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What are the best careers of the future? In this article, we’ll discuss what fields will be the most in demand in the future, as well as the skills you’ll need to keep your career moving forward.
It would be great to be able to look into a crystal ball at the beginning of your career to see the future of your industry—will it still be around in thirty years, or will it go the way of the dodo (or “Ask Jeeves”) and disappear into the annals of history. Unfortunately, while many fields are thriving in the 21st century (like renewable energy or technology), some are declining (like paper wholesaling—sorry, Dunder Mifflin). So what are your options for "future-proofing" your career? The trick is to know what fields are on their way up and align your skills accordingly.
In this article, we’ll discuss the in-demand careers of the future, including:
What are the best careers in the future?
How to prepare yourself for the workplace of the future
The COVID-19 pandemic had a great influence on how we work, with many employees and companies finding that, with the right technology, much of the workload could be managed remotely with no loss of productivity. 18 percent of workers in the US, Australia, France, Germany, Japan, and the UK aren’t going into an office, and hybrid situations have become the standard for almost half of the workforce, per a survey by Future Forum.
And the way work gets done will change, too. Being tech-savvy and having "digital dexterity" will be more important than having a wealth of experience, so workers must be able to continually update their skills to stay productive. Employees will also find themselves working alongside AI programs, apps, and software, with the workplace becoming more automated and streamlined, no matter the industry.
The pandemic had a farther-reaching effect than just working remotely. According to consulting giant McKinsey, 83% of businesses are hiring more workers for "health and safety roles" within the next two years.
You can’t plan your future career off the past. For example, at one time, working for a US auto manufacturer was a ticket to the middle class, but with most cars now being produced overseas, it’s no longer an upwardly mobile choice. When determining a solid future career, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, solid careers of the future must include:
Fast job growth of at least 13 percent
A large number of new jobs projected
A wage of at least $75k/yr
With that in mind, here are 15 of the best career fields of the future:
Information Security Analyst
Information systems manager
Social/community service managers
Public relations and fundraising managers
According to the Pew Research Center, the main difference between older fields and jobs of the future is the value of analytical skills and programming skills, as well as “fundamental skills” such as speaking, critical thinking, active listening, and reading comprehension. The bottom line is that no matter where you are in your career, it’s important to keep your technical skills up-to-date to help you stay relevant in the future, no matter your field.
Curious about your value in the workplace? Check out our Salary Analyzer tool to compare your compensation to others in your field and determine if you’re being paid what you’re worth.
Being tech-savvy and having "digital dexterity" will be more important than having a wealth of experience, so workers must be able to continually update their skills to stay productive.
The best jobs of the future will have job growth of at least 13%, a large number of new projected jobs, and a good salary base.
Many of the best jobs of the future will be in healthcare, software, and finance.
Jennifer Inglis is a freelance writer and content creator. A former public school teacher, she has expertise with English literature, writing, and public speaking, as well as an extensive professional background in advertising and media analysis. Jennifer has a bachelor’s degree in Theater and a master’s degree in Education, and is the author of two published novels.