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High Paying Careers of the Future

There has been much talk recently around the topic of STEM careers (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Our experience over the past five years supports the view that companies are looking for candidates with a background in these disciplines. At present the STEM positions pay well and offer a strong career trajectory. We think that trend will continue.

Recently several prominent business leaders, including Elon Musk of Tesla, Eric Schmidt of Alphabet, Bill Gates of Microsoft, and Jack Ma of the Asian e-commerce giant Alibaba, put forth their perspective on the future of work.

Elon Musk and Jack Ma feel strongly that automation has the potential to replace many jobs now being performed by humans. This isn’t just speculation on their part. That opinion is supported by independent research released through the McKinsey Global Institute earlier this year.

McKinsey studied 800 different careers in varied business sectors, and predictably they found the automation potential was highest when it came to repetitive tasks in manufacturing, retailing, and the service industries. Those jobs that entail routine physical work, data processing and data collection will be relegated to non-human activity. What interests us, though, is where automation potential is low – that’s where the high-paying careers of the future may reside.

The McKinsey research identified four conditions of work likely to resist automation:

• Non-repetitive physical work
• Stakeholder interactions
• Applying expertise
• Managing others

Here are several career and educational choices that align with those conditions and which may prove to be the high-paying careers of the future. Many of these careers are considered to be “knowledge work”, requiring decision-making, along with cultural fit and that elusive factor of emotional intelligence.

Nursing – McKinsey estimated that less than 30% of a Registered Nurse’s activity could be automated. We are living longer and asking more of our health care systems. New treatments, combined with technology that supports individual treatment and a universal health record, all support this career choice.

Data Analytics – Eric Schmidt told CNBC in a March 2017 interview: “I think a basic understanding of data analytics is incredibly important for this next generation of young people. That’s the world you’re going into. By data analytics, I mean a basic knowledge of how statistics works, a basic knowledge of how people make conclusions over big data.”

Coding– General Motors CEO Mary T. Barra insists that coding is a “core skill that will become necessary in every industry.” Such fields as mobile development, software engineering and the creative application of such essential computer languages as Java continue to foster the connections between companies and their customers.

Liberal Arts – Mark Cuban, the shrewd investor behind Shark Tank, raised considerable eyebrows recently when he said that if he were beginning his advanced education today, he would choose philosophy over accounting. “Knowing how to think critically and assess from a global perspective I think is going to be more valuable, than what we see as exciting careers today which might be programming or CPA or those types of things.”

Computer network architects – If designing and building data communication networks appeals to you, welcome to the future of work. This is a career that probably can never be automated.

Sales and Marketing – While it is true that traditional sales jobs are being displaced through online procurement tools, we believe that this career choice may be the most underestimated of all. Attention to detail, focus on customer business goals and objectives, and the ability to transform a transactional approach into a long term contractual agreement: these skills will always be in demand.

Life Sciences Managers– The growth of big pharma, and the potential of developing what is known as a “unicorn” – a start-up that becomes a billion-dollar company – offer unlimited opportunity in many areas of Life Sciences. Chemists, physicists, biologists, research assistants, specialized marketing staff and more make Life Sciences a dynamic career choice.

Human Resources and Compensation Specialists – Increasingly seen as Strategic Partners within the leadership team of major companies, senior HR and Compensation managers are being well-rewarded for their expertise. Recruiting and retainment of key talent can make or break a company.

Lock Search Group is ably equipped to help employers and candidates find the perfect match in each and every one of these top-paying careers of the future. Contact us to learn more.

Ben Lamarche

Ben has the privilege of being the “chef d’orchestre” or “conductor” of the Lock Search Group team.