The Top 16 Careers for the Future

Financial Adviser Jeff Rose

Unless you're one of the lucky ones that knows what they want to do when they grow up at birth, then finding the perfect career path is never an easy decision.

Always keep in mind that finding your dream job often comes after having a variety of experiences in different industries before settling into that perfect fit.

I didn't know what I wanted to do when I was a baby per se, but I'm fortunate to have stumbled into becoming a financial planner.

It, by far, has been the job of my dreams and thus far the only real career job I've had. I don't consider my time in college selling vitamins at GNC a real "career job."

The economy, social trends and technology have a great deal to do with the jobs that are available. Keeping on top of career trends and the areas that offer the most growth is one way to choose the path that will provide the most opportunity and stability.

Here are a few of the best career opportunities in industries that are expected to see growth in the next few years. This list may motivate you to spruce up your resume.

1. Human Services

Human service careers can range anywhere from direct care positions to social work, behavioral services or case management. The social service arena is anticipated to be one of the fastest-growing industries in years to come. Many entry-level human service jobs may not require a degree, whereas more specialized areas such as case management or behavioral services will require some formal education.

It is no secret that most human service jobs are not get-rich-quick careers, but they may offer other perks and benefits that can offset salary, making the industry an excellent long-term career choice.

2. Personal Care Aid

A personal care aid is an essential position in many organizations providing social service or medical services. Looking into opportunities at local agencies will often yield many job opportunities. While entry-level positions may not pay a lot to start, there are often promotional opportunities, training programs, tuition reimbursement and low-cost health insurance that offer a great benefit to employees.

If helping people is up your alley, taking a closer look into this type of job may open the door to a perfect career fit. The need for personal care aids is one of the fields that offers job security, regardless of the changing economy.

3. Information Technology (IT)

Technology changes so quickly that most businesses, large and small, need someone who knows their stuff to keep up with the inner workings of computer systems, networks and troubleshooting. All businesses use some form of technology to function daily. IT workers are behind the scenes in almost every arena, from human service organizations to schools, banks and even the local library.

The skills necessary to work in this field do not always require a degree. Some organizations may not advertise for IT positions, so you may need to do a little digging or cold-calling to find out where these best-kept-secret positions may be available.

Keeping your website updated and building that new computer system for your brother may come in handy on your resume when it's time to find your perfect IT position.

4. Medical Professionals

The term medical professional encompasses a wide spectrum of careers from a certified nursing aide, to a lab technician or medical transcriptionist, to a physician's assistant (PA) or a doctor. Much like the human service arena, getting your foot in the door in an entry-level position may lead to other, more lucrative opportunities in the medical arena.

The medical field is one of the fastest-growing fields today and is anticipated to remain one of the highest-paying and most in need of qualified workers.

5. Registered Nurse (RN)

The need for medical services is expected to grow as life expectancy has increased and the trend toward healthy living continues. Registered nurses are among those jobs that are expected to be in high demand over the next 10 years, and the need for RN's never seems to subside.

Registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, certified nursing aide and home health aide positions will continue to offer job opportunities in home care and at doctor's offices, as well as in the hospitals and human service agencies.

6. Work-at-Home Opportunities

It seems that there is no end to the advertisement for work-from-home opportunities. In fact, the option to work from home or telecommute either full time or part time is becoming more popular, even in traditional business models. The idea of working in your pajamas with a cup of coffee in hand, and no boss seems really attractive to most people.

While there are many viable work-at-home opportunities, it is essential to do your homework before entering into any work-at-home arrangement. Medical transcription, freelance writing and photography, travel agent, typing and editing are a few of the common work-from-home opportunities that exist out there.

7. Management Positions

Management positions exist in every career arena. Where there are people to manage, there must be a manager. If organizing a team, supervising the day-to-day operations of a business, store or project appeals to you, a management position may be a good choice. There are endless possibilities for skilled managers in every facet of the workforce.

The service industry, fast-food chains and local supermarkets often advertise for managers regularly. This is a great steppingstone to gain management experience at a decent rate of pay. Many fast-food restaurants also offer management training programs or on-the-job training.

