We have researched to best degrees to potentially obtain jobs that are in-demand now and into the future. The criteria for determining the jobs within our list is high projected job growth and high salary potential.
The job market is changing over the coming years in many ways. If you're trying to decide on a future career that has job growth potential and high salary potential, it's good to be aware for the careers of the future which are expected have job relevancy and growth in the next ten years and beyond.
The average growth rate across all industries is 6%, so any number higher shows above average growth potential for that particular job. With each career field we show the average median salary with its predicted job growth.
No one can predict the future with certainty. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has internal datasets that they use to predict job growth in many industries 10 years into the future. Using their data, we look into the best jobs for the future across various industries and the education and skills needed to achieve them.
Technological advancements, such as AI (artificial intelligence) with Chat GPT and Grok, for example, are playing a role in changing the way work is produced. In this technical realm, there is a race to produce the best AI tools. This means that certain jobs will become obsolete. But it also means that there are and will be job opportunities emerging from these new technologies.
These best jobs for the future were chosen for their growth rate and salary potential in combination.
Business, healthcare, technology, green jobs, and finance are in-demand as potential future-proof jobs.
Job markets such as green energy, blockchain developer, data scientist, social media marketing, video game designer, machine learning engineer, and mental health services fields offer relevant job prospects for the present and foreseeable future.
Education, skill set development (including on campus, online colleges and bootcamps) & effective networking/job search techniques can potentially help you gain success in the future workforce.
The Best Degrees for Jobs of the Future
The workplace is dynamic and changes often, and the next decade promises significant growth in certain fields.
Business, Healthcare, Technology, and Finance are among the most promising broad areas, offering potential careers with large job growth, which can mean that there will be an increasing demand for qualified job applicants.
Regarding the healthcare industry, as our population ages and medical technology advances, the demand for positions such as nurses and health services managers is expected to increase.
In technology, the ongoing digital transformation and integration of technology across industries will increase the need for skilled data scientists, computer scientists, and other technical professionals.
As domestic and international business becomes increasingly interconnected in a global economy, financial professionals will be needed to assist organizations in managing their finances and investments at home and abroad.
Certain specific jobs offer potential high salaries and potential job growth, making them the best jobs for the future over the next ten years. By choosing a career path in one of these in-demand fields, you could perhaps be better positioned to have a secure profession over time.
1. Business and Management
Social Media Managers and Digital Marketers:
Colleges offer undergraduate Social Media and Digital Marketing degrees within Marketing or Business Administration programs. Social Media Marketers earn an average median pay of $63,902 per year. Social Media Marketers learn how to effectively communicate brand messages across social media platforms. Strong communication skills are helpful. Marketing managers make an average median salary of $133,380 per year, with a projected job growth rate of 10%, adding 33,700 new jobs in the next ten years.
Human Resources Specialists:
Human resources managers make an average median salary of $126,230 per year, with a projected job growth of 7%, adding 12,600 new positions within the next ten years.
Management analysts earn an average median salary of $93,000 per year, with a projected job growth rate of 11%, adding 108,400 new positions by 2031. These analysts are also called Management Consultants. They analyze businesses and make recommendations on how to improve the business with regards to metrics like efficiency and profitability.
Operations Research Analysts:
An Operations Research Analyst earn an average salary of $82,360 per year, with a projected growth rate of 23%, adding 24,200 new positions. These analysts will research the operations and business processes, and use logic and mathematics to solve any problems and make actionable decisions.
Supply Chain Management:
Supply chains will be still operational in ten years, as such there will be managers necessary for their operations. Supply chain managers are referred to as Logisticians in the BLS. The average median salary is $77,030 per year, with a projected growth rate of 28%, adding 54,100 new positions in the next ten years.
2. Industrial Engineers
An industrial engineer will discover the most efficient means to eliminate waste in industrial production. Their purpose is to produce systems that integrate workers, machines, materials, information, and energy to make a product or provide a service in the most efficient way. The average median salary is $95,300 per year, with a projected growth rate of 10%, adding 30,600 new jobs in the coming decade.
The healthcare sector is experiencing significant growth due to an aging population and advancements in medical technology. As a result, professionals like registered nurses, nurse practitioners, phlebotomists, physician assistants, and physical therapist assistants are in-demand now and into the future for private and public health sectors. These roles require formal education.
