What you might be doing in 2055

Never mind a doctor: a half-century from now, mothers everywhere could be hoping for an underwater hotelier in the family.

Planning a career over the next few years? According to the federal government's Job Futures website, good prospects for 2007 include nurses, dentists, architects, forestry supervisors, real estate sales agents and computer systems analysts. But what if your time horizon is a bit longer?

Joyce Gioia, a consulting futurist with The Herman Group based in Greensboro, N.C., spends her time dreaming up new positions that will need to be filled over the next few decades. “As futurists, we are connecting the dots, trying to figure out what direction the world is going,” she says. “Technology will obviously be important, but employees will also need an understanding of human experiences and interpersonal communications.” Here is her list of hot jobs for the rest of the century.

Chef, space airline

Tasked with designing balanced and nutritious menus for passengers on commercial space airlines–no food in tubes or Tang. Five years' experience as an executive chef and familiarity with cooking in zero-gravity are requirements.

Transhumanist technician

Design and maintain integrated systems that allow individuals with physical disabilities to live at full capacity. Successful candidates will have a firm grasp of anatomy, therapeutic bionics and humanistic electronics.

Sky-car mechanic

Provide routine and problem- specific service to ground-air vehicles. Thorough knowledge of jet engine mechanics is a necessity; troubleshooting experience with satellite communications systems an asset.

General manager, underwater hotel

Lead an integrated team of department heads in ensuring patrons receive a high level of service and satisfaction at a premier underwater facility. Maintaining top-notch room service, providing novel activities and ensuring guest safety will be key objectives. An MBA, plus military leadership experience, will be an asset.

Director of influence

Ultimate schmoozers only need apply. Duties range from protocol advice and coaching sales teams in closing deals to more “covert” activities. Must work unsupervised and be willing to travel extensively. A liberal arts degree, exceptional communications skills plus diplomatic service experience will help qualify candidates for this position.

Jungle officer, clearance and maintenance

Provide support and protection for scientists, road builders and developers moving through uncharted jungle territories in Africa and South America. Special Forces military training, familiarity with advanced technology and a facility with languages are “must have” skills.