Where Do We Go From Here?

Where will the jobs of tomorrow be?
What industries will be hot, and sustaining 5, 10, 15, 25, 50 years from now?
Most people doing a job search right now aren’t overly concerned with what will be the hot gigs of the next 20 to 50 years.  And employers are mostly concerned with finding and keeping the employees they presently have or finding those they expect to need in the most economically practical way possible.
I bring this up because so many jobs are going offshore.  Jobs that were – up until recently – plentiful, are being filled outside US borders.  Most notable are the manufacturing and knowledge workers who are losing out to the jobseekers from the fast rising economies of India, the Philippines, Pakistan, Thailand, Taiwan and other areas not usually considered as competition for “our” jobs.  So while many industries are creating new jobs, many of the positions we considered part of our daily existence are now being filled in other countries.
But in the last 50 years thousands of new types of jobs have been created – tech and non tech!  Job titles and functions that no one had ever heard of before are today commonplace. The speed at which society, the sciences and technology are advancing necessitate that institutes of higher learning be on the cutting edge with their curricula, programs and facilities to help foster the growth of future generations of workers.   Biosciences, nanotechnology, environmental, telecommunications, and other industries will create jobs we haven’t heard of yet and functions we can only now dream of.
So if you’re a job seeker with a long working future in front of you, what should you do?
And if you’re in school and contemplating choices for your academic majors and professional future, where should you look?
Sorry, there are no easy answers here.  What will happen in the future, will reveal itself in due time.  But since you’ve got to move forward productively and proactively, I can make a couple of suggestions:

  • Get a good education. Don’t just major in one thing!  Do a double major, preferably in diversified fields.  And at the very least, discover and indulge in a broad array of interests and deeply pursue them all.  Seriously!
  • Learn all you can about what interests you, and keep learning.  Staying current and aware gives you the foundation you’ll need if you want to be the one creating or inventing the future.
  • Stay in the habit of learning, and make it an active life-long activity.  As the world continues to rapidly evolve, your investment in learning will make adapting to less familiar trends and experiences easier so you will remain open to new technologies and cultural developments.

And if you’re a maturing worker with a few years to go before formally retiring, the same rules apply.
Keeping yourself aware and involved will provide you long-term opportunities for career growth and job security.  Work your butt off now to future-proof your tomorrow.