Top 10 Best Jobs for the Future
Updated 25 October 2020
Deciding your future is not as simple as it once was. The world is continuously changing, and with it, the jobs market. Lots of positions that were favorable ten years ago are predicted to disappear ten years from now.
As a student, you are in the process of deciding what career to pursue and what level of education that requires.
But rather than just picking a subject you like and turning it into a career, you need to consider:
- Job potential and growth
- Job satisfaction
20 years ago, the priority was to find any job that pays. Career progression was hugely important, and it did not matter how many hours you worked a day or how stressful the job was. All anyone wanted was a large paycheck and the highest position possible.
Nowadays, we want a good work-life balance; we want to leave our work at the office at 5 p.m. and have flexible hours.
Salary is still an important factor, but we also want to be satisfied with what we do and the life we lead.
Why Will Jobs Change Over the Next 10 Years?
As technology develops, our habits as consumers also change.
Once upon a time, we were happy to wait over a week for delivery. Now we want everything right away.
We also prefer to order online or through apps, avoiding conversations with other human beings.
As a result, the next ten years will see some industries and professions rise and some fall.
As well as our adaptable consumer habits, other reasons for the change in the job market include:
- People living longer because of medical breakthroughs
- Technology changing everything from how a product is made to how we read
- The changing values and norms of our society – we are more eco-conscious, we do not like plastic, and we prefer organic
What Skills Will Be Important in the Future?
The focus of most businesses these days is innovation. Everyone wants to be the best at what they do.
With that, the essential skills employees will need to develop over the next ten years include:
Creative mindset – Although there is the belief that robots and machinery will be doing all the work for us, there still needs to be those that can think creatively, come up with innovative ideas and interpret trends.
Emotional Intelligence – There will always be a need for human interaction and understanding, especially in the service and medical industries. Robots are designed to perform a host of jobs, but they cannot calm a person down or sympathize with them.
Decision-making – Machines are excellent with numbers and algorithms. But we will always need someone to explain and make sense of those numbers. There will also always be the need for someone to override decisions that require an emotional response.
Cognitive flexibility – As things are rapidly changing, you must adapt to new technology and ideas. You will need to demonstrate the ability to multi-task and to conceptualize multiple ideas.
Digital Literacy – As well as knowing all the latest terminology, you need to be competent in data visualization, computational intelligence, and natural language technology.
The Top 10 Best Jobs for the Future
When compiling the list of the top 10 best jobs for the future, we define 'best' as being a job with the most availability and the highest salaries.
Our choices do not take into consideration working hours, location or work-life balance.
Included in the list are the current average salary (which in most cases will be expected to rise) and the expected growth in demand for jobs over the next 10 years.
Average salary: $74,200
Expected growth: 18%
Financial advisors are also expected to increase by at least 41%, with their salary averaging at $101,00.
The reason for this increase?
First, more companies are choosing to remove their pension plans. This is causing people to turn to accountants and advisors to help them plan for the future.
Second, there has been an increase in freelancers and self-employment. As they run their own business, they need someone to manage their finances and ensure their taxes are paid correctly.
Third, the increased popularity of having a 'passive-income' has led to an interest in stocks and shares. Those who want to invest often need advisors and someone to manage their affairs.
As all these factors increase, the demand for accountants and financial advisors will increase also.
Both accountants and financial advisors require a bachelor's degree.
2. Data Analyst
Average salary: $145,500
Expected growth: 35%
Data is collected on an epic scale. As new software allows for even more data to be collected and stored, there is a need for experts that can dissect and interpret that information.
A bachelor's degree in math or computer science and a master's in data analysis is recommended for this job role.
3. Digital Content Specialist
Average salary: $51,164
Expected growth: 20%
As most people in these roles are freelancers, there is the freedom to decide your own fees.
A digital content specialist covers a host of job roles from graphic designers to social media managers.
As a majority of the content we read is online, there will always be the need for those that can improve user experience through content.
Your education will depend on what job role you wish to pursue. But at a minimum, you will need a degree in a related subject, and experience.
Average salary: $73,000 upwards
Expected growth: Structural, civil, project and environmental engineering – 20%; Biomedical engineering – 72%
Statistics show that people are moving back into cities to work and live. With this, engineers are needed to design roads, wire new smart homes and apartment buildings, improve internet speed, and develop alternative power sources.
