Outlook 2016:  Top Careers  in the New Year

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Mary Walshok, UC San Diego Dean of Extension

The pace of innovation continues to accelerate, creating both challenges and opportunities for people on their career paths. Staying ahead of the curve requires an understanding of how our workforce is being remade. Here are some macro trends shaping the employment picture in 2016.

It’s Getting Personal

Whether it’s medicine or marketing, personalization is driving the development of new products and services. From apps that monitor health to ads targeted to a niche audience, the job market is rich for people who can collect and analyze data to create an experience tailored to individual needs. A wide range of opportunities are opening up for software engineers as well as for market researchers and computer scientists who cull and curate this ever-growing world of big data.

Global Demographics Affect Everything

Demographic shifts have profound implications for the workforce. Aging Baby Boomers are increasing demand for health care workers, especially for home health aides and registered nurses. As Baby Boomers hit retirement age, they also create openings in teaching careers, especially kindergarten and elementary school grades. An increasingly diverse population also translates into a demand for workers who are proficient in multiple languages. From elementary schools where dual language teaching is on the rise to multinational corporations looking to enter new markets, the language of the workforce is one of variety, and those who understand and adapt to this trend are poised to capitalize.

Work Anywhere, Everywhere

Through technology we are both more connected and more scattered than ever before. This creates opportunities for a wide variety of professionals who neither need nor want to be tied to an office or even a specific company. This includes network architects and wireless engineers who design the intricate and expansive systems that keep us connected, consultants willing to hang up their own digital shingle, and a wide variety of online entrepreneurs who are looking to create the next big thing through digital collaboration and engagement.

Preparing for What’s Next

Want to learn how workforce trends align with your skills and interests? UC San Diego Extension’s Center for Work/Life Strategies offers a variety of free programs, from one-on-one career coaching to job skills assessments. Find out more by visiting extension.ucsd.edu.