The fortunes of specific industries can wax and wane like the tide. One minute, they’re riding high. The next, the entire sector is going into terminal decline, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.
We’ve seen this sort of thing countless times in the past. Perhaps the best example is the fall of the horse and cart industry. In the nineteenth century, providing all the necessary accouterments for equine transportation was a massive industry. Millions of people crafted horse-drawn carriages and provided support services for the animals themselves. Because of increased wealth, a fair chunk of the population could afford to keep horses by 1900.
With the advent of the motor vehicle, however, that all changed. Horses disappeared from city streets within just a few years. And the whole of civilization changed forever. We’re never going back to horses again. They’re difficult to keep, smelly, expensive, and prone to breakdown.
Therefore, those looking to make a lot of money in the future need to consider their industry carefully. People in the horse-drawn carriage industry in 1900 had a short future. You don’t want to be like them.
The problem for the modern job applicant is that they often don’t know which industries are going to go the way of the dodo. There’s so much disruption and change, even career guidance counselors don’t really have a good idea of which industries are here to stay. Making choices, therefore, is hard.
Fortunately, you can choose “themes” or “areas” that are likely to remain robust to changes in technology and continue to require human input.
Anything To Do With Healthcare
The healthcare industry is likely going to continue to expand, even if we see miracle breakthrough technologies in the coming decades. The reason for this comes down to an economic concept called “the damned for health.” As people get wealthier, they are better able to meet their material needs and start focusing on things that affect their health.
Once you have a large house and all the rest of the basics, your next limitation becomes your health. People want to live long lives free from disease. And healthcare helps them do that.
Therefore, choosing to become a nurse practitioner lets you slot into an industry with genuine growth potential. Health is the most important human good. As society gets more affluent, it’ll grow disproportionately quickly, even if we deal with challenges like aging, cancer, and chronic disease.
Anything That Robots Can’t Do
Automation destroyed millions of jobs over the last few decades. But new cognitive technologies mean that it will eliminate countless more shortly.
Therefore, people starting their careers today need to choose occupations in industries that robots cannot automate.
This concept requires a lot of thinking. What can robots not do?
Most researchers think that they will reach their limits in human-centric occupations, which rely on interpersonal interactions. Going for a career as a warehouse operative, therefore, is probably a bad idea. On the other hand, becoming an educator might set you up for a long and prosperous career.