As we move further into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, demand for some jobs is increasing while demand for others is decreasing. This trend is concerning to many business owners and economists who worry about future job stability. However, experts across the spectrum from fintech to supply chain believe that while many jobs will be displaced, even more new jobs will be created.

In its 2018 Future of Jobs Report, The World Economic Forum (WEF) forecasted the displacement of 75 million jobs and the creation of 133 million new jobs worldwide from 2018 through 2022. It’s a phenomenon referred to as ‘job churn’ and it reflects the changing work requirements of our modern world. We are seeing increasing opportunities in emerging technology with new roles in data analytics and AI, engineering and cloud computing. We're also seeing the continuing expansion of services and human-centric roles – including industries like healthcare and functions such as human resources. 

Booming Sectors and Industries in the U.S.  

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment is projected to grow by 6 million jobs by 2029. The fastest gains will be seen in the sectors and industries listed below. These BLS data only represent what is happening in the U.S. Other countries will look different based on many factors such as their level of development and the varying specialization of the country. 

Healthcare and Social Assistance 

Healthcare in the U.S. is projected to see the most growth over the next decade. The healthcare and social assistance sectors should add a collective 2.07 million jobs. According to the BLS, "Factors that are expected to contribute to the large increase include increased demand to care for the aging baby-boom population, longer life expectancies and continued growth in the number of patients with chronic conditions." 

Fastest Growing Industries within Healthcare and Social Assistance

  • Individual and family services: 1.05 million jobs created
  • Home healthcare services: 456,000 jobs created
  • Outpatient care services: 276,700 jobs created
  • Health practitioners: 239,000 jobs created
  • Other ambulatory healthcare services: 53,300 jobs created 

Professional and Business Services

The Professional and Business Services sector is the second-fastest-growing sector in the U.S. It is expected to see an increase of over 1 million jobs across the following industries:

Fastest Growing Professions within Professional and Business Services 

  • Computer systems design and related services: 574,500 jobs created
  • Management, scientific, and technical consulting services: 334,200 jobs created 
  • Office administrative services: 98,700 jobs created  

Other Services 

The Other Services category is comprised of services that don't fall into any other main sector. It is growing at a healthy pace. In the next decade, this sector should add almost 230,000 jobs.  

Fastest Growing Industries within Other Services 

  • Grantmaking and giving services and social advocacy organizations: 99,400 jobs created
  • Other personal services: 97,100 jobs created
  • Commercial and industrial machinery and equipment (except automotive and electronic) repair and maintenance: 33,300 jobs created 

Transportation and Warehousing 

The Transportation and Warehousing sector is expected to see a 1.4% annual rate of change through 2029, adding just over 126,000 jobs. 

Fastest Growing Industry within Transportation and Warehousing 

  • Couriers and messengers: 126,300 jobs created

Mining  

Mining is part of the natural resources and mining supersector. Many mining industries – like Coal Mining – are supposed to experience a rapid decrease in jobs while other extractive industries should experience rapid growth. 

Fastest Growing Industries within Mining 

  • Support activities for mining: 111,100 jobs created
  • Metal ore mining: 6,800 jobs created 

Information  

Information is an important sector in the U.S. According to the data from the BLS, we should see a compound annual rate of change of about 1.9% over the next decade, specifically in software publishing. 

Fastest Growing Industry within Information

  • Software publishing: 94,300 jobs created

Leisure and Hospitality 

Leisure and hospitality are expected to grow at a healthy rate through 2029, adding just over 40,000 jobs. 

Fastest Growing Industries within Leisure and Hospitality 

  • Museums, historical sites, and similar institutions: 29,800 jobs created
  • Independent artists, writers, and performers: 11,000 jobs created 

Manufacturing

Overall, manufacturing in the U.S. is expected to see a dramatic decline in the coming years. In fact, it's expected to lose about 444,800 jobs. This is mostly due to advancements in technology and the outsourcing of manufacturing to other countries. However, there is one area of manufacturing in the U.S. that is expected to see employment growth. 

Fastest Growing Industry within Manufacturing 

  • Animal food manufacturing: 10,800 jobs created

 Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting  

While this sector as a whole isn't necessarily booming, it is rated as the fastest growing industry with the highest compound annual change of 3.7%, specifically in forestry.   

Fastest Growing Industry within Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting 

  • Forestry: 3,500 jobs created

Some of these sectors, such as manufacturing, are seeing significant job churn, while other sectors are not. So, while it's important to know which sectors and industries hold the most promise in the next ten years, it is just as important to understand which jobs and skills will be most in demand. 

The Jobs and Skills of Tomorrow in 20 Major Economies 

In 2020, the World Economic Forum published research from LinkedIn that analyzed the most in-demand careers over the previous five years to predict areas of future expansion. The data came from 20 major economies and analysts found that there are five clusters of professions emerging between 2018 and 2022: Data and AI, Engineering and Cloud Computing, People and Culture, Product Development and Sales, Marketing and Content. 

