Best Careers for the Future

Looking Ahead

Understanding the job market and the hiring trend of the future can help you plan your career path so you don't get left behind. Education is vital for staying on an upward climb in your career and keeping up with the changes in your chosen field of employment. Many companies and organizations research and study these employment trends and can alert you to possible shifts in your industry or field.

Future Industry Growth

Dr. Tracey Wilen-Daugenti, Vice President and Managing Director of Apollo Research Institute states there are six career areas that show promise for growth over the next few years. The Apollo Research Institute has identified these workplace trends and job opportunities.

Business Services

As industries and businesses grow, so will their need for various business services, especially sales. This is a highly lucrative and demanding arena, but one that will grow right along with most industries. Finding your niche in such an industry will require specialization, but as with any form of any specialty, never limit yourself so that one day you find you've painted yourself into a corner.

Catering to business needs can differ from one industry to another, but the one factor in the future that will separate those who succeed in this career field is customer service. All things being equal, businesses will seek out those who offer personalized touches, fast and efficient service and dependability. You'll need to keep up with these demands, and education will play an important factor for those who succeed.


As technology grows, Dr. Wilen-Daugenti stated in her interview with IB Times TV that "by 2020 over 70% of all jobs will require technology skills." This will require more teachers to meet the demand of those needing to go back to school to learn new skills and those who need to add to their current skills. In addition, other career sectors will broaden and the demand for educated and trained employees will also increase the need for instructors.


Not surprising, healthcare is "the fastest-growing sector in the nation," according to the Apollo Research Institute. With an aging society, the increase in patients is exceeding that of healthcare workers. Shortages in all areas, especially nurses and support staff doesn't mean that the criteria has been reduced. On the contrary, employers are seeking higher qualifications in nurses and other medical professionals.

Ongoing education and certifications are increasingly necessary in order to be competitive with the flood of graduates in medical fields expected within the next two to four years. For example, a bachelor's degree has always been ideal for nurses and other healthcare professional support workers, but pursuing advanced degrees is going to make you more employable and offer you greater choices in the future.

In this growing trend, if you currently have an associate's degree in nursing, it's advised to consider earning a bachelor's degree. If you have a bachelor's degree, then you may want to aim for a master's and so on. A progression in education will ensure you retain a high employability by keeping up with the newest advances in medicine and technology.

Information Technology (IT)

Technology is growing and continuing to be integrated with not just every day personal lives, but also the functions of doing business on a daily basis. This will only increase. Video conferencing and podcasts are commonplace in many businesses and these methods will evolve with the introduction of new technology.

Careers in IT require ongoing training and education so you won't be left behind as state-of-the-art advances are developed and brought onto the market.


The biggest surprise for career growth is the nonprofit sector. Dr. Wilen-Daugenti's research suggests that by 2016, this industry will have a need for "80,000 senior managers."

According to the Urban Institute, "between 2001 and 2011, the number of nonprofits has increased 25 percent."

There are many reasons a person opts for a nonprofit tax structure over a typical corporate one. Some organizations cater to the arts and are typically better served with a nonprofit status, but that isn't the only industry served by nonprofit. In fact, the tax exemptions and eligibility for government and private grants is one of the largest incentives to opt for nonprofit. Other opportunities of access to specialized and earmarked funds specifically for non-profits also drive many to seek nonprofit status. Much depends on the service or product the organization offers.

If you're contemplating changing careers and moving out of the corporate business sector into the nonprofit sector, you may be surprised that some skills are transferable, but in many cases, you may need to take classes and possibly obtain certifications.

Career Outlook for Women

The Apollo Research Institute study for 2013 discovered that 58% of the women interviewed "describe their career path as nonlinear, and nearly 90% of women executives and managers shift careers in midlife."

In the current framework of industry, women often discover that their careers have topped out (known as the glass ceiling) and often take lateral moves in an effort to find another avenue for upward mobility. This lateral shifting can become never-ending and often motivates women to change careers and start over mid-life.

Dr. Wilen-Daugenti presents an optimistic outlook for women in business. "We find women are advancing organizations and the economy as they forge innovative career paths and start new businesses."

Department of Labor Employment Projections

The US Department of Labor projects that the following jobs will see the largest increase over the next eight years:

  • 70% Personal Care Aides
  • 69.4% Home Health Aides
  • 41.3.% Medical secretaries
  • 30.9% Medical Assistants
  • 26% Registered nurses
  • 24.4% Physicians and surgeons
  • 23.7% receptionist and information clerks
  • 22.4% Licensed Practical Nurses and Licensed Vocational Nurses
  • 21.3% Construction Laborers
  • 20.9% Landscape and Grounds keeping workers
  • 20.6 % Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers
  • 20.4% Childcare Workers
  • 20.1% Nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants
  • 19.6% Carpenters
  • 18.8% Security Guards
  • 17.4% Postsecondary Teachers
  • 16.8% Elementary School Teachers
  • 16.6% Retail Salespeople
  • 16.6% Office General Clerks
  • 15.5% Customer Service Representative
  • 15.4% Laborers and Freight, Stock, material movers
  • 14.8% Food Services, preparation and servers
  • 14.3% First-Line Supervisors, office and administration support workers

What You Can Do to Prepare for Your Future

If you're seeking to add to your current credentials, consider Dr. Wilen-Daugenti's advice and find out if your present employer reimburses college tuition. She also advised that employees take advantage of all training offered to them by their employers, especially technology updates and training. Reassess your career path and map out a plan of where you want to go. With online classes and degrees, it's easier than ever to advance and add to your professional credentials.

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