Brave new professions
Bioinformation specialists and virtual doctors are professions of the future. What will happen to construction workers and secretaries?
The work that 32-year-old Anne Tuikkala does will definitely never run out. She is a genetics researcher, but she could just as well call herself a bioinformation specialist.
Or then again, maybe not. Bioinformation specialists do not technically exist yet. Tuikkala works in a research group that sought a bioinformation specialist last year. They received no applications. That felt strange, because after all, a bioinformation specialist is a typical profession of the future. But who has the guts to pronounce themselves a bioinformation specialist, since the field has only been available as a major subject from this fall? Bioinformation specialists will proliferate at the end of the decade. This prediction is contained in a new publication of the Ministry of Education, entitled Keys to Futures. The report probes professions of the future. Of the new titles, a bioinformation specialist – or processor of genetic information – sounds nice and practical, contrary to, for example, a cyber classification specialist, who analyses the databases of the expanding internet. Or a gene therapy consultant, who designs tailor-made gene therapy programmes. Or a web-gardener, who stores and maintains websites. A new era will dawn in working life, believes 30-year-old researcher Toni Ahlqvist, who prepared the Ministry of Education report. The change will be initiated by technological development, which will have a significant impact on the types of jobs we are offered in the future. There is plenty of change in store. We are already moving towards a biosociety, where information technology is used as a tool in biotechnology. This is already reflected in Tuikkala’s work: she uses computer software to investigate how the structure of a plant’s genes affects the way it functions – for example, its ability to withstand cold.