Beyond the more well-known roles like nurse practitioners and physical therapists, there are other opportunities within the healthcare sector.
Medical professionals that see and interact in the diagnosis and care of patients need to be equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide the best care to their patients. This means that they need either an associate's degree, bachelor's degree or a graduate degree, such as a master's degree.
Health Services Managers:
The minimum degree often required for working as a health services manager is a bachelor's degree. There are Healthcare Administration degrees available online and on campus at colleges and universities across the nation. They play an important part in overseeing the operations and efficiency of healthcare facilities.
Medical and Health Services Managers earn $101,340 per year, and have a projected growth rate of 28%, adding 136,200 new jobs by 2031.
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Physical Therapists earn $95,620 per year, and have a projected growth rate of 17%, adding 40,400 new jobs by 2031. All Physical Therapists need a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree, and a license to practice.
Physical Therapist Assistants:
Becoming a physical therapist assistant requires an associate’s degree from an accredited program and passing the National Physical Therapy Exam. By pursuing these careers, you’ll help meet the growing healthcare needs of our while enjoying attractive job prospects and competitive salaries. Assistants earn $49,180 per year, and have a projected growth rate of 24%, adding 33,900 new jobs by 2031.
RN's earn $77,600 per year, with a projected growth rate of 6%, adding 195,400 new jobs by 2031. RN's need an undergraduate degree and need to be licensed.
To become a nurse practitioner, one must first become a registered nurse and then pursue a master’s degree, following a specific career path. There are online and campus based master's degrees in Nurse Practitioner, with some degrees offering Family Practice as the concentration.
Nurse Practitioners earn an average median salary of $123,780 per year, with a projected growth rate of 40%, adding 118,600 new jobs by 2031.
A physician assistant earns a median average salary of $121,530 per year, with a projected growth rate of 28%, adding 38,400 new jobs by 2031. The typical minimum degree to become a physician assistant is a master's degree along with a license to practice.
4. Information Technology and Computer Science
Information technology continues to change at a rapid pace, and the job demand is projected to remain high over the next ten years in many technical fields.
Career opportunities for experts, such as software developers, information security analysts, and data scientists, are increasing. These positions often require a bachelor’s degree in computer science or related field such as information systems, with some benefiting from a master’s degree or additional certifications to stand out in the competitive market. There are many bootcamps which can provide the training for the certifications.
Software developers, for are responsible for creating and testing programs to meet website or app needs, while information security analysts focus on protecting computer networks and systems from cyber threats.
Data scientists use mathematical and computer tools to analyze big data sets and conclude actionable insights. With job growth projected at a high rate, pursuing a career in technology can be a sound choice for those with a proclivity for technical innovation and problem-solving.
By staying up-to-date with the latest developments and developing technical skills, you can potentially gain employment in a future-proof in-demand career field. Whether you choose to work as a software developer, information security analyst, or data scientist, your skills will be increasingly useful in the workforce.
Data Analysts and Scientists:
Data analysts and data science jobs are projected to grow due to the importance of big data in making decisions. The average median salary is $100,910 per year, with a projected job growth rate of 36%, adding 40,500 new positions by 2031.
Data Scientists take large sets of data and make them understandable using mathematical and analytical methods, for a variety of organizations.
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A bachelor's degree in computer science may be the minimum degree required for many professional positions. A master's degree in computer science provides even more in depth knowledge, and may provide a competitive advantage in the workplace.
Computer and Information Systems managers make an average median salary of $159,010 per year, with a projected growth rate of 16%, adding 82,400 new positions by 2031.
Computer and Information Research Scientists make $131,490 per year, with a projected job growth rate of 21%, adding 7,100 new positions in the next decade.
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Gaming Developers and Designers:
Game Designers earn an average median pay of $149,794. The job growth rate is projected to be 5%, adding 32,090 new game designers by 2029. Game designers work primarily in California, Texas, or Washington state. But there are online and other game design career opportunities across the nation.
See our articles for more college and degree information:
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- How Much Do Video Game Designers Make? Design Salaries
Cybersecurity and Information Security Analyst:
Information Security Analysts earn an average median salary of $102,600 per year. The projected growth rate is very large at 35%, adding 56,500 new jobs. The minimum degree requirement is often a bachelor's degree.
