Great to Winston Churchill, if you want to be make a success of yourself, be sure to do some murders, or order someone else to do it for you. It’s the same difference. Is it any wonder we say someone’s “killing it?”

When you think of your little Jane, would you rather they were a victim of starvation in beggar’s weeds or would you have them well nourished and drunk on power, sitting on a throne made of human bones?

Every challenge is an oppurtunity

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Ed O'Meara

Copywriter and historical comedian. Looking for the gravy train.