A common trope told to students currently in college and high school is “many of the jobs that you will hold in your careers have not even been created yet.” While that is uplifting since there are not a lot of jobs open at the moment, it makes career planning extremely daunting and tricky. How is one supposed to prepare for a career that hasn’t even been created yet? The best bet is to plan a career in the fields that are growing most quickly; this is where all of those mystical future jobs will be created.
That being said, the fields that are growing most quickly are ones that use and develop a lot of technology. People who can build and fix technology will be in very high demand for a very long time, so training for jobs that work with computer systems, cell phones, or any other type of technology are safe bets for a career-secure future. That being said, there are a fair amount of jobs which are being replaced by robots and other computers, so make sure that you look for a job that requires a human brain before you spend a lot of time securing a job that a robot can do faster and for much less pay, which leads to the following; engineering.
The fastest growing field for jobs is engineering, which is good because there are literally a million different types of engineers that you could be. Electrical, biomedical, environmental, computer, take any word and tag ‘engineer’ on after it and it will probably be a job at some point in the future. There are also a great number of engineering programs in colleges and universities around the country and the world, so getting into a training program that will lead to a degree that will most likely land you a great job is incredibly easy to do, if you have what it takes to be an engineer (read: math and science skills). What really makes an engineer is their sense of creativity and desire to make improvements which is what makes them in high demand for the careers in future advancements.
Your next best bet for a secure job is to go into the medical field because it will never go out of business or be unnecessary. If anything, it will become even more vitally important as diseases and viruses are constantly countering our own advancements. This field is a safe bet for a consistent, steady job that also offers great benefits. If you don’t have the chops to be a doctor, there are a great number of other careers that you can pursue that don’t require eight plus years of higher education, like nursing or being a surgical tech. Within medicine, there is currently a high demand for dentists and dental hygienists, so if you don’t want to cut people open but you are ok sticking things in their mouths you are set. Jobs for dental hygienists are expected to grow by 36%, and considering you can complete most programs in less than four years, they are a great job to pursue. For those who shy away from interactions that involve other people, there are also many jobs in administration, organization, and technology within the medical field. In fact, you could work in the medical field without even doing anything medical. Hospitals need receptionists, accountants, legal staff, and people for marketing and advertising. If you have experience or a degree in any of those fields, you may want to seek employment at a hospital. It would guarantee you job security for years to come.
Jobs involving financial decisions are also in high demand. Because our economy has experienced such highs and lows in the last few years, people are much more careful about managing their money wisely and effectively. Jobs such as personal financial advisors come in very handy in the current market, especially for those who want to save and invest long-term. Jobs in the financial sector are also growing rapidly; for example, there are over a million accountants and auditors currently working in the United States, and that number is expected to grow by more than a quarter million in the future. There is a lot of training and education involved; to be an accountant you have to hold at least a Bachelor’s degree and an accounting certificate, but this pays off in the long run as accountants make very high yearly salaries.
It is no secret that we live in a consumerist society, so jobs that buy into this will most likely always be around and be generally stable positions. Marketing, advertising, and research jobs are in demand. Companies want to sell their products as effectively as possible, so they want to hire people who can determine the correct demographic to sell to, how to capture the attention of that demographic, and how to get them to buy. This job field is experiencing tremendous growth because companies are expanding their market of sales products as rapidly as possible, so if you are currently in college studying marketing or communications or anything else that may qualify you, pursuing a job in marketing may be a good idea for your future. Jobs in large companies are usually good because they will offer benefits and generally have good vertical mobility, meaning you can be promoted to higher positions if you stay with the company and do a good job.
It is true that many of the jobs college students will hold in their lives have not been created yet, because many industries are looking to expand rapidly and take on new employees. However, there is no guarantee that any of these fields will grow as rapidly as they hope. In planning for a career, the best way to go about it is to find a job that marries what you love to do with how much money you want to make. While this seems like a no-brainer, it should be taken into account. If you spend years of school training to be an engineer only to realize that you have a high paying job that you hate, you will be miserable. Find a way to do both; a job that you love that pays you what you need all the while taking into account the best jobs in the future.