Changes in career trends are probably more subtle than we realise. Certain categories of work are not going to disappear overnight, but may certainly be changing. The process is gradual. While the technology may arrive quite quickly, it is sometimes years before it gets taken up and the actual scope of jobs change. But change they do, eventually. It’s not new, it’s been happening for centuries, but certainly in the modern era, it is happening a lot faster, so we have to be aware, and learn to make decisions about the future not necessarily based on what we want now, but on the type of jobs that will be offered in the next five to ten years.

What will remain familiar

There are some warnings about following a study path to a career that has become obsolete, or is well on its way to that status. But very often, the job does not disappear completely but may be revised in new format. What is important to investigate is how important is the function of that job. While the manner of approach may change, the ultimate outcomes may still be required.

Business and Sales: Business will always be there. And where there’s business there must be two things: profit and customers. Money and investment will always be key, no matter the swirling changes around the hub of business. Marketing is a support system wound intricately with business – so whether you’re profit-driven or people-driven, your career is still secure in the future. Attracting customers and understanding market trends will see creative business people, market researchers, data analysts, and financial fundi’s still at the top of the tree.

Marketing Analyst: This will still be a vital career in the future. The difference is that time will be spent differently. Until recently Marketing Analysts had to gather and process data to provide them with the information to make decisions. Today there is software designed to do this processing for them. Patterns are presented by computer in quick time. It will still be the Marketing Analyst’s job to draw conclusions. This is a trend that will be helpful in finding the right customers to buy products, and when and how to connect with them. Technology will simply design the focus.

Finance: Supported by new tech, but still required to understand the subtle psychology that underlies business and human needs, Financial Advisors are always going to be valued by people who like to talk to a human being about their money. Money is deeply personal; for many it is the sum of their worth and integral to their status, so a career in the world of financial services is still a strong trend for 2020.

Business Analyst: Today business has increasing access to sophisticated technology that is changing day by day. Data and information will be automated and some jobs will be reduced in scope but also possibly enhanced or adjusted to be similar but different. People who are able to draw canny and accurate conclusions and innovate useful changes, will be in demand.

Software Developer: Coders will become more significant, and even those who are self-taught will find themselves an integral part of the workforce. Machines will be programmed to do most of the low-level and repetitive work, but a field of study that will become vital in the future is that of Machine Learning. Technically, this is a branch of Artificial Intelligence, but Machine Learning is based on the idea that we can build machines to process data and learn on their own, without constant supervision. Machine learning will in fact replace the grunt work of entry-level programmers. To stay relevant, Software Engineers will need to add machine learning to their skills base. A high-level understanding of data structures and AI will be key elements on a Software Developer’s CV.

Jobs that will always be in demand: There are many career paths that will never become obsolete. However, methods and applications will change – and if you’re thinking of these possibilities as your career entry, make sure you investigate the new approaches and the technology involved. That said, there will always be: Teachers; Lawyers Engineers; Artists; Dentists; Doctors; Law Enforcement; Food and Beverage providers, etc. In addition, the demand for the trades will be a constant: Electricians, Welders, Carpenters, Plumbers, Construction workers, etc – although the way they might be doing their work could be very different.

Changing trends

Robotics and Artificial Intelligence: These are two technologies that are going to change industries. In fact, change everything from banking to building to communication to business operations. The biggest job losses will be in the manual field, as these will be replaced by robots – so instead of learning the manual task, it would be better to know how the robots work…

 Information Security: Protection in this new cyber world will be prime and there will be high demand for workers who are trained in this field. Staying relevant will be the key focus of personnel in security, because the threats change all the time, so continual learning will be part of this career.

 Medical careers: There are tremendous changes in medical care, and many more to come, so choosing the medical field will always see you with a job, but only if you are keeping abreast of developments and opportunities. Key areas include:

Physical Therapists: This field is becoming more tech-advantaged. New opportunities exist for those interested in biomedical engineering.

Healthcare Administrators: hospitals, nursing homes, retirement homes, clinics, etc, all need highly efficient administration. That’s why a mixture of healthcare and technology education would be a powerful combination. In addition, learning business management skills opens up numerous career paths in hospitals, clinics, private care institutions and public health departments.

 Application Developers and Designers: As so much of our lives is moving to the operation of a smart phone, there will be high demand in this field. So keeping up with the latest trends and tools in this fast-moving industry would be a wise thing to do. Everyone is becoming more tech-savvy, and skills will have to evolve as technology advances.

How to successfully bridge the gap

  • Digital literacy is key.
  • Continual learning will be vital.
  • Be wary of ‘hot’ jobs and rather suss out long term market trends.
  • Advise yourself of the trends of new media formats, and develop the ability to critically assess and develop new content for persuasive communication.
  • Tech-accomplished communications skills coupled with constant learning will be increasingly required for jobs in all fields. Include business studies, marketing and trade knowledge if possible. Cross-disciplinary education is going to be the key to future success.
  • Develop your critical thinking capability, along with honed problem-solving skills, and back these with strong analytical and interactive abilities.