Let’s take a trip back in history, to a time when computers were still to revolutionise the workplace – paper documents filled the shelves, communication occurred strictly in person or via landline and we all had a rolodex of business cards on our desks. Fast forward to 2018, and a growing number of offices are becoming paper-free zones, email is our preferred method of communication, and entire businesses devote their time to offering digital and online services.

While automation has many benefits in business, the introduction of new technology puts jobs under threat. According to The Times, one in every five jobs in Scotland’s cities could be lost in the next 12 years because of automation and the advance of robot technology.

The good news is that, while technology is progressing at an incredible rate, there is still one critical area where robots simply cannot compete, and that’s in the ability to offer the human touch. While technical skills will be of benefit going forward, it’s soft skills such as creativity, negotiation and likeability that will prove essential in the coming decades.

Does your profession have what it takes to stand the test of time? Read on to find out which five occupations we believe to be the most future-proof.

Registered Nurse

Requiring a high level of human interaction and empathy, nursing is something a robot isn’t qualified for, and with an ageing population, the need for healthcare is greater than ever. Nurses are currently some of the most in demand professionals in Scotland, which has led to Scottish Health Secretary Shona Robison promising  to deliver an additional 2,600 extra nursing and midwifery training places by 2021. 


Though information is readily available on the internet, hands-on teaching is proven to have a positive impact on learning, motivation and development of pupils.

According to TES, in December 2017 the overall teacher numbers in Scotland were at their highest level since 2010 – up from 50,970 in 2016 to 51,513 in 2017, showing the demand for real-life teachers is still prevalent. 

Sales Professional

The key to being a successful sales person is having the ability to read an individual, to build rapport, gain their trust, and to negotiate. Although online advertising is on the increase, it’s unlikely that technology will be able to replicate this manner of human behaviour in the immediate future — the need for sales professionals lives on!  


From fine-dining to cheap eats, food and drink is a booming industry. As we continue to crave new flavours and dining experiences, the demand for chefs will continue, as although machines can take on some of the manual jobs, it takes creativity to conjure up delicious new recipes . A recent study by The British Hospitality Association found that there are a growing number of catering vacancies in the UK, both as a result of Brexit and the number of EU Nationals currently working in these roles, and the need to meet the demand of the high number of new restaurants opening each day.


While software can aid in the execution of design, marketing and communications work, a human mind will remain essential for coming up with the exciting new ideas and concepts.

Research from Nesta, in partnership with the Creative Industries Council, suggests that if the creative industries keep growing at the same pace they have been, 900,000 new creative industries jobs could be created in the UK between 2013 and 2030.  


With the advancement of technology, shifts in the economy and factors such as urbanisation and an ageing population all taking their toll on the way businesses and organisations run today, job roles will evolve over time – as this interactive job timeline illustrates.  There are, however, still an abundance of occupations that will survive the challenges presented by a changing business environment. And for the professions that don’t, there are bountiful ways to adapt and thrive for future needs.


Founder of Paisley.org.uk in 1998 and constantly strives to change peoples attitudes to the town, Brian is a self described Paisley Digital Champion who promotes Paisley via any means necessary. You can also follow me on X