Top five jobs of the future

Top five jobs of the future

November 5th, 2010 | Posted in Business & Economy

Today I was interviewed on Bloomberg TV “Fast Forward” about the future of employment, in light of the very good October jobs report in the U.S., which showed a gain of 159,000 private sector jobs. It takes about 100,000 new jobs each month to stay even with growth in the working age population and to balance job losses, and the U.S. has been averaging such monthly gains all of 2010. But this just keeps things at a steady-state, and thus unemployment remains at the very high level of 9.6%, a number not seen since 1982-1983. Going forward, if job growth can continue at 150,000 and up, per month, unemployment will begin to come down. There are signs that this may happen, but there were also optimistic signs in the spring of 2010 that fell flat in the summer. So we shall see.

In the interview, however, I was asked where future jobs will come from in the next decade, something I had just considered in another interview for a reporter from the UK. So, this is my sense, today, of where big job growth could come from in the next decade.

  1. Health care and related fields dealing with aging populations in much of the world. (Health care continued to lead job gains this month.)
  2. Energy engineers and related services as world makes a 50 year transition from fossil fuels to the next energy era which will comprise many sources of energy.
  3. Info tech and communication engineers and content & service providers as almost every person in the world acquires a smart phone. In fact, 3G service became available on the summit of Mt. Everest recently. Endless opportunity globally.
  4. City re-imagineers, as people continue to flock to cities but cities need reinventing for sustainability. This means retrofitting transportation, water & sewer, not to mention dwelling units. Construction will return.
  5. Change managers – consultants, teachers, counselors, helping people and institutions change.

What do you think? Where will future work come from?

Glen Hiemstra

About Glen Hiemstra

Glen Hiemstra is the founder of An internationally respected expert on future trends, long-range planning and creating the preferred future, Glen has advised professional, business, and governmental organizations for three decades.


  1. Glen Hiemstra   |   Nov 8, 2010

    Interesting comments on both sales as a job left out of reporting, and future jobs in the arts. One interesting question to ask, in fact, is what is it in the future that humans can and will do when technology does even more than today?

  2. Dick Nepon   |   Nov 7, 2010

    I have said it here before; recreation, especially cultural, such as theatre, film, etc. will be the big place for actual work in the coming years as more folks do not actually work, but instead invest to make a living.
    Technology will allow for less actual workers, but people will still relish stage and film viewing. With streaming and cloud storage, smart phones and pads, more people will take the current YouTube offerings to the masses, offering more choices of viewing than ever before, making today’s massive channel offerings appear minimal in comparison.
    Education will finally use technology to reduce costs of duplication of services, so there may be less teaching jobs, but everyone will become a teacher by inference, as learning becomes grounded in reality, not theory. Kids will be learning to use the tools, not to memorize the facts. Even colleges will become places where people already skilled at tool use will explore new ideas and create new knowledge and opportunity for economic growth. If anything, the arts will become the last bastion of employment as people create new art through technology, and distribute it through readily accessible outlets including the written word as well as the visual and performing arts ‘channels’ just now becoming viable.

  3. KC Truby   |   Nov 5, 2010

    The most under reported job in America for 200 years is that of salesperson. The more complicated the world becomes the more people depend on good salespeople to explain our many choices and help us understand which product or service best meets our needs.