WANTED: AI Translators, Systems Farmers & Human e-Sources Managers (to start in 2040)

14 February 2019

Systems Farmer

New research by BAE Systems reveals three-quarters of Generation Z (or centennials) want to know more about future job roles and the skills they will need – and more than half are worried about the right training to future proof their career.

In response, technologists at BAE Systems have shared some of the roles they predict will become prominent in the coming decades, and the type of training that will help produce the next generation of scientists, technologists and engineers.

Examples include:
•    Systems Farmer – scientists capable of ‘growing’ mechanical parts from chemical processes
•    Human e-Sources Manager – measuring employees wellbeing and cognitive state using tools such as wearable technologies
•    AI Translator – tuning artificial intelligence aids to be perfect working partners to human operators

Looking to the future, BAE Systems’ experts have revealed the exciting careers in emerging technologies which will be in demand in the 2030s and 40s, specifically in the field of AI, wearables and synthetic biology. They predict that these roles will take centre stage in the delivery of the cutting edge technology of the future, as well as helping to ensure the aerospace & defence industry continues to lead the way in technology advancements and is able to respond to emerging threats.

The job roles were shaped by technologists after research from BAE Systems found that almost three in four (74%) young people (aged 16 to 24) want more direction on the right route to take to future proof their career – and 70% said they wanted more information on which skills will be in demand at the peak of their working life. The company has revealed the following job roles which will play an important role in high-tech industries in the future.

Systems Farmer
•    Technologists are on the verge of a revolution in synthetic biology and chemical engineering in production, where we can expect to be ‘growing’ macroscale multi-function aircraft parts for example, with desirable nanoscale features.
•    Known as “chemputing”, these component parts can sense, process, and harvest energy, while also being super strong – and perhaps even able to self-repair.

Human e-Sources Manager
•    A Human e-Sources Manager would use performance-based wearables or e-textiles to measure data such as cognitive workload, wellbeing and output on an ongoing basis.
•    The e-Sources Manager might be the first to identify an employee is becoming ill, or respond to other medical indicators to offer occupational support or additional training to deal with potential stressful situations.

AI Translator 
•    As human and robotic working, or “cobotics”, becomes more intertwined, the AI Translator will be responsible for training both the human and the AI assistant, helping them develop an effective ‘teaming’ relationship.
•    This will involve tuning the AI assistant, tailoring it to the individual human worker’s personalised needs – while also watching out for, and correcting, any machine or human errors.
Nick Colosimo, Principal Technologist at BAE Systems, said: “Technology and innovation are central to our business and we rely on the very best engineering talent to develop innovative and efficient solutions for our customers.

“Centennials have more career options open to them than ever before – while the nature of the jobs we do is changing, and so too is our workplace or working environment. We need to do more to help nurture young talent in the UK and highlight the future opportunities available to them.

“These young people are essential in ensuring that the UK remains a leader in technology, engineering and manufacturing for decades to come. Where our responsibility lies as an industry is in providing high-quality training and giving people the opportunities and tools to continually learn and innovate.

Human e-Sources Manager

“Our apprenticeship programmes combine the opportunity to study with hands on training, allowing our apprentices to get a great grounding in engineering and technology, while learning about its practical applications and challenges. We are working hard to ensure this grounding creates the technology leaders of the future.”

Dr Rhys Morgan, Director, Education & Engineering at the Royal Academy of Engineering, said: “It’s a really exciting time for emerging technologies in engineering. It’s crucial young people develop the skills that will be needed to accelerate this industry change in the coming decades. There are a variety of roles in engineering – and a huge range of possibilities in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) careers – which will be available in the sector in the near future.

“Preparing for the STEM careers of the future can only be beneficial for today’s school leavers and apprentices. While working with AI and wearables may not be commonplace at the moment, it’s fair to say that in 20 or 30 years’ time, the UK will need engineers who are well-versed in these technologies.”

Research from BAE Systems has also found:
•    68% of centennials said they want to future-proof their career by becoming more familiar with emerging technologies that will likely become common in the workplace, such as AI, big data and robotics
•    74% said they want more information on which skills will be in demand at the peak of their careers, in the 2030s and 40s
•    63% said they believe job roles will be more exciting than they were for their parents’ generation
•    Nearly half of young people (47%) said they expect to work in industries which don’t yet exist
•    More than half of 16 to 24-year olds (51%) said they are excited about the future workplace due to opportunities such as working with robots

Further info on job roles:

Systems Farmer
Nick Colosimo, Principal Technologist at BAE Systems, said: “In the 2040s it could be possible to grow a car, boat or aircraft through a series of chemical reactions in a lab – and we will need chemists and biologists to oversee this unique way of manufacturing. What we are looking for at BAE Systems is those with a real passion for STEM subjects who are ever keen to learn. With new technologies there has never been a more exciting time to learn – and keep learning throughout your career.”

Human e-Sources Manager
BAE Systems’ Director of Flight Operations, Mark Bowman, said: “We’ve learnt a lot about wearables through work we have done to monitor pilots both physiologically and psychologically. These technologies no doubt have a wider application within the workplace with smarter ways of working and the ability to ensure employees are both productive and satisfied in their work. To be at the forefront of this kind of technology, I’d recommend a strong grounding in STEM subjects.”

AI Translator
Adrian Nish, Head of Threat Intelligence, Applied Intelligence, BAE Systems, said: “There will be a demand for those who can get ‘under the hood of’ and translate complex systems – whether that is for autonomous vehicles, future medical systems or financial systems. Skills needed for this role will involve a background in cyber and we are actively looking for self-starters who are passionate about this domain.”

AI Translator

About BAE Systems
BAE Systems invests approximately £90m per year in education, skills and early careers activities in the UK and has around 2,000 apprentices in training across its UK businesses at any given time, with circa 95% securing permanent roles each year.

The company’s apprenticeship recruitment window is now open across all areas of the business. Applicants can apply for one of the 25 award-winning programmes here: www.baesystems.com/apprentices

The closing date is 28 February 2019.

BAE Systems also offers graduate schemes, including a two-year Graduate Development Framework which offers roles in engineering and business including project management, and an Applied Intelligence Future Talent scheme which offers engineering, IT and consultancy roles in the Cyber sector. Industrial Placements and Summer Internships for undergraduates are also available.

While Applied Intelligence graduate roles remain open throughout the year, the next graduate recruitment window will open in November 2019.

Find out more information on schemes and internships here:

This research was conducted by Censuswide with 1,000 16 to 24 year-olds respondents in the UK. Fieldwork was carried out between 11.01.2019 and 14.01.2019.

Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society. All survey panellists are double opted in (with an opt-in and validation process) in line with MRS and ESOMAR standards.

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