Tomorrow's Jobs: Understanding Your Opportunities

To make sound career choices it is important to attain reliable information about the upcoming future opportunities and prospects. Future opportunities are greatly influenced by the relationship of three factors

  • Population
  • Labor Force
  • Demand for Goods & Services

Here is a brief analysis on how these three factors are interdependent and correlated.

It is a fact that the shifts in a nation's population (be it sizeable or communal) hugely influences the demand for goods & services. For instance, the Baby Boom Generation that cumulatively accounted for USA's highest ever birth rate in a twenty year period, I-e during 1945-1965, boosted the population size tremendously. That's why today, around 80 million US citizens are between ages 40 and 60 and makeup 25% of the entire US population. This dramatic shift has been affecting the US economy since late1940s. In terms of the prospective future scenario in the wake of the aging of baby-boom generation, it can be estimated that the burden on healthcare system is bound to be increased, which means more job opportunities in this sector. However, an increment in population effects various professions in different manner. On the whole, this is largely influenced by future population's age distribution.

The Labor Force:
The size and configuration of a region's labor force (people already hired or searching for job) is primarily determined by the population factor. In USA, the overall civilian or non-military labor force is estimated to increase by 14.7 million within a ten year period from 2004 to 2014 representing 10% increment on a population of 162 million. Moreover, chances are that ethnic diversity will be an influential factor in the upcoming labor force and the rate of non-Hispanic White workers who collectively accounted for around 70% of total workforce in 2004 will fall to 65.6% by the end of 2014.However, regardless of their slow growth, Whites will sustain their position as both the biggest population and labor force group in America. Among the four main population groups namely Whites, Asian, Black, and Hispanics, the latter will be the fastest in growth all over USA with a projected growth rate of 34%. Black population will increase at a rate of 6% and Asians by 18%. The rate of female growth will be higher than males at a rate of 11% while male workforce will increase at 9%. Labor force above 55 years of age will also see a vast increment. In 2014, the overall age distribution of labor force in USA will be as follows: 14% ages 16-24; 65% ages 25-54 (the primary working age group); and 21% in the 55+ age group.

The Demand for Goods & Services:
Between the period of 2004 and 2014, more than 19 million jobs will be added and the rate of employment apparently, will increase to up to 13%, I-e from 145.6 million to 164.5 million. These additional jobs will be unevenly distributed though, because the nation will continue to shift from good-producing to service-producing employment. Therefore, service-producing industries will account for the lions share in employment sector, I-e 98% between 2004 and 2014. Chief service-producing industries might do fairly well during this ten year period include:

1. Education & Health Services
Growth rate for this industry will be faster at 30% and maximum new job options will be added into this sector. It is estimated that at least 3 out of 10 new jobs will be related to healthcare, social services, or private educational services. Around 4.3 million new jobs will be added to sectors like private hospitals, residential care facilities, nursing, and individual and family services. The employment rate in social assistance and healthcare sector will be influenced by the aging baby-boom population and extended life expectancies. Child care services will be highly in-demand in the coming years since the rate of females joining the labor force is estimated to be higher than males. About 1 million new jobs will be added into private educational sectors since the urge for higher education is on a rise.

2. Professional & Business Services
Professional and business services cumulatively account for the most rapidly expanding industries in the US economy and 4.5 million new jobs will be added to this sector. Two-third of total new jobs will be contributed by employment services in areas like waste management, administrative & support and remediation services. In professional, technical and scientific sectors employment rate will also increase and approx. 2 million jobs will be added whereas Information technology, Computer sciences and related industries will provide half a million more jobs by 2014. Businesses will continue to rely on technical excellence and networking therefore, areas like IT management, scientific and technical consultation will expand 60% more during this ten year duration. 11% growth is estimated for enterprises and companies.

3. Information
Some rapidly expanding industries like software publishers;Internet service providers and Internet publishing and broadcasting;data processing services and Web search portals are covered by this super-sector of information and the growth rate for these is 68%, 44% and 28% respectively. The overall growth rate of this sector is estimated to be around 12%. Some other significant industries that will provide maximum job opportunities include:telecommunications, broadcasting, and newspaper, periodical, book & directory publishers. Increased demand for residential & business land-line and wireless services, cable service, high-speed Internet connections and software.

