‘future-proof’ careers?

37c83f6In December 2014, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) published a report entitled Careers of the Future which aims to highlight the 100 jobs that are likely to offer the best career prospects for people entering the labour market in the near future. UKCES is a public body that advises central government and the devolved administrations on skills and employment policy. The report is based on extensive research, and a supplement containing all of the background data can be accessed here.

The report contains a full list of 100 jobs which are highlighted as likely to be of key significance in the foreseeable future. The main selection criterion is that the role should be ‘future-proof’, i.e. that currently observable social and economic trends are likely either to safeguard its future existence as a role, or lead to increased demand for it to be done. The report provides more detailed information on 12 of these roles, drawn from a wide range of sectors including: a brief outline of the job, information about what the work involves, key statistics which may be helpful in making career decisions (e.g. average salary and annual number of job openings), and details of various entry routes into the job. Each role description also includes a list of useful links to sources of more detailed information about the occupation. If you’re particularly interested in one of the roles that isn’t given this extended treatment in the report you could have a look at the detailed job profiles on the Prospects site or the National Careers Service’s site.

From the full list of 100 jobs the authors have created a ‘top 40’. Many of these are science and technology-based roles (e.g. mechanical engineers, chartered surveyors, physical and biological scientists) but the list also includes a number of ‘non-graduate’ roles (e.g. care workers, tram and train drivers). However, lest those with a non-science background should despair, the full list of 100 occupations includes: advertising professionals, arts administrators, HR professionals, secondary school teachers and social researchers. Teaching and research in higher education also gets a mention.

UKCES’s blog includes a number of informative posts from people currently working in some of the roles highlighted in the report. Having carried out a quick Google search I was surprised to find very little comment on the report from the mainstream news media (although there was some coverage by the trade and professional press). So it would be interesting to hear what readers of this blog think. For example, have you been considering one of the roles mentioned in the report as a career option (or have you perhaps worked in one of them previously) and, if so, how far does your experience accord with what the authors say about the role?

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