The best (and worst) career paths of the next 10 years

As we saw in last Friday’s Labour Force Survey from Statistics Canada, the job market is slowly, but steadily improving. The national unemployment rate now sits at its lowest level since before the recession. Of course, averages tend to smooth out the highs and lows. Some industries are on a tear with positive hiring outlooks and massive growth potential. Others are in decline.

The team over at the financial insights group Kiplinger recently analyzed 785 popular occupations according to their rates of pay, required credentials, and employment outlook to determine the career paths with the greatest potential and some dying positions to avoid.

Given the rapid changes in demographics and technology, it is perhaps not surprising that many of the jobs expected to see growth are in healthcare and tech.

So, for pay, access, and outlook here are the best and worst jobs of the near future.

    1. Applications developer
    [View app developer jobs]
    The need for skilled professionals who can develop applications for tablets and smartphones will only intensify as companies keep pace with the growing mobile market.

    Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 21.6 percent
    Salary: between $85,000*
    Typical education: Bachelor’s degree

    2. Computer systems analyst
    [View Computer systems analyst jobs]

    Total number of jobs: 597,812
    Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 22 per cent
    Median annual salary: $85,080
    Typical education: Bachelor’s degree

    3. Nurse practitioner
    [View Nurse practitioner jobs]

    Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 32.3 per cent
    Median annual salary: $74,880
    Typical education: Master’s degree

    4. Physical therapist
    [View Physical therapist jobs]

    Total number of jobs: 226,661
    Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 30.4 per cent
    Median annual salary: $83,500
    Typical education: Doctoral degree

    5. Health services manager
    [View Health services jobs]
    Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 17.4 per cent
    Median annual salary: $92,300
    Typical education: Bachelor’s degree

    6. Physician’s assistant
    [View Physicians assistant jobs]

    Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 28.8 per cent
    Median annual salary: $95,400
    Typical education: Master’s degree

    7. Dental hygienist
    [View Dental hygienist jobs]
    Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 19 percent
    Median annual salary: $72,800
    Typical education: Associate’s degree

    8. Market research analyst
    [View Market research analyst jobs]

    Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 20.9 percent
    Median annual salary: $64,875
    Typical education: Bachelor’s degree

    9. Personal financial advisor
    [View Financial advisor jobs]
    Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 23.8 percent
    Median annual salary: $64,875
    Typical education: Bachelor’s degree

    10. Speech language pathologist
    [View Speech pathologist jobs]

    Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 21 percent
    Median annual salary: $83,200
    Typical education: Master’s degree

* All salary data in Canadian dollars from Statistics Canada.

Fastest declining career paths to avoid right now:

    Textile machine worker – Textiles are much cheaper to produce overseas. This industry is rapidly declining in North America.

    Photo processor – Digital photos. Fewer and fewer people use film anymore, a trend that is unlikely to reverse itself.

    Radio or TV announcer – Traditional media jobs are highly competitive, high-stress, and have diminished outlook.

    Print journalist – These roles continue to disappear as more and more people consume their news from online sources.

    Door-to-door salesperson – Quite frankly, nobody answers their door to strangers anymore.

    Print binding and finishing worker – The print industry continues to be devastated by digital communications.

    Metal and plastic machine operator – Automation and robots have replaced many manual factory jobs.

    Toll booth operators and telemarketers are also on their way out. Video store clerks – except for specialty shops – are already gone.

While technology is making many traditional jobs obsolete, it is also creating whole new potential career paths. The key to career sustainability is to keep up to date with trends and tools of your time.

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