While a job at a fast-food chain may not be your ultimate goal, many people over the years have used this as a stepping-stone to build skills and make money. Others have turned it into a lifelong career.

8. Landscaping and Design

If you dream of working outside in the fresh air or helping people make the perfect flower selection for their perennial garden, the landscape industry offers many opportunities to grow your green thumb. From the corner farmstand to nurseries and area greenhouses to owning your own company, the opportunities to work in the industry are endless.

Landscape design and lawn-care careers can range from mowing lawns to designing the flowerbeds at a golf course. As more work and family demands are put on people, homeowners will often hire out when it comes time to design the front-yard landscape or put tulips around the pool for a family picnic. Depending on where you live, this position may be seasonal.

9. Travel and Tourism

Regardless of the economy, everyone loves to travel, and most people enjoy it even more when someone else does the planning. Working in the travel and tourism industry may mean being a travel agent, organizing group tours at a local museum or being a hotel manager.

Some areas of the industry may require some level of specialized training that can be obtained either through a degree program or by gaining entry-level experience. This type of career is often overlooked but has potential in terms of salary, flexibility and advancement opportunities.

10. Health and Fitness

A career in the health and fitness arena can encompass various job opportunities. Working at a health club or gym, teaching a class or becoming a personal trainer are among a few possibilities in the industry that provide experiences for future career moves. Becoming certified to teach a fitness class, such as cardio kickboxing, Zumba or karate, can often be lucrative as well as fun.

Health and fitness services are in high demand as society strives to be healthier. Businesses' insurance companies and even smaller employers often offer incentives for people to get fit and be healthy. A healthy lifestyle leads to fewer medical expenses for employers and also can open many employment possibilities.

11. Website Design

Technology, as we know, is something that is not going away. It should continue to move more quickly, opening up a need for people to manage it. Those businesses without a website are at a disadvantage in today's society. Designing, building and maintaining websites is a service that will continue to be in high demand.

While it may not be advertised as readily as other positions, it is a necessity for most businesses to have a resource for website management. This is often a position that can be done on a contractual basis or full time.

12. Transportation Careers

Everyone needs a way to get from here to there, be it by car, bus, plane or train. We should not forget all of the job opportunities that lie within the area of transportation. From flight attendants to taxi drivers to the manager of the local bus station, the transportation arena offers many career options.

Many of these opportunities are often behind the scenes. The need for alternative transportation will increase as gas prices rise and people travel farther from home for work and pleasure. Many positions in transportation offer non-traditional hours and flexibility, as well as an opportunity for growth.

13. Retail Positions

The retail and service industry is expected to see growth in the years to come, offering a wide range of retail jobs from front counter work to production manager to floor sales. It is expected that as the economy recovers, retail careers may be at the top of the list of fastest-growing jobs.

This may not seem like a lucrative career out of the gate, but often many retail positions offer growth opportunities, job security, the ability to travel and the chance to make a good commission.

14. Construction and Trade Jobs

The industry of construction is expected to see growth over the next 10 years. Unfortunately, it is not expected to bounce back to where it was prior to the recession, but the need for construction and specialized trade workers is making a comeback. This opens a wide range of job opportunities.

As the economy recovers businesses and individuals look to do expansions, home improvements and renovations, this industry is expected to see a steady rate of increase. A career in construction or a specialized trade, such as carpentry, masonry, plumbing, heating and building, can offer many opportunities for those with varying levels of education, experience and training.

15. Administrative Support Positions

All offices have a need for someone to support the day-to-day operations, such as taking calls, filing, organizing meetings, preparing reports and managing routine tasks. It is expected that this type of career will see a growth spurt, offering an array of promising job opportunities in the upcoming years.

As technology advances and businesses have to trim expenses, having someone to organize the operations is essential for every business to be successful.

16. Financial Services -- My Job!

It's a pretty well-known fact that in the financial services industry, advisers are getting older, which leaves a shortfall of younger advisers to take their place.

Families will always have a need for financial planning and insurance services and, most importantly, a trusted individual to help them out. While competition will be fierce, there will be plenty of opportunities with independent firms and life insurance companies for aspiring advisers. You can read more about what it takes to get started as a financial adviser.

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