Tomorrow, Tomorrow

I’ve admitted in this space on multiple occasions that I don’t have a crystal ball and have no idea what the future will really hold.  Thinking about the economy, the ongoing high unemployment rate, wars, natural disasters, it is hard to stay optimistic.  But over the past few weeks, my outlook on things seemed to be a little brighter.  Recently listening to some very smart people discuss theories of Dark Matter, of computer software, medicine, bio engineering, teaching, art and other disciplines, leads me to believe the future could be very bright indeed!
Some of what I heard was theoretical, and some fact, but there is legitimate scientific interest and investigation into ideas and concepts that to many seem quite “far fetched” and “out of this world.”  From particle physics to the origins of our universe, to hear knowledgeable doctors, scientists and educators address these topics was quite exciting.  But to hear them sound hopeful about where these discoveries will lead, indicates that those studying the sciences now will have opportunities to open doors in areas previous generations could not conceive.
In areas such as computer software, smart phones and mobile technologies, it is apparent that job growth is on the horizon for software developers, both those who create solutions for enterprise and commercial applications, and those who generate code and tools for individual use.  For proof of this, just look at the applications that are now available to download for any of the smart phone and mobile computing platforms that enable those with relatively little programming experience to create applications.  Here the staggering rapid growth is in part attributed to the code (software development) kits that so many manufactures offer, allowing for more rapid development and deployment of apps that were not possible when portable phones were merely for talking.  Can you imagine what the next generation will be using for media players, communication devices, and portable computing platforms?  How about the next iteration of networks, or content and storage distribution technologies?   Someone better devise easy ways of storing the Terabytes, Petabytes and Exabytes we’ll all be accumulating and accessing!
Careers in digital arts, website development and design for online media are also proliferating.  Those who have the skills to create intuitive user interfaces, who can integrate search and retail functions, and who can manipulate the underlying databases that keep content flowing smoothly for Web 2.0 (and 3.0) can continue to carve their own niches.  We are already seeing signs that the user-generated content of Web 2.0 is giving way to open and more structured data, hopefully enabling the linking of more intelligent data.  It takes creativity and full understanding of purpose to design effective visual communication that supports the surrounding linked content, validates it, and does not distract from it. Those who understand this will help the Internet evolve in new ways, and create opportunities for programmers, and end users.
Nearly every day there are fascinating reports of medical miracles and marvels. Not surprisingly, the pharmaceutical and biotech industries are experiencing growing pains. In these industries there is a high volume of company mergers and failures that have sadly resulted in many layoffs.  Yet the researchers, scientists and clinicians who continue to perform the studies and background work are constantly developing new compounds and drugs that hold great promise for treating all kinds of debilitating diseases and creating fuel sources.  And the myriad positions that support these efforts are also in demand.  Doctors, nurses, statisticians, analysts and others are reinventing themselves to fill roles they couldn’t have conceived of a few years ago.  In the next few years those studying the sciences and medicine will be empowered to pursue careers vastly different from the professionals who currently occupy those roles.
Our world is certainly evolving at a very fast pace.  And, yes, the economy still sucks, and good jobs right now are still hard to find.  And just as hard for the employers to fill.  But for those willing to get the education, and those willing to invest their time in retraining, to do the work in these and so many other exciting areas, tomorrow will surely offer amazing opportunities and a bright future!  Tomorrow is only a day away!
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