Top Jobs Students Should Prepare to Fill by 2020

August 2
5 min read

What will the future of work look like? If only we had a crystal ball to peer into. Students everywhere would cherish such a forward-looking view as they prepare themselves for working life.

The good news is that it doesn’t take wizardry to predict the jobs that will be in high-demand in the coming years. So students, pay attention, this post is for you, no matter what stage you are at in your studies.

Your best bet for finding a job once you graduate is to make sure your skills and experience are aligned with the needs of employers. That starts with pursuing relevant academic credentials in fields that will be booming in the years to come.

And you will want to start gaining experience in such industries even before you graduate through internships and student jobs.

So, what will be the top jobs come 2020? Well a good starting point is to consider the fastest- growing industries. In the past, we’ve highlighted how health-care and e-commerce are expected to boom.

But jobs in finance, computing and management aren’t going away anytime soon.

With this in mind, here are six jobs that employers will look to fill with new graduates in 2020 – and yes, you can expect them to pay good money for these roles.

1. Financial Analyst

We’re already living in a financialized world, and as the global economy continues to grow, larger organisations will continue to rely on financial analysts to evaluate and manage their financial positions.

Success in the world of finance obviously depends on a certain set of hard skills, including capabilities in financial ratio analysis and modelling, along with the computer software used for conducting these tasks.

The industry has numerous certifications that are used as benchmarks, including the much-valued Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

On top of hard skills, financial professionals need to embody certain soft skills if they are to forge a long-term career. An attention to detail is paramount (make sure those decimal points are in the right place).

And as one of the most competitive industries around, it’s impossible to succeed in finance without a strong work ethic and high degree of professionalism.

2. Physician

Here’s a simple fact: the world’s population is expected to rise to approximately 8 billion people by 2025. That’s 500 million more people in the next seven years.    

So, just like financial expertise, the need for health services is here to stay. That bodes well for a future career as a physician – or any other medical doctor.

The essential role of physicians is reflected by the fact that they are among the highest paid people around on average.

Hard skills are obviously at a premium when it comes to the medical profession, with physicians needing to obtain certain certifications in order to practice.

Additionally, because these jobs involve lots of interaction with people, soft skills like interpersonal communication are essential. Critical thinking is also critical given the complexity of patient cases.

3. Registered Nurse

As much as physicians are in high-demand, nurses are equally sought-after. Perhaps even more so.

One trend in health-care is that nurses are taking on more and more responsibility for patient care. A limited number of doctors and a growing number of patients means nurses are called upon to fill in the gap.

Like doctors, nurses need specific certifications, as well as soft skills like interpersonal communication. Being a nurse depends also depends on a high degree of teamwork, especially in settings like hospitals.

And as people progress in such careers, they are also more likely to rely on managerial abilities, particularly in coaching less experienced team members.

4. App developer

Want to browse through a list of restaurant options, order your meal, and have it delivered straight to your home? There’s an app for that. Or maybe you want to find your soul-mate online instead of at the bar. There’s an app for that too.

Who knows which of life’s functions will be transferred to apps by 2020? But you can be sure that there will be plenty more to choose from: estimates say there will be 5 million apps in the Apple App Store by 2020.

Students pursuing programs in computer sciences may want to take advantage of this trend by focusing their coursework on building skills in coding languages that are most popular for app development (E.g. Python, Java, C++).

Hard skills are a premium when it comes to getting hired as an app developer. You will want your resume to reflect your programming capabilities. You can also expect employers to ask you to prove your skills through testing in the interviewing process

Meanwhile, creativity and teamwork skills are often prized by start-ups and software companies looking to strike gold through new app development.

5. Systems Analyst

Organizations have become more and more dependent on computer networks for their operations. And the trends of computing and automation aren’t slowing down anytime soon (think digital economy).

The problem organizations face is ensuring that their systems run smooth, fast and secure. That’s why they pay good money for expertise in this area.

For students interested in computer technology who aren’t big on spending their whole day coding, a career as a systems analyst is a promising path. This role demands a comprehensive knowledge of how computer systems are maintained, and it often calls for certain IT certifications like Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), CompTIA A+ Technician, Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE), etc.

Knowledge of cyber-security threats and protection measures, network architecture, server maintenance, and cloud management are just some of the most relevant hard skills that a future systems analyst will want to possess.

6. Management Consultant/Business Analysts

We’ve already mentioned how the global economy has increasingly become financialized and digitalized, and that it is evolving at lightning speed.

Well, there’s a whole body of work devoted to keeping up with these trends, and helping businesses make sure they don’t fall behind them.

Many of the world’s biggest and most profitable companies either employ their own business analysts or seek outside, specialized expertise from consulting firms.

In either case, they need people who can advise them on how to adapt business processes to be in-line with major trends, like technological advancement, regulatory/legal developments, market/consumer preferences, etc.

A junior business analyst or management consultant is expected to be able to think strategically and see the big picture of a company’s operations in relation to external opportunities and threats.

So, market research skills are at a premium, along with an ability to communicate effectively within a team of other consultants. Presentation skills are also paramount since these positions involve advising senior leadership on courses of action.

Final Words

The above jobs are just some of the positions that employers will be recruiting for in the next few years. Careers in health care, computing and finance are safe bets for the future, but they are not the only fields where students should expect to find work.

The profession to pursue is the one you feel the most passionate about. Drive and determination are essential ingredients to getting hired and a fulfilling career.

Suggested Reading: