When picking a profession, the traditional mother’s mantra—doctor, lawyer, engineer—no longer entirely applies.
Positions in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (or STEM) are some of the fastest-growing, of course. But many of the most promising new jobs in 2017 are being driven by more wide-sweeping cultural movements.
According to a report from LinkedIn out today (Dec. 7), the US’s top emerging jobs reflect “broader societal trends” such as wellness, location mobility, and flexibility—which explains why positions like realtor and barre instructor are soaring. Barre classes are part of the world’s new mania for group fitness, and the real estate market is finally bouncing back from the Great Recession; jobs in both industries require a lot of versatility in time, location, and skills.
That last bit—adaptable skills—is particularly important. As technology and automation disrupt a wide variety of industries, it’s estimated that 85% of the jobs that will exist in 2030 have yet to be invented in 2017. So while the positions in the above chart are good choices for people entering the workforce right now, there’s no guarantee they’ll still be popular in the next few years when societal trends tilt and shift again.
Does that mean there’s no way of preparing oneself for work anymore? Not quite. ”We know that hiring managers really value soft skills—adaptability, culture fit, collaboration, and leadership,” a LinkedIn spokesperson told Quartz in an email. “The most successful workers of tomorrow will be honing the soft skills they already have, and supplementing them with more specialized skills for their chosen career paths to keep them ahead of the curve.”
Emerging jobs can’t rise without some other jobs depreciating. LinkedIn’s report found two particular trends:
- Jobs that involve a comprehensive set of skills, covering multiple disciplines, are rising in demand.
- Certain specialist roles, such as legal specialists and Flash-related tech roles, are losing steam, in favor of broader, more adaptable job titles.
Whatever their jobs and industries today, workers need to make sure they learn broadly, continue learning throughout their careers, and keep an open mind.