Although thoughts of the future may seem like an abstract concept, jobs and entire industries that weren’t around a few decades ago are springing to life all around you, like artificial intelligence and electric cars. Add to that the massive decline of other industries like manufacturing, and you’ll see the importance of learning more about these futuristic industries. Whether you are looking for a new job, a college major or just analyzing market trends, here are some of the top ten industries of the future.
What Is an Industry of the Future?
Roughly speaking, a future industry is one that is expected to see massive growth in the next few decades. All of these expectations are based on either professional predictions, market research or careful analysis of current trends. There isn’t a specific amount of growth or timeline, but the idea is that these industries will be leading the American landscape within our lifetime.
How We Reviewed
Each industry was chosen based on a number of factors, including opinions of industry professionals, unbiased market research, analyzing growing trends and educated predictions by CEOs and other current industry leaders. As with any aspect of the future, it’s very difficult to determine which industry will truly be the best in years to come. However, the rapid growth in these ten industries suggests they will be key players in the next few decades. They aren’t presented in any particular order, but each one represents one of the most important, top ten industries of the future.
It’s difficult to determine the amount of growth that will be seen in any particular industry in the next few decades. While some industries, like robotics and 3D printing, are already established and have signs of growth, others, like genomics, are new fields with very little predictions surrounding the job growth potential. While it is very likely each of these industries will play a key part in shaping our future, it’s difficult to predict the job growth in each industry.
Top 10 Industries of the Future
While robotics may seem similar to artificial intelligence, the field of industrial robotics covers automated, assembly-line-style technologies that keep factories efficient and competitive in the modern world. This field also blends with artificial intelligence, as robots increasingly take on more customer-service positions. This market will cause both a major loss of jobs and a steady increase in new ones. While robots continue to take over lower paid, menial work, they make way for more advanced, skilled jobs as engineers. Robots are mostly used for simple processes where they are faster and more efficient than humans. However, as robots become more complex, you can expect to see them delivering more complicated services. If you enjoy mathematics and have a great understanding of computer programming, robotics is a great field to look for job openings in the future.
If dreams of robot uprisings keep you up at night, you’re not alone. However, with the rise in artificial intelligence spending, as well as the improvements in this technology, it’s not surprising that some experts believe artificial intelligence will begin a new era. Whether these robots are utilitarian, like industrial computers able to quickly problem-solve, or more linguistically innovative, like robots capable of conversation, the future of artificial intelligence is just around the corner. There are also robots that are designed to mimic animal behaviors and traits. A beaver-like artificial intelligence robot might explore waterways, while a dog-like robot can detect smells, just like a bloodhound. Scientists have created robots that are highly skilled at strategy and have successfully beaten professional Go and chess players. As artificial intelligence becomes more innovative and effective, you can expect to see more jobs in this industry.
More than lost passwords and hacked email accounts, cyber attacks pose a huge threat to both individuals and corporations. As technology increases, it becomes more and more difficult to track down attacks and stolen information. Many companies’ only assets are their information, so a critical part of any corporation is cybersecurity. Whether you are looking for a job utilizing cybersecurity techniques, or you’re interested in researching this fascinating new field, it’s likely to continue to grow in the decades to come. Some cyber threats include phishing, which is a fake email that is designed to steal your passwords and credit card numbers. Malware can either ruin your computer or give someone access to all the information stored on it. Ransomware is a new cyber attack. Similar to malware, ransomware instead threatens to delete your files, and asks for a ransom in return for protection. Like real-world ransoms, it’s unlikely the attacker will truly follow the deal, but it’s an attack that can take both your files and your money. A cybersecurity professional will not only protect a corporation or individual from these attacks, but also keep up-to-date with newer forms of cyber threats.
This exploding industry covers a wide range of machines, both military and civilian. Drones, like those annoying flying machines that are quickly replacing kites in local parks, are highly customizable. The technology is being used for everything from military attack vehicles to mail delivery units. Drones have uses in agriculture, surveying, police investigations and even hospitals. In a less serious application, drones are becoming affordable enough to be as wildly popular as children’s toys. They are easy to control, fun to fly and soon you’ll have fully automated drones. Drone technology is quickly being discovered by many different industries, so you can expect them to continue to grow substantially in the next few decades. Whether you learn to design, program or control these unique machines, it would be a good idea to become more familiar with this technology.
