The Best Careers for the Future

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Choosing a future career is not the same thing as choosing a career with a future. You may be quite happy with the job you have now, but still be uncertain about the future of that specific job or of the field in which you are working. On the other hand, whether by necessity or preference, you may find yourself looking at changing jobs or fields at some point down your career path.

Being informed about the future of your job and jobs of the future--that's what "Best Careers for the Future" is all about.

The best careers for the future have traditionally been regarded as those with the best financial remuneration and/or the best growth potential. But in the modern age of increased career customization, personalization, travel and teleworking opportunities and work-life and community integration, the conventional bottom line isn't necessarily a line in the sand that cannot be redrawn.

In any event, whatever your career priorities, your chances of fulfilling them in the future will largely depend on predictable and unpredictable developments within job markets, which, in turn will be shaped by myriad, often unpredictable demographic, economic and technological trends and "black swan" events, such as unexpected energy discoveries and innovative breakthroughs.

The following list consists of some professions that, given observed trends, are expected to grow faster than most over the next decade. In short, given at least the looming changes in the nation's demographics and the way that businesses operate, these occupations will be among those in highest demand.

1. Personal financial advisers - With the graying of the population and growing uncertainty over the economic future, more and more people will require the help of financial experts to guide them through the best management of their retirement funds or to plan for a secure and comfortable retirement in the future.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Employment of personal financial advisors is projected to grow 32 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. As large numbers of baby boomers approach retirement age, they will seek planning advice from personal financial advisors."

2. Healthcare - Aging populations, environmental pollution and toxins, unhealthy lifestyles, more accessible and affordable health insurance, easier and more rapid spread of contagious diseases through overcrowding and surging global travel suggest that careers in health-related industries should be plentiful, including careers in primary and hospice care, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and supplies and medical administration.

As for physicians, UN World Health Organization projections suggest demand will critically depend on geographical region, with significant shortfalls in some regions, like Africa and better coverage in industrialized nations.

More than half of the jobs the U.S. BLS projects will enjoy growth rates in excess of 29% over the 2010-2020 decade are health and medicine related.

3. Software and IT engineers - The flowering of the digital age and its associated technologies virtually assures that demand for IT skills will remain strong. For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that "employment of software developers is projected to grow 30 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. The main reason for the rapid growth is a large increase in the demand for computer software."

For a detailed look at all occupations with projected growth rates of at least 29% between 2010 to 2020, check out this BLS table.
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