Photograph courtesy of Sam Howzit Flying cars, hotels on Mars, instant and microwaveable gourmet food… maybe not by 2020.  But experts do have predictions about job market trends for the next ten years.

1. Increased importance of higher education There is already a substantial wage gap between college and master’s degree recipients and their peers, and experts expect these gaps will widen.  The Bureau of Labor statistics estimates that jobs requiring at least a master’s degree will grow by 21.7% by the decade’s end, and McKinsey & Company predicts a shortage of 1.5 million college graduates to fill jobs requiring such a degree.

2. Demand for science and medicine

With the aging of baby boomers and demand for clean energy, experts predict a strong demand for STEM degree recipients.  Fields like healthcare, counseling and health management are predicted to grow as are scientific research, computer engineering, environmental and conservation science.

3. Growth of entrepreneurship Especially in information technology and health services, there is a strong trend of young professionals working with Angel investors and venture capital firms to develop their own products, be it new applications and software or new health care delivery mechanisms.  Experts suggest a basic background in coding and computer science will be increasingly helpful to laborers entering the work force over the next ten years.

4. Plan for your first job to be in a city The Brookings Institute, a non-partisan think tank, predicts that urban areas will continue to have the strongest job markets in future years.  The demand for laborers is not, however, limited to just New York, Boston, Washington D.C., Seattle, and Atlanta. The group also predicts strong job markets in California (San Jose and San Francisco) and Connecticut (Bridgeport and Hartford).

5. Decline of gender divisions in the work force Men and women are increasingly breaking down barriers in fields traditionally dominated by workers of a single gender.  Men, for example, are increasing entering jobs like health support and dental assistance – fields with strong predicted growth in coming years.  Experts expect continued integration in fields traditionally dominated by workers of a single gender.

Adapted from Jada Graves's "What Will the Job Market Look Like in 2020?" published online by  U.S. News.