There is also an increased demand for engineers who can build and develop medical equipment and further develop robotics.
For most engineering positions, a bachelor's degree is enough. However, if you are thinking of specializing or working in biomedicine, then a master's is also essential.
5. Information Security Analyst
Average salary: $99,730
Expected growth: 31%
Cybercriminals are becoming more creative with their techniques. As more of what we do involves technology, the need for analysts that can prevent these attacks becomes more critical.
A bachelor's degree in software engineering, computer science or information assurance is required for this job.
Average salary: $85,200
Expected growth: 23%
As we are living longer, the need for more healthcare professionals is increasing.
Nurses can administer medications and treat patients, similar to doctors. Within the nursing profession, a role that has seen a large increase in demand is a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA).
CRNAs have an average salary of $189,000.
To become a nurse practitioner, you need to take the NLN-PAX Exam for entry onto a bachelor's and master's degree in nursing, plus other medical certifications depending on your state.
A CRNA has a master's degree in anesthesia and at least one-year full-time nursing experience.
7. Rehabilitation Counselor
Average salary: $45,928
Expected growth: 15%
The role of a rehabilitation counselor is becoming more varied. As the side effects of always being connected and living such active lives take their toll, rehabilitation counselors are now employed by organizations to help their employees manage their lives.
There is a new emphasis on wellness and wellbeing, and this trend is not slowing down.
Also, as we are living longer, rehabilitation counselors help the elderly to adapt to new changes. These changes can be anything from living with a new injury to coping with new ways of doing things.
Rehabilitation counselors typically have a bachelor's degree and the relevant certification for their state.
8. Software or App Developer
Average salary: $135,750
Expected growth: 34%
Software and app developers are needed in almost every industry, especially as more companies move their operations online.
To become a developer, you will need a bachelor's degree in computer science, experience, coding certification, and a specialization. Your specialization can either be an accredited certification or a master's degree.
Average salary: $70,400
Expected growth: 23%
Teaching is one of the few jobs that robots, or automation, will never replace. It depends so much on understanding and interaction.
When the economy is bad, people go back to school. When advancements, such as our recent technological revolution, happen, people turn to education to help them adapt.
There are many different teaching positions – kindergarten, elementary school, high school, university and private tutoring. The salary does vary, depending on the teaching you do.
Education-wise, you need a bachelor's degree in education, with a major in the subject you want to teach. You will also need to complete a state-approved teacher preparation program, pass the required exams and obtain a teaching license.
10. Veterinary Nurse
Average salary: $95,450
Expected growth: 19%
Over 40% of households have an animal, and as more people can spend time at home, that number is set to increase.
Due to the type of insurance animal owners take out for their furry companions, it is suggested that they are willing to spend lots of money keeping them healthy.
A bachelor's degree in veterinary medicine, animal science or biology is essential if you want to become a vet. Statistics also show that 77% of vets also hold doctorates.
What Industries Could Be Lost
Technology cannot complete all jobs. However, there are several that it can potentially impact. The job roles expected to disappear in the next ten years are:
- Travel agents
- Checkout cashiers and bank tellers
- Mail carriers
- Referees or umpires
- Sewing machine operators
- Manufacturing workers
- Fast food chefs and waiting staff
This is just a prediction. Until we see how useful robots are at delivering our food, there is no guarantee that all these job roles will disappear.
Planning for the future is scary and exciting, especially as we are on the verge of a fourth industrial revolution. Everything is a prediction based on people's trends and behaviors now – who knows how we will feel in five or 10 years.
Sadly, it is the less specialized jobs that appear to be affected the most. Jobs that require creativity or someone to make a decision based on a unique set of circumstances will always need humans.
What is clear is that technology is going to continue to play a large role in our lives.
To help you with your career, it is advisable to become tech-savvy, learn to code, and understand how programs and software work.
There are still plenty of industries that are on the rise, and there will likely be new roles in ten years. But as others decline, the number of people applying for different roles will increase. Developing as many skills and interests as you can will help you in the future.
For more detailed information about what jobs are in demand and which are declining, visit the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).