4. Leisure & Hospitality
This industry will see an astounding growth of 18% whereas specific fields like arts, entertainment and recreation will improve by 25% and add more than half a million new occupations by 2014. This immense growth will be fuelled by public participation in arts, showbiz&leisurely activities due to aggregated incomes, leisureliness, and the wakefulnessabout the benefits of staying healthy and fit. Accommodation & Food services will reportedly grow by 17% and add around 1.8 million new jobs. The job concentration will be primarily in food services and drinking establishments.

5. Financial Activities
This industry as a whole is projected to expand at a rate of 11% and will be adding thousands of new jobs specifically in fields like financial investments. This will happen because the baby-boom generation has entered into their peak savings years. Real estate as a business will expand 30% more, which reflects the heightened demand for housingprobably due to increased population and the ongoing housing boom in the US.

6. Trade, Transportation & Utilities
This is yet another super-sector as far as new employment opportunities are concerned and will be expanding at least 10% more by 2014. The estimations of industrial growth in its key sub-sectors are as follows:

  • Transportation & warehousing 12%;
  • Truck transportation 10%;
  • Warehousing & storage 25%
  • Water, Sewerage & other systems 21%

These figures showcase the fact that from truck transportation to warehousing services every field will be expanding and this growth can be accounted to the fact that manufacturers have started to concentrate more on core competencies. New job options in retail trade will exceed 1.7 million by 2014 whereas wholesale trade will be adding 400,000 more jobs. However, job opportunities in utilities will decline despite the improvement in the production of electric power generation, transmission and electricity and gas distribution. Jobs in water & sewerage sectors will be increased because these are areas where machines and technology cannot replace human labor.

7. Government
Employment opportunities in governmental sector will increase at least 10% and around 2.2 million new jobs will be added. Majority of new jobs will stem from state and local educational services and also because of the fact that the focus of responsibilities has shifted to state and local level instead of federal government. Most promising fields in this sector are: Education; Criminal Justice disciplines and Healthcare and Human Services.

Fastest growth will be registered in healthcare field as the baby-boom generation ages. The requirement for qualified medical professionals and healthcare facilities management staff will increase to cater to the health and administration related requirements of this generation. Around one million new jobs will be added for hiring registered nurses and medical assistants only, which displays the immense promise this industry enfolds.

Education as an industry will also see constant and stable growth because of the sudden growth in population over the past ten years. Teachers and teaching assistants will be highly in-demand. The impact of business, management, and finance industries will be far-reaching and these are deemed as the most bankable areas for postsecondary degrees.

Majority of people consider high salaries and increased supply as the key factors that determine the quantitative value of any occupation. However, if the survey for America's 50 best career choices from Money Magazine is to be believed, there are many other factors that contribute to their career-oriented decisions. Some of these factors include: the potential for personal/professional growth and technological advancement, stress level, flexibility and job satisfaction. The top-10 occupational choices are estimated to be:

  • 1. Software Engineer
  • 2. College Professor
  • 3. Financial Advisor
  • 4. Human Resources Manager
  • 5. Medical Assistant
  • 6. Market Research Analyst
  • 7. Computer/IT Analyst
  • 8. Real Estate Appraiser
  • 9. Pharmacist
  • 10. Psychologist

A careful analysis reveals that all these above-mentioned fields require some sort of postsecondary education. Thus, it can be stated that those who opt for higher education also enjoy higher standard of living in comparison to their high-school graduate counterparts.

You may take guidance from the list of potential fields that we have compiled here but don't abide by it religiously while making important career choices because ultimately what is important is your personal interests and satisfaction. Evaluate what is more important for you, like financial prosperity or job security and long-term benefits, while choosing a major. If you are interested in Accounting then go for it and enroll in an associate's or bachelor's business degree program. Whatever be the reason behind choosing a major, it is a choice that will affect your whole life and therefore, it must be made with great envisioning, evaluation and estimation.