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Machine Learning Engineers:
Machine Learning Engineer positions are under Computer and Information Research Scientists on the BLS website. The salary of these research scientists is $131,490 per year, with a job growth rate of 21%, adding 7,100 new positions by 2031.
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Robotics and Automation Engineers:
Mechanical Engineers earn $95,300 per year, and have a growth rate of 2%, adding 6,400 new jobs by 2031.
See our ranking of The Best Robotics Programs in College
Blockchain Developers earn $105,000 per year. The majority of salaries currently range between $84,000 (25th%) to $124,000 (75th%), and the 90th% of earners make $146,500 per year.
See our article The Best Colleges For Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Education.
Software and Web Developers make an average median salary of $109,020 per year, with a projected job growth rate of 25%, adding 411,400 new positions. The usual degree required is a bachelor's degree for professional software developer positions.
Software and web developer professionals create softwares and/or websites. Software development involves creating the usable aspects of computer applications and developing solutions to problems.
As the economy becomes more complex and global, financial manager roles play a large role in helping individuals and organizations manage finances. Careers in finance, such as financial managers and financial advisers, require a strong foundation in finance, economics, or related fields, often through a bachelor’s degree or higher. Finance professionals creating successful long-term financial strategies, manage risks, and optimize returns on investments.
With an increasing growth in finance positions, the projected job outlook for these careers is high. By developing expertise in finance, you can potentially gain employment in along this career path.
A Financial manager will manage an organization’s finances, making sure that they are used prudently towards the organization's objectives. The average median salary is $131,710 per year, with a job growth rate projected to be 17%, creating 123,100 new positions by 2031.
Financial Analysts provide guidance on investments and other financial matters for organizations and individuals to profit from stocks and other investment vehicles. The annual average median salary is $95,570 per year, with a projected growth rate is 9%, adding 31,900 new positions.
Personal Financial Planners:
Personal Financial Planners provide guidance on investments, retirement planning, and other financial matters for individuals and families. They earn an average median salary of $94,170 per year, with a projected growth rate of 15%, adding 50,900 new positions.
There are some emerging job markets, mostly in the STEM fields, that are expected to create new opportunities in the future. These growing industries, such as green energy, can potentially offer unique career paths with significant job growth.
6. Green Energy
As businesses and governments pursue renewable energy sources, green energy jobs are increasing. Two examples are solar panel installers and wind turbine technicians; both focus on harnessing renewable energy sources like solar, wind, and geothermal power. With a growing demand for clean, sustainable energy, careers in green energy potentially offer career opportunities.
The Green Energy field is large and can require different skills, from environmental conservation, engineering and construction, project management, to renewable energy training. As field continues to grow, the demand for professionals is projected to increase, potentially offering job prospects and competitive salaries.
Renewable Energy Experts and Environmental Scientists:
Environmental Scientists earn an average median salary of $76,530 per year, with a projected growth rate of 5%, adding 3,800 new jobs.
Environmental Engineers earn an average median salary of $96,820 per year, with a projected growth rate of 4% adding 1,800 new positions by 2031. They create solutions to problems in the environment using the skills of soil science, chemistry, biology, engineering, and other disciplines.
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7. Education and Skills
To succeed in the top careers of the future, learn the various education and skill requirements needed for each field. Whether you’re pursuing a college degree, bootcamp training, vocational training, education and skillset development can help in a competitive market and potentially prepare for job openings.
College degrees are often required for high-paying jobs in healthcare, technology, and finance, but the specific degree and level of education may vary depending on the role. For example, operations research analysts typically require a master’s degree, while an industrial engineer needs a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering or a related field.
In some cases, obtaining an advanced degree or specialized certification, such as a master’s degree, can further enhance your resume and increase your competitiveness in the workplace.
College graduates can potentially open doors to numerous job opportunities, it’s essential to consider the return on investment when choosing a degree program. By researching the job prospects, salary potential, and projected employment growth for your field, you can make informed decisions about your education and potential career path. A bachelor’s degree is often the minimum degree required in securing top jobs.
A two year associate's degree is an undergraduate degree available at a community college or higher.
A bachelor's degree is an undergraduate four year degree that is attained from colleges or universities.
