In response, technologists at BAE Systems have shared the roles which they predict will become prominent in the coming decades and the type of training that will help to produce the next generation of scientists, technologists and engineers.
Examples of jobs 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 the perfect working partner 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; helping to ensure the defence and aerospace 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 per cent) young people (aged 16 to 24) want more direction on the right route to take to future proof their career and 70 per cent 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, 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 providing high-quality training and giving people the opportunities and tools to continually learn and innovate.

“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 the practical applications and challenges. We are working hard to ensure this grounding creates the technology leaders of the future.”
Dr Rhys Morgan, Director, Education and 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 per cent 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 per cent said they want more information on which skills will be in demand at the peak of their careers in the 2030s and 40s 
  • 63 per cent 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 
  • Over half of 16 to 24-year olds (51%) said they are excited about the future workplace due to opportunities such as working with robots 
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