The more things change, the more they stay the same. For example, in the year 2020, we'll have a leap year, vote in another presidential election, and enjoy a new Summer Olympics. Our 2020 workforce will also seem similar, with baby boomers phasing out and Millennials phasing in. Technology will leave its mark on all facets of the market, including the professions we choose, the way we'll job hunt, our working methods, and—perhaps most importantly—the skills we'll need for success. What's the difference between the here and now and the time to come?
[See The 10 Best Jobs of 2012.]
Now we face a challenge to fill the gap for skills and experience needed to perform in-demand jobs. As years progress and requirements shift, our "challenge" could escalate to a catastrophe. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that occupations requiring a master's degree will grow 21.7 percent between 2010 and 2020. Openings for educated healthcare practitioners as well as qualified IT professionals should increase by 25.9 percent. Of the top 10 professions listed on U.S. News' list of Best Jobs of 2012, nine require at least an associate's degree.
Each statistic hammers home the same message: Proper education and training is imperative to future employment. The time to prepare is now.
U.S. News' Jobs in 2020 goes in-depth into the landscape of our coming workforce. We profile growing industries like computer engineering and scientific research. We spotlight energy and healthcare occupations where a surplus of openings are expected, and list the parts of the country where those hot jobs can be found.
[See more stories on Jobs in 2020.]
In future stories, we'll reveal the skills necessary to find work at the decade's end, plus address the specific challenge to interest young people in education and jobs in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM.
Below are a few highlighted stories. Start exploring the education and employment options for our workforce, both now and into the next decade.
Globalization and digital technology are changing the terrain of U.S. industry. Educated workers with training to enter one of these 10 ballooning fields will be better poised than other job seekers.
Urban, coastal metro areas should be flush with employment opportunities for the rising workforce. Find out the best job options and what preparation is required to fill these positions.
Technology won't just affect the jobs we seek, but also the way we do our work. Consultants and human-resources experts weigh in on the workplace culture in the years to come.
This decade, nearly one-third of job-seeking males will fill positions in industries where 70 percent of the workforce has been female.