By John M. Williams
The help wanted ads for the next decade will scantily resemblance to todayâ€™s classifieds. Job titles more common in sci-fi novels such as space tour guide and molecular engineer will become common place.
For people with disabilities, employers are placing a premium on skilled and semi-skilled workers, especially in computers, healthcare, government, science and technology, engineering and medical pioneering. And there will be an avalanche of job openings aplenty in the trades as baby boomers retire.
Are you ready for the education race?
Opportunities abound as we become an information-rich society, says Marina Gorbis, executive director, the Institute for the Future. â€œWith a growing number of video cameras, radio-frequency identification chips (RFID) and sensors gushing data, hot jobs will spring up, creating a demand for people who can cope and build new ways to comprehend it,â€ she said. â€œYour cell phone wonâ€™t be the only thing that vibrates.â€
Weâ€™re entering an age where every object, every place, is surrounded by digital data. Massive amounts of data will be streaming in every direction. The only way weâ€™re going to be able to live in this world of massive information is to be able to access it in ways that are more sensory rich. They have to appeal to our senses.
Job economist Tom Mason, Chicago, says learning all of our lives is the key to success. He argues that people with disabilities should expect to change careers six or seven times in their lifetime.
Mason believes that for people with disabilities to succeed there must be a restructuring of education in schools and students with disabilities must be introduced to the job market in their first year of high school and continues throughout their lives.
â€œâ€œThis is an intellectual/academic race,â€ said Mason, who stutters. â€œLifelong learning will be a forced march. If you stop learning, you will become unemployed and unemployable very quickly.â€
Competitive innovation will produce hot jobs that are hard to imagine now. Synthetic biologists are creating organisms to perform specific tasks, said Leroy Hood, president and co-founder of the Seattle-based Institute for Systems Biology. In nanotechnology, systems engineers will fabricate new materials with ideal characteristics at the molecular level, said Frieder Seibel, dean of the Jacobs School of Engineering at the University of California-San Diego, which opened a nanoengineering department in July. Engineers are building robots in new shapes and sizes.
People with disabilities should anticipate facing the stiffest competition of their lives decade by decade.
To get a high paying job, people with disabilities should think about international law and business, said Brady Thomas, international lawyer. He is blind in his left eye. He speaks Chinese, Korean and German.
International businesses man Thomas Elliott says, â€œAnyone who is not fluent in a second language will be at a huge disadvantage even if they never leave this country.â€
Thomas adds, â€œCompanies will navigate tax codes, laws, work regulations, environmental regulations and ethical questions worldwide.â€
Highly skilled health-care professionals will be in demand because of rapid growth in aging. Health-care careers overall will likely enjoy job security. According to the U.S. Labor Department, 13 of the 20 fastest-growing occupations between 2004 and 2014 are related to health care. Home health aides, medical assistants and physician assistants are in the top five.
â€œAs the global economy becomes more intermingled, more teachers with international experience will be needed, and people with disabilities should consider teaching as a career,â€ says Gloria Talbert, special education teacher, New York.
Talbert, who is dyslexic, also sees growth in assistive technology manufacturing worldwide and the employment of people with disabilities.
Talbert believes people with disabilities should anticipate living in different countries over their careers to succeed. Hot jobs are worldwide, and the ambitious must follow, especially this generation.
The hardest jobs to fill canâ€™t be outsourced or turned over to robots, and theyâ€™ll probably still be hot in 2012 because of retiring baby boomers, said Melanie Holmes, vice president of North American corporate affairs for Manpower, a worldwide employment services company. Sales representatives, teachers, mechanics, technicians, managers and truck drivers are the six hardest jobs to fill today, according to Manpower surveys.
John M. Williams can be reached at email@example.com. His web site is www.atechnews.com