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There are fast-growing trends that will shape the future of jobs. The Wall Street Journal predicts—based upon its research and an in-depth report by the United States Department of Labor—as the American population gets older and technology continues to dominate, there will be a plethora of new, exciting and high-paying opportunities in these sectors.

Also, quirky things that you may not have considered, such as pampered pets now seen as  family members, have inspired an entire industry around taking care of your precious dogs and cats (in full disclosure, I have two Shelties and two cats).

The Need For Healthcare Providers

We are living longer than past generations, which is great news. However, a troublesome consequence of aging is that our bodies and minds break down over time. The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed our glaring lack of health and medical care. It’s believed that jobs in the healthcare space will skyrocket to deal with this need.

The U.S. Labor Department predicts, “The healthcare and social assistance sector is projected to add the most new jobs, and six of the 10 fastest-growing occupations are related to healthcare.” The Department of Labor added, “Five out of the 20 fastest-growing industries for the next decade are in the healthcare and social assistance sector.” One of the large factors contributing to the growth will be due to the expected “increased demand to care for the aging [Baby Boomers], longer life expectancies and continued growth in the number of patients with chronic conditions.”

These jobs run the gamut from nurse practitioners and physician assistants who could earn over $100,000 per year to home healthcare aides earning barely over minimum wage. “Registered nurses, a job that usually requires a bachelor’s degree and paid about $73,000 in 2019, will see their ranks swell by 220,000, an increase of 7%.”

The Labor Department predicts that over the upcoming decade, “home-health aide jobs will grow the most out of nearly 800 job titles, with an expected addition of 1.16 million positions.” These are the people who come into or live at a person’s home and take care of them for short or long-term health issues. Despite the anticipated incredible demand, the job only calls for a high school degree. Given the importance of the role, taking care of elderly and sick people, it’s somewhat surprising that the job only pays about $25,280.

Mental health providers will be in demand too. “It’s expected to see psychiatrists to rise 12% by 2029.” Community and social services jobs will increase by 350,000 jobs—about 13%.

Technology Keeps Growing

During the pandemic, we’ve witnessed the whirlwind pivot from brick-and-mortar businesses to going online. Internet-based companies, such as Amazon, Google, Netflix, Microsoft and Zoom, have done amazingly well, while other sectors have been crushed.

The Labor Department contends that this trend will continue accelerating, as it reports, “Technological advancements are expected to support rapid employment growth in professional, business and scientific services sectors, including computer systems design and related  services, as well as management, scientific and technical consulting services.”

Software developers, “a role that paid a median wage of $107,500 in 2019, will be among four occupations adding the most jobs in the next decade, growing by 316,000.” It’s believed that there will be a continuing escalating need for workers to help protect data, privacy and information security. Computer occupations, as per the Labor Department, will see exponential growth, particularly in software development and the Internet of Things (IoT).

The downside is that rapid technological changes, including automation and e-commerce are expected to cause a decrease in employment for “office and administrative support occupations and for sales occupations.”

There is speculation that the “manufacturing sector is projected to lose 444,800 jobs,” as the “adoption of new productivity-enhancing technologies, such as robotics and international competition,” cuts down the need for these workers.

President-elect Joe Biden has been a big advocate for green energy during his presidential campaign. It’s predicted that clean energy-related jobs will enjoy fast growth. Jobs dealing with renewable energy, such as “wind turbine technicians and solar photovoltaic installers will see their numbers rise by more than 50% from 2019 levels.”

Cute Cats And Lovable Puppies

During the pandemic, millions of Americans adopted pets. As a pet owner, I’ve seen a rapid increase in the number of puppies being walked around my neighborhood by pet owners that are not sure of what they’re doing. There are lots of empty boxes from Chewy, the online pet food, toys and accessories company, outside homes by the garbage bins—reflecting the attention paid to the new family members.

Doggy day care kennels, dog walkers, groomers, trainers, veterinarians and related workers will see the number of jobs increase by 13 to 23%.

If you’re starting or thinking of reinventing your career, healthcare, technology, green energy and pet care may be occupations to consider looking into.

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