Once upon a time you could train for one career and work in that field your entire life. Those days may be long gone for most of us. No matter your age or stage, you may be called on to retrain for a new career – not just once but several times.
Why get ready to retrain?
Fields change. Career fields, like computer programming, may be called by the same name, but what you need to know and do will change drastically. I started in mainframe computer programming in 1983. My sons started in internet and server computer programming in the late 1990′s. People starting today in programming must learn to develop in multiple computer languages for multiple platforms and make one application work across different devices (for example, make email work on a desktop, a laptop, a cell phone, an iPad, and other types of pads, pods and phones.
Jobs evaporate. Jobs can become unnecessary due to technology advances. Will we really need truck drivers in the year 2035? We already have the beginnings of cars that drive themselves.
Jobs leave town. As economies change from agricultural to manufacturing to R&D and service, some jobs move – jobs moved to Japan after WWII, where cheap manufacturing was available. Those same jobs moved again this decade – to China.
What will be your retraining choices?
While no one can read the future, people do try.
Near term projections (prior to 2025) for hot career fields include medical careers, such as nurses, bio-medical engineers, and health technologists like dental hygienists; information technology fields, such as computer engineers, data analysts, robotic engineers and etc. as well as technology and service fields.
Other trends provide hope that fields in international law, alternative energy, content creation, marketing and financial advice will be in demand.
Envision the future to look for retraining ideas.
When thinking of fields to enter – whether for the first time or as a second career – look a little way into the future, but not too far. Consider trends and how those are being addressed.
What are the future trends?
- Baby boomers are getting older by the day. What does that mean to you and your potential new career?
It may mean that you should become a financial advisor to help them with managing their finances. It may mean that you should open your own home care service business, to attract boomer customers who need or want in home care or services. It means that more and more health care workers such as nurses, doctors, therapists, masseuses and dentists will be needed and eventually, it means that more morticians and funeral directors might also be needed.
- Technology advances are changing our lives. What does that mean to you and your potential new career?
Private space companies are now designing sub-orbital crafts to take tourists into space. Should a pilot prepare to become a space flight driver? Mechanical and electronic devices are being designed and used to augment or replace human body parts and functions. Should you consider learning how to insert or monitor the devices, or maybe even program them.
- Social Sites are changing the way people interact. What does that mean to your career retraining?
New careers as guardians of online reputations and etc are emerging.The way people interact on social sites is changing the way marketing works, which may mean there will be a need for social site managers and blog and website content producers.
- The internet and cloud products allow anyone with access to create and upload information to the world wide web. What does that mean to you and your career options?
Hardware technologists will be needed to maintain servers, wiring, satellite technology and etc to house the data. Software engineers will be needed to design the databases and applications to allow access to and update of the information. Data analysts will be needed to design access to the data, as well as provide means and methods of retrieving, interpreting and presenting the data based on dynamic queries.
- Career fields may be converging.
With computer chips being inserted into human bodies as part of bio-medicine will IT and medical fields spawn a converged field specializing in programming bio-chips to do something specific for each person on which they are used?
Will the travel and space industry start to coalesce with tourists taking extra-orbital flights and someday spending an adventure vacation exploring the moon or mars?
By luck or intent, my sons followed my choice of career path by choosing an IT career. Both of their wives have chosen to train in the medical field, as nurses. Who knows, maybe one day they will all be working in the same specialized sub-field!
When you need to retrain, how will you determine which field to choose?