There’s a good chance that you’ve been told to think about your future your entire life. You may have been told to think about where you want to go to college, what you want to study, and what career you want to have. This is especially true for high school students.
However, just thinking about your career probably isn’t enough. You have to actively do some research and plan. Technology and the rest of the world are advancing at such a rapid rate that it's difficult to know what the labor market will look like in 10 years, much less when you graduate.
The World Economic Forum reports that the fourth industrial revolution could see the displacement of 75 million jobs because of the adoption of new technologies and structural changes in the labor market. However, it’s not all doom and gloom, as the simultaneous emergence of 133 million new jobs has also been predicted. The key is to carve a career path that takes advantage of these technological changes but can’t be replaced by them.
In the 2020s, there are more career openings in fields such as health care, technology, and food preparation and service.
The Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that all these fields will grow by more than 10?tween 2018 and 2028, while other sectors of the economy grow by an average of 4%.
This list identifies and profiles jobs in a variety of industries that are not only thriving now but are expected to grow the most throughout the next decade.
Software developers design and write the software that runs on devices like computers and phones. Some developers create applications for specific tasks, while others work on the operating systems used by devices and networks. Software development involves figuring out what users need, designing and testing software to meet those needs, making upgrades to older programs, and maintaining and documenting software to make sure it keeps working correctly in the future.
Educational Requirements: Software developers typically have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field, such as software engineering. Some employers prefer applicants with a master’s degree. The job also requires strong skills and experience in computer programming. Many developers gain programming experience by doing an internship with a software company while in college. Developers need to continue their education throughout their careers, staying up to date with new computer languages and programming tools.
Healthcare is big business in the United States, which means it comes with almost as many administrative and management roles as it does actual healthcare jobs. One of the fastest-growing jobs in the industry is medical and health services managers, who are sometimes called healthcare executives or healthcare administrators. Healthcare administrators manage healthcare facilities, handling things like facility management, staff recruitment and training, monitoring and managing budgets, and organizing records. Essentially, they do all the paperwork. They can also serve in supervisory roles, monitoring things like efficiency and health outcomes and proposing changes for quality improvement.
Educational Requirements: To become a medical or health services manager, you typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in a field such as health administration or health management, plus some experience working in the health care field. Many people in this field also have master’s degrees that take two or three years to complete, including a year of working under supervision in an actual health care setting.
Also known as advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), nurse practitioners provide advanced nursing services to a variety of patients. Similar to, though not as advanced as a doctor, nurse practitioners can act as primary or specialty care providers, assessing patient needs and prescribing care plans. The regular duties of the profession include performing physical exams, performing and analyzing tests, creating care plans, prescribing and administering medication, and consulting with doctors and other medical professionals. Like doctors, nurse practitioners practice in specific areas of medicine, such as general medicine, pediatrics, or geriatrics.
Educational Requirements: To become a Nurse Practitioner, you must already be a licensed Registered Nurse. That can mean earning either a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in nursing. Then, you must complete a graduate program, receive advanced clinical training, and earn your national certification.
Statisticians, like mathematicians, analyze and apply data in a wide variety of fields. Utilizing advanced knowledge of statistical interpretation, prediction, and mathematics, statisticians work with the government, research institutions, universities, finance and insurance companies, healthcare services, and consulting services. Statisticians predict trends and outcomes, anticipate problems, trace problems to their source, and develop models of prediction. With organizations of all sorts and sizes relying on statisticians to aid in making key decisions, the field is expected to grow significantly over the next decade.
Educational Requirements: According to the OOH, jobs in this field typically require at least a master’s degree in mathematics or statistics. However, there are some jobs you can get with only a bachelor’s degree.
If there’s one field that has positively exploded in the last decade, it’s the field of data analytics. Big data is more than a buzzword, it’s a growing field with lucrative opportunities for college graduates. The projections for careers in the fields of computer and information research scientists (which also includes data analysts) are among the strongest out there. With organizations of all sorts and sizes relying on statisticians to aid in making key decisions, the field is expected to grow significantly over the next decade. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected growth rate for jobs in the field is 16 percent.
Educational Requirements: To become a data analyst, you must first earn a Bachelor's degree, which is a requirement for most entry-level data analyst positions. The relevant disciplines include Finance, Economics, Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science, and Information Management.
The stigma toward seeking help with mental health is lessening at a time when people arguably need the services of mental health professionals more than ever. It’s not a profession that can be automated, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a caring ear from a robot. That’s why there’s an expected growth rate of 22 percent in the field of substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors between 2018 and 2028.
Educational Requirements: If a career in mental health sounds right for you, you’re going to need at least a master’s degree in clinical social psychology or social work, or a doctorate in psychology to become a licensed psychotherapist.
People love their pets, and they’re willing to pay a lot of money to take care of them. If you’re a compassionate person that loves working with animals, becoming a vet may be the best career for you. Veterinarians provide medical care for animals of all kinds, including pets, livestock, and zoo animals. Aside from treating individual animals, they play a role in public health by developing and enforcing standards for living conditions for livestock.
Educational Requirements: To become a vet, you must earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM or VMD) degree from an accredited veterinary college. DVM programs usually involve three years of classroom and lab work on subjects such as animal anatomy, physiology, and diseases, followed by one year of hands-on clinical work at a veterinary hospital or medical center.
An industrial engineer specifically designs, builds, and maintains the systems that industries rely on to make goods and provide services. These complex systems include workers, machines, materials, energy, and information. An industrial engineer’s job is to make all these parts work together as efficiently as possible. They can apply their skills to anything from moving heavy parts around in a factory to ensuring that workers get paid on time.
Educational Requirements: Most industrial engineers have bachelor's degrees in industrial engineering. Some have degrees in related fields, such as mechanical, electrical, or general engineering. Industrial engineers who work in research and development or teach at colleges and universities need a master’s degree. Some colleges and universities offer five-year industrial engineering programs that provide both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree upon graduation.