There are many careers that are certain to continue well into the future, even as the world around us continues to change and advance. For instance, people will continue to need health care, and technology will continue to advance at the hands of highly skilled and educated individuals who will bring new developments to the masses. Here’s a look at the top 10 jobs that are expected to thrive well into the future.
- Advanced practice nurses. Health care has long been an important and profitable industry, helping to prop up the economy even in a recession. After all, people continue to need health care whether the economy is good or not. In this thriving industry, registered nurses make up the largest occupation. Not only will registered nurses of all stripes be needed to meet the growing health care needs of our aging baby boomers in the future, but advanced practice nurses — better known as clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners — will be particularly in demand. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects overall RN employment to grow by 22% from 2008 to 2018, or much faster than average. Out of all nurses, advanced practice nurses (who complete additional schooling and have more specialized training) are expected to be most needed, particularly in inner cities and rural areas, the BLS notes.
- Medical scientists. Experts tend to agree that as society becomes more information-rich, the jobs of the future will go to those who run the brain race, according to an MSNBC report on the jobs of the future. Among the jobs available to highly educated individuals will be that of medical scientists, who research human diseases in hopes of discovering effective treatments or, better yet, cures. These professionals are often Ph.D. holders with advanced research skills. A rapidly growing field for this career is biotechnology. The BLS projects a staggering 40% job growth between 2008 and 2018.
- Environmental engineers. It’s no secret that global warming and other environmental concerns represent some of the biggest challenges on the horizon. Savvy environmental engineers will be needed to come up with solutions to the problems we have created through pollution, over-consumption of natural resources, and inefficient disposal of waste, as well as to develop strategies to prevent future environmental damage. Environmental engineers are expected to experience 31% employment growth between 2008 and 2018 with favorable job prospects, the BLS predicts, making this career a sure bet for the future for environmentally-conscious individuals with advanced quantitative skills.
- Personal financial advisors. Personal financial advising was listed among the Wall Street Journal‘s top 10 best-paying jobs of the future as a result of the aging of the baby boomers. As boomers enter their retirement years, a dramatic increase is expected in demand for financial advice for how to best protect and grow investments in one’s golden years. The BLS projects 30% employment growth over the current decade.
- Computer scientists. If anyone is going to be riding the wave of the future, it will be the computer scientists working in business and scientific organizations. As the primary researchers and inventors of new technology, computer scientists will play a central role in pushing technology forward as "ideas" people, causing ripple effects on the rest of society while their jobs remain intact. Key areas of future growth for computer scientists include virtual reality and robotics. The BLS projects 24% job growth for computer scientists between 2008 and 2018.
- Market research analysts. Also listed among the Wall Street Journal‘s best-paying jobs of the future is that of market research analysts. The Huffington Post indicates this anticipated need is due to businesses of the future needing individuals who can make sense of the ever-increasing amounts of data available and organize that data in such a way as to increase profits.
- Agricultural and food scientists. Have you noticed that more people are paying attention to how and where food is grown? Due to health and environmental concerns, more and more emphasis is shifting toward agricultural and food science. As environmental awareness continues to grow, so will the need for professionals who can propose sustainable growing practices. Biofuels will also be an important area of growth as society strives to shift from oil to more renewable energy. The BLS projects 16% employment growth between 2008 and 2018.
- Computer software engineers and computer programmers. Established high-tech companies like Google and Facebook can’t seem to get their hands on enough quality programmers, software engineers, and software developers, let alone all of the new online start-up companies searching for them as well. The demand for software engineers and programmers is already acute today and is projected to remain strong well into the future. The BLS projects 21% job growth for these occupations between 2008 and 2018.
- Civil Engineers. Civil engineering careers are among the jobs of the future because of anticipated population growth creating the demand for more common-sense infrastructure, including better transportation systems and water supply systems. The BLS projects 24% job growth over the current decade.
- Environmental Scientists and Specialists. Last but not least, as environmental issues continue to come to a head in the future, environmental scientists and specialist careers will increasingly come into play. Population growth, and the environmental concerns that come along with that, will be the driver for this job of the future. The BLS projects 28% job growth between 2008 and 2018.
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