If the industries on this list have begun to sound like a sci-fi movie, just wait. Genomics, the study and manipulation of genes, is working on the CRISPR-Cas9, which is a tool able to alter genetic material on a very precise scale. Rather than clumsily destroying DNA while observing it, scientists may soon be able to completely alter any genetic code. Anything from changing your baby’s hair color to bringing back extinct species could be on the table. This technology could effectively make cancer extinct, as well as usher in an era where sci-fi/horror movies become reality. While it may sound equally terrifying and exciting, this revolutionary technology could open up a whole new field for scientists. If you are looking to enter one of the most futuristic industries out there, consider looking into genomics.
While we still haven’t arrived at the flying car future that movies have promised us, companies like Tesla are making electric and even driverless cars seem more and more like the new reality. In just a few decades, we could remove almost every fossil-fuel dependent car from the roads and render them obsolete. There are lots of defects to work out in driverless cars, but electric cars are more an invention of the present than the future. If you are interested in automotive, engineering, artificial intelligence or renewable energies, this industry represents an exciting mix of several great industries of the future.
What started as a novelty has grown into a booming industry. This highly intelligent and accurate machine can create anything, from an entire house to an ear, in a highly detailed and efficient process. As 3D printers become more readily available and popular, they are constructing more and more unique items in a variety of industries. It may be that the future of automotive manufacturing, construction and medical care will all be affected by these ubiquitous machines. Whether you want to build printers, design items or work with 3D printed materials, there’s plenty of jobs that will soon be affected by this technology.
As fossil fuels become more scarce, there are a growing number of industries that are looking to replace them as the world’s leading source of energy. Wind, solar and geothermal energy sources have been around for a long time, but they continue to become less costly and more practical. Solar panels are able to be installed on houses, cars and even used for camping stoves. Wind energy is becoming easy to generate, and many companies and countries are investing in windmills. Jobs in alternative and renewable energy are growing, so consider this exciting field if you want an industry of the future with a greener outcome.
Internet of Things
If you have more smart objects than you can count, you’ll understand the industry growth of the internet of things. If your dishwasher, refrigerator, watch and car are all using your Wi-Fi, they are in communication and can be programmed together to make your life easier. This potential is only beginning to be tapped. There are countless innovations that can happen with the affordability of smart appliances and computers. Imagine your refrigerator alerting your phone that you are running low on milk. With a simple command, your phone would then order milk for you. Your car could let your phone know that you are approaching a coffee shop, which could automatically pre-order your favorite drink. While these personal conveniences are becoming available, there are other internet of things conveniences that are designed to make workplaces more efficient. Whether you pursue an industry designing products for the internet of things, or use them in your future business, it’s a vital industry to understand.
It’s no secret that higher education costs are far more than they were even a few years ago. With the costs rising dramatically, it’s understandable that many young students are looking for alternatives to expensive university tuition. One growing alternative is online education. This industry is expected to grow as the cost of tuition continues to rise into the future. Whether students are seeking university credit, diplomas or just additional knowledge, online learning is becoming more interactive and advanced. Courses have real-world problems and even simulated problem-solving techniques, and there are a variety of ways for professors and students to interact in real-time. Without any classrooms or dormitories, online institutions are able to charge thousands of dollars less. Some corporations are even recommending online education for their prospective employees. These versatile and futuristic institutions are capable of quickly handling any changes or updates in curriculum. Obviously, certain careers are more popular for online education, but the list is growing. Many universities also offer hybrid diplomas, where you’ll learn part-time in a classroom and part-time online.
Internet of Things
The future is always an uncertain commodity. None of these industries may succeed, because it is impossible to foresee exactly how the market will turn. However, based on all the available data and expert opinion, these industries seem to be heading in a dramatic upward direction. If you’re looking for an exciting job in a futuristic career, choose the industry that best matches your current skill set and passions. If you’re already in one of these careers, chances are you’ll be looking forward to job growth and lots of developments in the decades to come. Each of these companies are expected to grow incredibly in the next two decades, so regardless of your career, you’ll probably be hearing much more about these industries of the future.