Jobs of the future

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JobsofthefuturegraphYesterday, the President’s Council of Economic Advisers released the report “Preparing the Workers of Today for the Jobs of Tomorrow.” The purpose of the report is to assess where jobs will be in the future so that people can prepare now. The introductory passage of the report reads:

In this report, the President’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) presents a projection of potential developments in the U.S. labor market over the next five to ten years and discusses the preparations necessary to develop the 21st century workforce. We discuss the skills that will likely be most relevant in growing occupations, the value and limitations of our current post-high school education and training systems, and the characteristics of a more effective education and training structure.

Here are some points of interest I found in the report in case you don’t feel like sorting through it:

  • “…the health care and education industries are expected to contribute most substantially to job growth in the future.”
  • Retail trade is projected to contract somewhat in terms of employment share, partly because the growth in consumer spending is expected to slow going forward.”
  • “Health care practitioners and technicians, which include physicians, registered nurses, and other health professionals and technicians, are expected to be in increasing demand. Jobs for medical records and health information technicians are also projected to increase. Investments in health information technology will only accelerate the growth in this occupation.”
  • “Jobs in health care support occupations, also shown in the chart, are projected to experience even faster growth. The increased demand in this area stems largely from an aging population that will require care at home, at nursing care facilities, and in inpatient and outpatient settings.”
  • “Distributing power through an updated, more efficient, system will require even more electrical power line installers and repairers, which was already a growing occupation according to the BLS projections.”

So what’s the point, right? I mean, that’s great and all, but people are unemployed now and need work immediately, not in 8 years. Well, the report is concerned with how education serves job seekers of tomorrow. When you read how many employers view today’s graduates and job seekers, you get an idea of how they might perceive your job-seeking competition. As a result, you can brush up on your skills or emphasize these talents to give yourself an edge. For example, a survey indicates

[Most] recent high school graduates lacked the basic skills of reading, writing, and math that were deemed necessary by employers. Among these basic skills, employers deemed this group to be most deficient in writing. Employers judged nearly three-quarters of high school graduates as unable to write at a basic level, for which competency includes knowledge of both spelling and grammar.

So employers think the people coming into their offices can’t write or communicate well. That’s your cue to show them that you can. Even if the job doesn’t seem to require superior writing skills, it doesn’t draw the interviewer’s attention to proof of your writing expertise. Whether you’ve prepared presentations for someone or given them yourself, verbal communication helps at any job and suggests you can be a leader.

While you’re looking for work now and/or planning your career path, you should take a look at this report. It not only tells you where the jobs will be, but it could help you find one now. And it’s also an excellent resource to help you align yourself with upcoming trends.