According to the government, 7 “future” jobs that will become important in South Africa

The Department of Higher Education, Science and Innovation has identified several sectors and jobs that it believes will shape the country’s near future.

The sectors are set out in a white paper posted for public comment on Monday (June 6), along with the government’s broader expectations for the country’s workforce and how it will be impacted by technology.

“Various megatrends, such as population growth and urbanization, as well as technological advances, increase uncertainty. These changes present opportunities and threats (for example, a change in the working environment can lead to economic growth, but also to the loss of traditional jobs, ”the message says.

“In particular, there is a need to prepare for how artificial intelligence (AI) and advances in ICT will change the way societies and economies function. Already, traditional jobs are being lost to automation, and traditional commerce is being disrupted by the shift to online and the development of fast, personalized services and products.”

At the same time, these changes create new opportunities, including new market opportunities, the agency said in a statement.

“For example, the growth of the middle class in emerging economies and the high proportion of young people in the national population (the so-called “youth bulge”) in Africa are driving manufacturing, expanding mobile phone markets, and creating ICT-enabled employment opportunities for young service entrepreneurs.” .

“South Africa can capitalize on these emerging market opportunities by using technology to modernize sectors such as agriculture and mining and increase exports to the growth markets of Africa and other emerging economies.”

In addition, capitalizing on the international outsourcing trend provides significant opportunities for South Africa to host research and development centers for large multinational companies, with co-benefits from job creation and foreign investment, the report said.

The Department has identified several sectors and jobs that are likely to shape the near future, including:


Graphene production

This particular form of carbon is very versatile as it is light and strong and conducts heat and electricity better than any other material. It can be used in bioelectrical sensor devices for monitoring glucose, cholesterol, and even DNA sequencing.

It’s flexible and thin, so graphene-based photovoltaic cells can be used in clothing, to recharge mobile devices, and even in curtains to power the home.


Regenerative medicine experts

Research in tissue engineering and molecular biology holds the promise of stimulating the body’s own repair mechanisms to heal previously unrepairable tissues and organs.

He also has the ability to grow tissues and organs in a lab and implant them into a body so it can heal itself.


Carbon capture and storage specialists

It is the process of capturing spent carbon dioxide from large point sources such as fossil fuel power plants, transporting it to a storage site, and storing it where it does not enter the atmosphere—usually in underground geological formations.

Such geoscience technologies can reduce the contribution of fossil fuel emissions to global warming and ocean acidification.


Simulation and game models

Modeling and simulation replace experiments, where computers calculate the results of physical phenomena. This is important in research because it represents real systems using mathematical models that mimic the dynamics of the system.

This allows you to explore the behavior of the system in ways that are often impossible, too risky, or too expensive in real life. Gaming technologies refers to a range of technologies used in computer games, such as face and voice recognition, gesture control, artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality.


Artificial intelligence and virtual reality

The creation of algorithms that can learn, understand language, and mimic some aspects of the human mind has led to tremendous progress.

The ultimate goal is an artificial general intelligence that can outperform humans in a wide range of disciplines. Virtual reality (VR) will change the nature of both entertainment and education.

Applications include games, immersive VR movies and pilot and surgeon training. In the case of medical education, fully interactive, accurately modeled specimens suffering from various diseases and requiring surgical intervention can be simulated using a virtual reality interface.


quantum computing

Quantum computers will revolutionize the computing technology of the future. Quantum computers, algorithms and principles are different from computation based on digital circuits because they can process much more information much faster.

Potential societal applications include protecting low-lying areas from flooding, encryption for technology communications, and reliable and efficient aircraft with low noise and CO2 emissions.


Medical geologists

This globally evolving discipline explores the relationship between human and animal health, rocks and minerals. The geology of the environment affects the chemical composition and health of life in it.

People living on poor soils lack essential micronutrients, which causes various diseases, and excess chemicals such as arsenic and fluorine can cause serious diseases.

Where people live in close contact with the physical environment, medical geology offers a new way of understanding and addressing health problems.


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