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The 5 Best Jobs of the Future and How to Get Them

JUN 24, 2021

Technology is changing the face of the workforce. Don’t get stuck in a job that won’t exist in a few years. Discover the best 5 jobs of the future. We’ll help you identify jobs that will bring both happiness and job security.

It’s hard to imagine a world without iPhones, Instagram, or YouTube. But not long ago, these essential pieces of technology didn’t even exist. In just a few short decades, technology has infiltrated our businesses, homes, and lives. It’s not going anywhere and only becoming more integrated into all aspects of our existence.

How technology will affect future jobs is unclear, but there are many indicators and predictions that technology could take away millions of jobs soon. In fact, by 2030, we’ll likely lose 73 million jobs to automation.

While this might seem discouraging, the future also holds many new job prospects for college graduates, particularly in knowledge creation and innovation. Advancements in machinery and technology will provide graduates with the tools to explore, experiment, and find unique solutions to complex problems.

In a 2016 Pew Research Center survey, “The State of American Jobs,” five major themes emerged about the future of job training in the tech age.

Major themes about jobs of the future

A Worldwide Shift in the Future Job Market

Europe is also experiencing an increase in automation. The top skills of the future will likely shift towards occupations in sectors like education, healthcare, social work, and communications technology. Other worldwide occupations that will likely grow in the next decade include STEM-related jobs, business, legal, creative and arts management, software development, nursing, and marketing. A degree related to one of these programs will decrease the chances your position will disappear due to automation and help solidify the longevity of your career.

Find out which UK university offers the best courses to study for the future by downloading our free eBook!

STEM Jobs Aren’t Going Away

According to Crimson Education South Africa Country Manager Rebecca Pretorius, students with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) qualifications will be relevant in the future job market. Rebecca suggests, “Students need to consider choosing a field of study that is ‘future proof’ after graduation. STEM job opportunities are appearing at a much faster rate than students can graduate to fill them.”

What are the Jobs of the Future?

What does the future job market look like for college graduates? Healthcare careers are the frontrunners, but careers in technology and finance are also showing positive growth.

Percent Change
Here’s a look at some of the best careers for the future, average salaries, and the university degrees needed to succeed and thrive in each market.

Top Five Highest Paying and In-Demand Jobs of the Future

1. Software developers/engineers

It’s pretty clear technology isn’t going anywhere, and software developers are vital to our modern existence. Nearly everything on our phones, tablets, and computers was built, updated, and fixed by software developers. While the need for software developers and engineers is rising, graduates will need to know more than just how to code because machines will eventually replace entry-level programmers. Programmers will need to learn how to program these machines to stay relevant. They will also need to possess high-level coding skills and learn how to integrate code with other services.

U.S. News and World Report recently ranked software development occupations as the #2 overall job in their list of 100 best jobs for 2021. Software developers and engineers will be in demand for a long time!

If you’re interested in a career in software engineering and development, you should pursue a degree in computer science or a related field. Many software engineers also possess advanced degrees. Learn which top universities offer computer science degrees and what you need to gain admission.

Median Annual Wage in 2020Projected New Positions 2019-2029Educational Requirement
$110,140*316,000*Bachelor's Degree

Top 5 U.S. Universities with the Best Computer Science Programs

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Stanford University
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • California Institute of Technology

2. Nurse Practitioner

Medical care is something we all need and will continue to need in the future. While scientists and medical experts are discovering new ways to fight diseases and improve overall health, there will always be a need for knowledgeable, advanced nursing services and the personal care of a nurse practitioner.

Nurse practitioners have master’s degrees in at least one specialized nursing role. They also have to earn a registered nursing license and pass the national certification exam. Nurse practitioners can also act as primary or specialty care providers. They can perform exams, assess patient needs, and prescribe medications. Similar to a doctor, nurse practitioners practice in specific areas of medicine.

Rising Demand for Nurse Practitioners

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) believes the growth of this industry over the next decade will be due to the following:

  • Heightened emphasis on preventative care
  • The Affordable Care Act providing more people with medical coverage
  • Baby boomers aging and requiring more medical care
Median Annual Wage in 2020Projected New Positions 2019-2029Educational Requirement
$111,680110,700Master’s degree, national certification exam

Top 5 Best U.S. Nursing Schools

  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Emory University
  • Duke University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Columbia University

All Healthcare Occupations are Growing

With the rise of mental health awareness and an aging population, medical occupations are some of the best careers of the future. Therapists, counselors, social workers, doctors, occupational therapists, physician’s assistants, and home health aides will be popular high paying careers in the next 5-15 years.

healthcare one of the jobs of the future

3. Market Research Analysts

Through advancing technology, marketing analysts will have endless amounts of information available to study market conditions, form predictions, conduct analyses, and make decisions. Software will take over the tedious job of gathering and processing data, but knowledgeable and educated marketing analysts will still need to know how to use the software to look for patterns and draw conclusions from those patterns.

Employment of market research analysts is projected to grow 18 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth will be driven by an increased use of data and market research across many industries.

- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Median Annual Wage in 2020Projected New Positions 2019-2029Educational Requirement
$65,810*130,300*Bachelor's degree

Top 5 U.S. Undergraduate Business Marketing Programs

  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • New York University
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • Indiana University, Bloomington

4. Financial Managers

As the world’s economy grows, the demand for financial services, including planning, directing investment activities, coordinating investments, and developing plans for an organization’s long-term financial goals will grow. Companies, especially global companies, will accumulate more cash, and there will be greater demand for financial managers with cash management experience.

Risk management is another area that’s predicted to grow in the next 10-20 years. With the fluctuating financial market, banking institutions will be looking for stability rather than maximizing profits. They will need solid financial managers who can manage risk.

Employment of financial managers is projected to grow 15 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Several functions of financial managers, including cash management and risk management, are expected to be in high demand over the decade.

- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Median Annual Wage in 2020Projected New Positions 2019-2029Educational Requirement
$134,180*108,100*Bachelor’s degree or Master’s Degree (preferably)

Top 5 U.S. Finance MBA Programs

  • University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
  • University of Chicago (Booth)
  • New York University (Stern)
  • Columbia University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)

5. Healthcare Administrators

People are living longer thanks to remarkable breakthroughs in modern medicine. As the medical field continues exploring and discovering new ways to cure diseases and extend lives, the demand for medical professionals will continue to increase. Healthcare Administrators have the job of planning, directing, coordinating, and supervising healthcare delivery. Some healthcare administrators manage a single department, while others help run an entire facility.

Additionally, the population is growing, and baby boomers are aging. Both these factors also contribute to the increased need for more healthcare administrators in this in-demand field.

Median Annual Wage in 2020Projected New Positions 2019-2029Educational Requirement
$134,180*133,200*Bachelor’s degree

Top 5 U.S. Universities with Best Healthcare Management Programs

  • University of Alabama, Birmingham
  • University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Rush University

Crimson can help gain career skills for the future through our internship program. Don’t get stuck in a career that won’t be around in a few years. We can help set you up for university and future career success.

What are the Happiest Careers?

In addition to choosing a career that will stand the test of time, it’s important to choose a job that will make you happy. Does it offer longevity and a healthy work-life balance? Will you still enjoy this career in 10 or 20 years?

Career coach, Marty Nemko, Ph.D. writes in Psychology Today that the “key to career contentment is getting your career non-negotiables met.” He believes some of the most common career “non-negotiables” include:

  • Prestige
  • Money
  • Job Security
  • Flexible Schedule
  • Work from Anywhere
  • Travel

Make a list of your career “non-negotiables”. Think hard before you accept a job that doesn’t fit into that list.

Top 5 Jobs for a Happy Life

  • Corporate Recruiter
  • User Experience (UX) Designer
  • Data Scientist
  • Strategy Manager
  • UI Designer

Timeless Essential Human Skills

Technology might change the future job market, but essential human skills aren’t going away. They transcend time and are part of every industry and profession. Future leaders may find some of these interpersonal skills more challenging due to their extreme reliance on non-human technology. Developing these skills will help differentiate job candidates in the future.

Top Five Timeless Human Skills

  • Creativity
  • Team Collaboration
  • Empathy
  • Interdisciplinary Knowledge
  • People Skills

Crimson Research Institute provides a unique academic opportunity for talented high school students to complete a research project with guidance from faculty and PhDs at top universities. Learn valuable life-long skills, mentorship from leading minds, stand out in college applications, and further your passions!

Careers that May Not Exist in 10-20 years

Over the next 10-20 years, automation will impact many careers. To stay relevant, it’s critical employees either develop skills that solve or fix automation problems or help their industry create new products or services.

Bottom line, any routine job that can easily be defined by a mathematical or logic equation will be at risk. Opportunity will be [there] for those that can create new products/services or solve/fix unexpected problems.

- John Pugliano, author of "The Robots Are Coming: A Human's Survival Guide to Profiting in the Age of Automation"

Top 5 Jobs in Danger of Extinction

  • Postal service workers
  • Radio & television announcers
  • Pharmacy aides
  • Bank tellers
  • Administrative assistants

Become a Lifelong Learner

Staying relevant in a technology-driven and automated world means you need to become a lifelong learner. Look for a university program that emphasizes this philosophy and find credentialing avenues to acquire new skills that will prepare you to work alongside artificial intelligence.

While many jobs may succumb to machines and technology, the future job market still looks promising. The World Economic Forum recently released their “Future of Jobs Report 2020”. Based on the figures within the report, they estimate that “85 million jobs may be displaced by a shift in the division of labour between humans and machines, while 97 million new roles may emerge that are more adapted to the new division of labour between humans, machines and algorithms.”

These numbers are encouraging. New jobs are just waiting for someone to discover them. Keep learning. Dream big. A brand new career may be just within your reach.

Are you interested in securing yourself with one of the jobs of the future? Crimson is the world’s leading university admissions support company specializing in helping students gain entry to the most competitive universities in the US and UK, starting with identifying the best-fit universities for each student’s goals, interests and priorities. To learn how Crimson can help you gain the knowledge and experience you need to get that degree and land one of the best jobs of the future, schedule a free consultation with one of our expert academic advisors today.

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