Best Careers for the Future – what is the best future job career?

Best Careers for the Future – what is the best future job career?

Many websites will try to tell you which careers offer the best prospects for the future. Their choices are usually based on percentage growth statistics for recent years, which are a clear indicator of where the numbers of jobs are increasing. However, this does not reflect other concerns such as which careers pay best, which jobs are easiest to obtain, which need the longest periods of undergraduate and postgraduate study, and so on. Despite this, some general trends hold true on a general level.
Future career trends
It is no surprise that one of the fastest growing areas of employment in recent years relates to computer technology. Technological advance and the continued integration of IT and digital communications into the workplace throughout the private, public and voluntary sectors ensures that this trend will continue for some time. Systems analysts, designers and developers, computer programmers, web developers, consultants and information managers reflect the range of these career areas. Hardware engineers are also needed, working in infrastructure construction and repair, fibre, cable, satellites, etc.
Another guaranteed growth area is the healthcare sector. The increasing number of healthcare jobs is directly attributable to the growing age of the population – people are living longer so there are more people in the older age groups – and the expansion of treatments available for medical conditions, whether delivered in the primary healthcare sector or within hospitals. Consequently, there is also an expansion in the number of administrative and support roles needing to be filled.
Other careers deemed to be ‘hot’ future career prospects relate to areas of scientific advance, and in particular the “bio” sciences, such as biotechnology. Tissue engineers and gene programmers have been highlighted, but all skill levels are included – as companies grow, so does their administration infrastructure. Other new scientific areas include nanotechnology and energy technology.
Demographic changes are leading to other needs in addition to healthcare. Teaching and tourism, training and development, and care of the elderly are all areas where openings are set to increase, as are financial advisors.
Services that already exist will grow further as the population ages. Standard professions include the legal sector, police, teachers, tutors, etc. Meanwhile, there is a general return amongst certain income sectors of paying for domestic support with the services of maids and cleaners, drivers, etc. This is increasingly common as the higher divorce levels yield more one-parent families.
New services are developing that are opening out into recognized career fields. Many of these are provided directly to the consumer. Counselling and various complementary therapies are obvious examples, as well as physical training instructors and coaches.
Graduates: What is the best career for the future?
Unsurprisingly, growing numbers of openings for graduates exist in the areas identified above. IT careers include network systems and data communications analysts, software engineers, network and computer systems administrators, and database administrators.
Healthcare careers include physician assistants, physical therapists and dental hygienists. Additionally, the relatively new area of forensic science technician is also a ‘hot’ prospect. With additional vocational qualifications, graduates could consider entering the healthcare sector as a registered nurse, nursing aide or orderly, or a licensed practical or vocational nurse.
Preschool teaching is also a healthy employment area, as is hairdressing and cosmetology. Paralegal and legal assistant openings are also set to grow in number.
Graduate openings that currently offer most new jobs (as opposed to future career trends) are:
Accountants and auditors.
Applications software engineers.
Computer systems analysts.
Secondary school teachers.
Systems engineers.
Systems analysts.
Network administrators.
Employment and recruitment specialists.
Declining Careers
Unsurprisingly, the technological revolution has led to a downturn in a number of work areas. Declining careers include traditional printing jobs, such as typesetting, which have been largely replaced by electronic processes. Likewise, many secretarial posts have been lost to more general personal assistant or administrator roles. Work relating to fax machines, telephone and telex operations has also declined, as so many communication tasks are now fulfilled via the PC.
The opening up of the global marketplace has also brought about a decline in certain low-skill technology jobs that are now based overseas. These declining careers include programming, customer call centres, technical support and other services that can be provided by telephone or online workers. The same is occurring with data entry and straightforward accounting or banking jobs. Much work is going to countries such as India or Taiwan, where overheads and salaries are far lower.
Your choice of future career
Identification of future career trends is of some help when you are seeking a career direction. You now know that it will help you to look for a career that requires a high skill level but which cannot be done remotely. Therefore, you would be safest learning a skill or profession that requires your physical presence such as a nurse, physician, dental hygienist, or hair stylist. Within the IT sector, it is safe to assume that the majority of more complex jobs will stay onshore.
Ultimately, your choice of career must depend primarily on an assessment of your own skills, abilities, personal qualities, interests, availability and geographical location. This is essential if you want to be successful, no matter how good the prospects are in that area of employment.
2006 Best Careers:
The Results Are In

By editors

What are the best careers? found out by asking people what makes them satisfied in their careers and then finding careers with those qualities. Here are the results (in alphabetical order):

  • Curriculum and instructional coordinators
  • High-school special-education teachers
  • Hospital and clinic managers
  • Management consultants and analysts
  • Medical researchers
  • Physical therapists
  • Sales, marketing and advertising managers
  • Social workers, counselors and related managers

[best careers]CareerJournal’s
Best Careers

The Methodology:
How We Got Our List

What’s Important to You?
Career Snapshots

Best Careers Profiles
Health-Clinic Executive
Social-Work Manager
Management Consultant
Special-Ed Teacher

Discuss: Which do you think is the best career?

How did we get this list? CareerJournal teamed with polling company Harris Interactive, to  survey U.S. adults and find what qualities are most common in the jobs of highly satisfied career-focused people. The four attributes cited most were:

Good intellectual stimulation
Strong job security
High level of control and freedom in what to do
Extensive direct contact with customers/clients

These criteria in hand, we then looked to identify careers that best met them. We scoured occupational data and employment projections from the Department of Labor and interviewed experts. Our eight "Best Careers" fit the bill in each category.

These won’t be the best careers for everyone. But relative to others, they are more likely to have the things that highly satisfied career-minded people say describe their jobs.

Read interviews with people who have jobs in the fields of special education, management consulting, social work and health-care clinic management, and come back to CareerJournal in the weeks ahead for profiles of people who have jobs in curriculum development, physical therapy, medical research, and sales, marketing and advertising.

What’s the best career for you? To answer this question, first think about how you would describe your dream career. Then review this list of 14 career qualities and see a sampling of careers most likely to deliver on what’s most important to you.

To learn more about CareerJournal’s Best Careers list, read our methodology.

What do you think is the best career?  Join other CareerJournal readers in a discussion.

Email your comments to

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