A master's is a two year (on average) graduate degree earned at colleges and universities.
Vocational training provides a more direct route to certain careers, such as HVAC technicians, electricians, dental hygienists through specialized programs and certifications. These programs often focus on hands-on, practical experience, allowing students to gain real-world skills and knowledge in their field.
When considering vocational training, research the salary potential and employment growth in the vocation. With the requisite training and certifications, you can possibly gain a career in various industries without the need for a traditional college degree or, in some cases, a high school diploma.
In addition to formal education and training, soft skills contribute to success and longevity in a lot of careers. These abilities, such as effective communication, problem-solving, honesty, and adaptability, might set job applicants apart in a competitive market. Regardless of your industry or job title, having well-developed soft skills can make you an asset to almost any organization.
Finding and securing the best jobs for the future requires a proactive approach and an understanding of the projected market. By networking, employing job search techniques, and staying up-to-date on industry trends, you can likely help increase your chances of getting a job.
Networking can be helpful in attaining high paying jobs. It can potentially help discovering job opportunities not otherwise made public. Whether you’re attending professional association events, connecting with others on social media, or participating in industry conferences, networking can open doors to new opportunities. To effectively network, research the people and organizations with which you’d like to connect.
Good job search techniques can also help in attaining a job. Some techniques include using online job boards, tailoring your resume for each application, and adequately preparing for any interviews. By developing an online portfolio, reaching out to employers directly, and improving your interview skills, you can potentially help your chances of getting a job.
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Future Industry Trends
Staying informed about industry trends over time in your career field will help to make informed decisions about your next steps when you're ready to apply. Understanding the latest developments in your field can help you identify new opportunities, adapt to changes, and ensure your skills remain relevant and in-demand.
By keeping an eye on emerging markets and trends, such as green energy, mental health counseling, as well as monitoring the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you can stay ahead of the curve and be better prepared for the future marketplace. In an ever-changing economy, staying informed about industry trends can potentially help you navigate your career path.
The future marketplace offers job growth opportunities across certain broad industries, including business, healthcare, technology, finance, and emerging fields such as green energy, and mental health service.
By pursuing the right education and developing essential skills, you can position yourself for success in these high-demand careers. Stay proactive, network with professionals, and stay informed about industry trends to secure your dream job and thrive in the ever-evolving world of work.
Frequently Asked Questions
What jobs will exist in 10 years?
Most jobs will still exist in 10 years. In the distant future, it is likely that many jobs will become automated with robotics and AI, with humans still needed to provide support and oversight, such as customer service.
Jobs related to digital automation, web developers, computer science, data analysis, and supply chains are likely to remain in demand in 2033 and beyond. These roles will likely require more technical skills than those traditionally associated with the workplace. People may need a bachelor's degree, to be able to solve problems and be technologically savvy.
Healthcare jobs will still be in demand, treating patients in positions such as speech therapists and substance abuse counselors. Medical school will be perhaps more relevant in 10 years for jobs given our aging population to facilitate the rising need for healthcare professionals.
What jobs will be needed in 2033?
As workplace needs change, new roles and skills will be necessary for 2033. Predictions indicate that jobs involving technological literacy, such as data analysts, market research analysts, supply chain management, industrial engineers, and healthcare service will be in-demand. Professionals with interdisciplinary skills, and a background in the digital space and creativity are likely to be most sought-after.
What are the top careers in high demand for the future?
As technology advances and the need for healthcare service increases, the need for healthcare jobs and technology experts is increasing, and will continue to be in-demand into the foreseeable future.
The need for these professionals is expected to grow as the healthcare industry continues to evolve and expand. Companies are looking for individuals with the right skills and experience to help them stay competitive in the market. In order to meet the growing demand for healthcare professionals.
What emerging job markets should I keep an eye on?
Keep an eye on the growing markets for computer science (such as machine learning engineers and blockchain developers), green and renewable energy, healthcare services, and finance.
What education and skills are necessary for success in the top careers of the future?
For many career paths, obtaining a minimum of an undergraduate degree and the requisite skillsets, such as technical skills for web developers and data analytics jobs, are important. Developing soft skills, such as creativity, communication, problem solving, and agility to learn new skills is also important. Employers often prefer applicants with specific skills relevant to their job duties.