In addition, the report contains research from Burning Glass Technologies that identified strong employment growth in two other clusters in the U.S.: Green Economy jobs and Care Economy jobs. The WEF report compiled the data from LinkedIn and Burning Glass and also mapped out the skills most in demand for each of these clusters. According to the research, these skills span five distinct clusters: 

  • Business skills (B) - The capabilities needed to start and run a business
  • Specialized industry skills (I) - Competencies that are specific to a particular industry
  • General and soft skills (G/S) - Skills needed in any field, such as communication, leadership and problem-solving
  • Tech baseline skills (TB) - Capabilities that span from general computer literacy to more specialized apps and programs
  • Tech disruptive skills (TD) - The ability to use and develop technologies that will have a significant impact for years to come

Below is a list of the profession clusters ranked by their growth rate, and the top five skills for each.  

1. Data and Artificial Intelligence - The Data and AI cluster is at the top with an annual growth rate of about 41%. This cluster should see the addition of 45 new opportunities per every 10,000 opportunities. The top five jobs in this cluster are Artificial Intelligence Specialist; Data Scientist; Data Engineer; Big Data Developer; and Data Analyst. 

Top 5 skills: 

  • Data Science (TD)
  • Data Storage Technologies (TB)
  • Development Tools (TD)
  • Artificial Intelligence (TD)
  • Software Development Life Cycle (TB) 

2. Green Economy - The second-fastest-growing profession cluster is the Green Economy. While it's not forecasted to add many jobs to its total—we should see an additional five new opportunities per every 10,000 opportunities—it has an annual growth rate of 35%. The top five jobs in this cluster are Methane/Landfill Gas Generation System Technicians; Wind Turbine Service Technicians; Green Marketers; Biofuels Processing Technicians; and Solar Energy Installation Managers.  

Top 5 skills: 

  • Digital Marketing (B)
  • Wind Turbines (I)
  • Landfill Gas Collection (I)
  • Social Media (TB)
  • Equipment Inventory (TB)

3. Engineering and Cloud Computing - Another fast-growing cluster is Engineering and Cloud Computing with an annual growth rate of 33%. This cluster should see the addition of 31 new opportunities per every 10,000 opportunities. The top five jobs in this category are Site Reliability Engineer; Python Developer; Full Stack Engineer; Javascript Developer; and Back End Developer. 

Top 5 skills: 

  • Development Tools (TD)
  • Web Development (TB)
  • Data Storage Technologies (TB)
  • Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) (TB)
  • Computer Networking (TB) 

4. Sales, Marketing and Content - Sales, Marketing and Content should see 38 new opportunities per every 10,000 opportunities with an annual growth rate of 28%. The top five jobs are Social Media Assistant; Growth Hacker; Customer Success Specialist; Social Media Coordinator; and Growth Manager.  

Top 5 skills:

  • Digital Marketing (B)
  • Social Media (TB)
  • Business Management (B)
  • Digital Literacy (TB)
  • Advertising (B)

5. Care Economy - While the Care Economy is not exploding, it is forecasted to have the highest growth, adding 67 new opportunities per every 10,000 opportunities. The top five Care-Economy careers are Medical Transcriptionists; Physical Therapist Aides; Radiation Therapists; Athletic Trainers; and Medical Equipment Preparers. Industry-specialized skills are most highly prioritized in these roles.  

Top 5 skills: 

  • Respiratory Therapy (I)
  • Caregiving (I)
  • Sterile Procedures / Techniques (I)
  • Transcription (I)
  • Radiation Treatment (I)

6. Product Development - The Product Development cluster should see an annual growth rate of about 22% and an increase of 12 new opportunities per every 10,000 opportunities. The top five jobs in this cluster are Product Owner; Quality Assurance Tester; Agile Coach; Software Quality Assurance Engineer; and Product Analyst. 

Top 5 skills: 

  • Software Testing (TB)
  • Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) (TB)
  • Development Tools (TD)
  • Project Management (B)
  • Business Management (B) 

7. People and Culture - People and Culture jobs should see an annual growth rate of about 13% and the addition of 11 new opportunities per every 10,000 opportunities. The top five jobs are Information Technology Recruiter; Human Resources Partner; Talent Acquisition Specialist; Business Partner; and Human Resources Business Partner.  

Top 5 skills: 

  • Recruiting (I)
  • Human Resources (B)
  • Business Management  (B)
  • Employee Learning & Development  (B)
  • Leadership (G/S) 

According to these projections, the labor market will have a significant need for a variety of different roles and skills in the next couple of years. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated, circumstances, markets and trends can change. The most important thing is to be flexible, adaptable and keep adding new tools to your toolbox. At Thunderbird, agility and life-long learning are part of our DNA. We are committed to educating and preparing our students for the future—whatever it may bring. 

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