“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” While the well-known phrase, credited to the Chinese philosopher Confucius (551 B.C. – 479 B.C.), has remained the same throughout the ages, the job market continues to vastly change. Many major industries, including newspapers, restaurants, and retail, are not as stable as they once were. But as some industries wane, other exciting fields are on the rise. If you want to be a contender for the best jobs of the future, it’s wise to start preparing today.
So how do you know what to prepare for? We explore what Rick Gillis, job search expert and author of JOB! Learn How to Find Your Next Job in One Day; David Bakke, editor of Money Crashers Personal Finance; and Paul Bailo, author of The Essential Phone Interview Handbook, believe the future job industry holds. Here are some fields that are projected to boom in coming years.
Gamification/Virtual Job Recruiting
Careers of the future will have an increasing need for people who think abstractly and are good at solving problems with a team. Not only does this lead to new types of jobs, this opens the door to new ways of getting a job. Rick Gillis explains that the future of job search is in gamification—applying game design to non-game applications. Major employers (from Google to American Express) will set up virtual working scenarios. They will then invite, say, the Stanford graduating class to “play” the game. Those players who make a certain score/rank/cutoff would then receive a call/email/text invite to interview. This will open new careers across industries. Employers in every field will need content developers and specialists to seek out employees.
David Bakke believes those earning degrees in science and technology, especially in engineering, will be well-suited for the most needed jobs in the future. The world will depend on engineers as things like environmental conservation, military technology, and medicine become increasingly important. Bakke projects enormous growth in biotechnology, energy, and information technology fields; and he’s not the only one to do so. A report by the National Academy of Engineering says that in coming years we will need more well-educated, multidisciplinary engineering professionals to tackle “grand challenges” like developing carbon sequestration methods, providing access to clean water, preventing nuclear terror, and improving urban infrastructure.
Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections reports that occupations in health/personal care and social assistance will see the fastest job growth by 2020. As people are living into their 80s, 90s, and 100s in record numbers, healthcare providers, caregivers and care coordinators who specialize in geriatrics will be increasingly in demand. This will also create a growing need to manage and control a significant amount of data. Paul Bailo describes one new career that will emerge: “A medical coach—once you leave the hospital or doctor’s office [you will need someone] who is going to stay after you to take meds and follow up to make sure you don’t come back to the hospital.”
The Office of Educational Technology (OET) projects that as we move from print-based to digital-based learning, there will be high demand for educators who are adept in adaptive computer-based testing, game-based learning, and e-Learning environments. Jobs in educational technology development will continue to increase, and the roles of educators will evolve to require the ability to help students become digitally literate. OET’s Grit Report discusses the growing importance of technology in education, in which tools like video games will “provide opportunities for students to be immersed in simulated worlds, interactive stories, engaging visual environments, playful collaborations with other players, vividly designed avatars and personas, and optimally challenging tasks that are adaptive and provide immediate feedback.” To ensure your digital education skills are up to par, look into programs like Colorado State University’s online Teaching with Technology certificate.
It’s probably not a big surprise that the most promising fields of the future are data- and technology-centric. Are you prepared for the rapidly changing job market? Perhaps it’s time to update you skill set or learn some completely new skills. See what online and distance learning opportunities at Colorado State University—from degrees, to certificates, to individual courses—can help you prepare to compete for the top jobs of the future.