9 In-Demand Careers for the Years Ahead
Many of us remember a time not long ago when career success was achieved with a simple formula: Do well in school, earn a degree in a specific trade, land a job in your field, and work your way up the ladder until eventually reaching retirement.
But those days have come and gone. In present times, we face an ever-changing economic landscape, with uncertain career prospects for new grads and industry vets alike. More than ever, it’s important that people stay on top of hiring trends, as they’re likely to change every few years.
Here’s a look at 9 job sectors that should see solid growth over the next decade and beyond:
1. Business & marketing analysts
With rapid innovation comes an increase in both opportunities and threats for businesses.
As technologies like artificial intelligence and augmented reality continue to mature, organizations will have an ever-growing set of tools in their arsenal. The burning question will be how to bring it all together in a way that allows a company to thrive in the new marketplace.
Professionals who position themselves as thought leaders and understand how new strategies will affect a company’s bottom line will be sought after even as other traditional business roles are eliminated by A.I.
2. User experience experts
As the marketplace evolves, the way people consume products and interact with one another will also change. With the evolution of desktop and mobile devices, and the rise of VR, augmented reality, and the internet of things, those with expertise in creating enjoyable experiences that map to organizational goals will be popular with recruiters.
This demo of what an augmented reality experience might look like gives us a glimpse of how dramatically different even a quick grocery run could look in the future.
3. Health & fitness consultants
In an already aging population, people are living longer than ever before. Couple this with a healthcare technology boom focused on personalized care and the provider/patient relationship is likely to change rapidly.
People are increasingly interested in preventative strategies, and will seek specialists to help with nutrition and fitness planning. Going further, as technology continues to advance, genetic consultants will likely be in demand to create unique strategies for dealing with a patient’s susceptible areas.
As general consumption patterns change, expect a continued increase in telemedicine and connected apps that allow people to stay on top of health conditions, in sync with their doctors without traditional office visits.
4. Software engineers
When Creative2 opened its doors in 2009, a web developer could make a healthy living working exclusively with small businesses — building simple, “business card on the internet” sites.
While there’s still room for consultants in this space, globalization, do-it-yourself platforms and even A.I. solutions have encroached on that market. But the future remains bright for software engineers because rapid innovation should result in steady demand for these skills, especially those committed to staying on top of the industry and adapting their talents to the latest trends.
5. Compliance officers
New laws and changes to acceptable social norms will cause regulations to shift with the rapidly evolving economic landscape. Organizations will be challenged to keep up in order to maintain a positive public image and avoid possible penalties.
To do so, we expect they’ll look to leadership that’s dedicated to the task of staying on top of and enforcing policies in ways that are consistent and equitable for both consumers and internal stakeholders.
6. Mental health professionals
Now more than ever we’re realizing poor mental health options are responsible for a myriad of our society’s issues.
Long-term mental health problems can adversely affect a person’s well being, and because of that we’ve come to the conclusion that mental health *is* physical health. In the years to come, we expect primary care physicians will refer individuals to mental health professionals at an increasing frequency (and even include related screenings at regular checkups).
As people see the benefits of addressing these problems, they’ll seek support more regularly, including through non-traditional means like online therapy and apps to help with basic grounding exercises.
If you’re struggling with a mental health problem and aren’t sure where to start, here are a few resources to get you moving in the right direction:
7. Environmental & climate specialists
In recent years, environmental and climate concerns have received increased media coverage.
From massive fires to rising sea levels, most scientists believe these issues will increase in prominence over the next two decades. In both the public and private sector, those with expertise about keeping our planet healthy, while also sustaining our economy, should be in high demand.
8. City planning
While the rate of population growth in the United States is slowing, the net increase continues to rise steadily. We’ve seen this firsthand in the Virginia/DC region (Creative2’s hub) with towns that were once bedroom communities far away from job centers exploding into mini-cities every few years. Expect this trend to continue, especially in areas with a healthy economy.
This is exciting for some, while others will point out the many challenges associated with rapid growth. With that, communities will look to experienced city planners to effectively mitigate traffic, crime and housing issues.
What’s more, many of the newest communities are looking to implement “smart city” concepts, which will require city planners to have a certain depth of expertise about a variety of high-tech, ever-changing strategies.
9. Government contractors
It’s no surprise that many of the wealthiest communities in the United States are in close proximity to the federal government. Federal government contracting has seen major growth in recent years, and experts believe the growth will continue. As federal spending expands, we expect to see growth at the state and local levels as well for the foreseeable future.
For many, looking at future career prospects can be daunting. Cushy, middle-road, “Office Space” style jobs are becoming a thing of the past in the U.S. and will increasingly be outsourced or taken over by A.I. While there’s a lot to consider for those entering the workforce or experiencing a career change, there’s a clear path to success for self-starters, critical thinkers and those who embrace innovation and education as a lifelong journey.
If you’re interested in continuing your education but don’t want to go the traditional college route, consider making a regular commitment to an online learning platform. With in-demand skillsets changing faster than ever, these sites can be of particular value.