Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

The Hired Girl

Laura Amy Schlitz

Jobs of the future

Jobs of the future

They say there's no such thing as a sure thing. We beg to differ. Because if there's one thing that is as sure thing, it's this: Somewhere, someday, you'll be looking for a job.

You don't need to be a fortune teller to see this future.

You don't need to be a fortune teller to see this future.

But what kind of job? Where?

Good news: You don't need to be a fortune teller to answer that question. You can start just by looking at the world around you.

For example, if you don't already have a smart phone, do you want to get one? So does everybody else. Within ten years, mobile computing will be everywhere. That means jobs for people who've studied computer science, telecommunications, and marketing.

Or how about this: Your parents are getting older. Same with everybody else's parents. An aging population means jobs for doctors and nurses—lots of them—and a booming biotechnology industry.

Or consider how it easy it's become for companies on one side of the world to compete with companies on the other side. The buzzword is "globalization," and it means more jobs for multi-lingual managers and management consultants with a global perspective.

To help you with the nitty-gritty, 60second Recap checked up on the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics' growth projections for 750 job categories over the next decade. Then we targeted those job categories projected to grow at the fastest rates. From that select group, we sifted for those occupations with the highest projected median annual income.

So here it is: Our Recap of the fastest-growing jobs in your future. Start down one of these paths, and you’ll have the closest thing to a sure thing on this earth.


Biomedical
Engineering
Cartoon caricature of the Frankenstein monster
Jobs added (by 2020)10,000
Percent Increase62%
Median Salary (2013)87,350

What it is:

Transforming modern medicine. Biomedical engineering fuses medical research with engineering. The result: Futuristic innovations (artificial limbs and organs, for example) and all-new approaches to things we've been doing for a long time, like inventing pharmaceutical drugs.

Why it’s growing:

An aging population drives the demand for medical services, and the need to keep those services affordable is driving the quest for the most effective and cost-efficient approaches. New technology appears to be the answer, and biomedical engineers are driving this effort.

What you'll need:

You'll need to be really good at math, chemistry, and physics and be ready to tackle a demanding college curriculum in biomedical engineering.


Meeting and
Event Planners
silhouette caricature of annoyed audience members throwing food at a hapless convention speaker
Jobs added (by 2020):31,000
Percent increase:44%
Median salary (2013):$48,421

What it is:

Like to plan parties? The future is yours. Convention, Meeting, and Event Planning is among the fastest-growing occupations in America, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Event planners envision, organize, and execute gatherings of all sizes for corporations, trade industry groups, and anybody else who wants to play host.

Why it’s growing:

In a word, “globalization.” BLS says globalization is driving businesses to recognize the demand for “professionally planned meetings.” Surprised? So were we.

What you'll need:  

You'll need to like people, that's for sure. And planning things. A college degree in hospitality management will help you get in.


Interpreters
and Translators
A language interpreter--male, early-twenties, in blue blazer and striped red tie--with outstretched arms and a comically wide grin standing before a while background with translations of the word "hello!" in multiple languages.
Jobs added (by 2020): 25,000
Percent increase:43%
Median salary (2013):$46,386

What it is:

Indispensable. In good times and in bad, people need to communicate. That's where translators enter the picture, converting one person’s words into language understood by another. Whether their expertise is spoken or sign language, interpreters and translators will not be wanting for work.

Why it’s growing:

Hmmm...maybe, “globalization”?  Companies are internationalizing. The web empowers individuals to engage a global audience. The world is getting smaller, so the need to be understood by others is getting larger.

What you'll need:

Generally, a college degree will help, and for many places—the diplomatic corps, for example—it's essential. You can pretty much study what you want, so long as you're completely fluent in English and another language. Translators for Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese, French, German, Russian, and Japanese languages are in greatest growing demand.


Physical
Therapists
faux crayon notebook drawing of cast on a broken leg
Jobs added (by 2020): 77,000
Percent increase: 39%
Median salary (2013): $81,770

What it is:

Someone who is your very best friend, if you need it. Physical therapists are highly-trained specialists who help rehabilitate those suffering from injury or illness. They are key players in the modern medical system, enabling patients to ease pain and regain mobility.

Why it’s growing:

Aging baby boomers are the most physically active retirees, perhaps in human history. That means more blown-out knees than ever before. And that means massive demand for the rehabilitative expertise of physical therapists.

What you'll need:

At least a bachelor's degree in physical therapy, but you'll probably need a Masters, if not a Ph.D. to be in the best position. And you'll need to pass a state licensing exam. Every state has one.


Health
Educators
"An apple a day keeps the doctor away" written in chalk, with an apple in the middle
Jobs added (by 2020):63,000
Percent increase: 27%
Median salary (2013):$52,492

What it is:

We wondered that, too. But “Wellness Counselors” are everywhere, as schools, corporations, and organizations of every kind look to promote good health, and reduce medical bills, with the help of someone trained to dispense advice for healthy living.

Why it’s growing:

The skyrocketing cost of medical care is making health insurance more expensive for everyone. That's why companies looking to contain health-related expenses look to the services of these professionals to educate their employees on healthy living practices.

What you'll need:

A bachelor's degree in a health sciences-related field is best. Some employers will require a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) credential.

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