Friday, May 24, 2019 | ePaper

Let future trends dictate your education

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Campus Desk :
Education is a major life investment. It takes time, money and a great deal of effort to achieve a degree. However, in this global society your education is not an investment that you can afford to skip. Across the world the rate of people graduating with college degrees has been continuously on the rise over the past several decades. To get ahead more students are turning to secondary degrees and other higher education options.
The problem with pursuing any education program is that it takes time. A field that is dominating the workforce right now might not be so high in demand four to six years from now when your education is complete. Those who attempt to pursue a degree part-time while working to maintain their livelihood need to be especially careful about their educational choices.
 Why consider future trends?
Every fall as students enroll in classes, new research polls are released announcing the "best" degrees for the upcoming year or the "worst" college majors right now. The problem with these lists is that they often look at the graduation and job placement rate right now, which isn't relevant to a student who is going to be looking for work several years from now.
When considering your options for education programs, take the time to do research on what sort of future there is in the field you are interested in. With constant advancements in technology certain fields are growing borderline irrelevant, which will make it hard to find a job down the road.
What to consider when looking at future trends
There is an old saying that "if you do what you love, success will follow." This is one of the most common lines of advice given to students as they debate what to study. The problem is that there isn't always a huge job market available in what you may love.
The trick is to consider your interests, and to find how they can translate into something that is practical and in-demand.
Here are several things to consider as you come to a conclusion:
Your personal interests
Current trends in the job market
The value of a certain career choice
The budget on which you could live comfortably in the future
There are several ways that a career choice may be valued. There are some careers that are highly respectable, some that come with a great deal of publicity and some that are more likely to earn a higher income. These are not relevant factors when it comes to debating future trends.
The value that you will want to look at is the purpose that career serves in our global economy, and how likely it is that there will be need for it in the future. A good example to consider here is the medical field. As long as people live there will be a need for physicians and nurses, just as there will be a need for law makers, educators and home builders. There are many other career choices that fall into this category as well.
Once you determine the value a career choice holds, you'll want to compare it to current and projected trends to figure out the expected job market in that field.
Current trends vs. future trends
A current trend is something that is happening now. Students drawing close to the end of their degree program who are looking to maximize their chances in the job market by adding more specialization to their resume can take advantage of current trends. Unfortunately, current trends can be wildly misleading for those who are just starting their education program.
A future trend is a projected growth in a certain field. Future trends are determined by analytic research firms who consider current growth statistics and gage how what is happening now may influence our collected future.
Future trends worth considering now
Over the past 20 years the global market has seen a huge burst of growth in the field of technology, and over time many other industries have begun merging their interests with technology to stay afloat and up to speed with the rest of the world.
This is something to take into consideration when looking at prospective careers. Consider your personal interests and how you can weave those together with advanced technological know-how.
U.S News & World Report evaluates the top trends to influence the global workforce. Their projections for job growth over the next five to ten years are as follows:
1.    Biomedical engineering: There is always a need for medicine, and biomedical engineering combines the need for promoting better health with technological advancements and pharmaceutical breakthroughs.
2.    Computer design: Computers are getting bigger, they are getting smaller, they are getting faster and they are getting sleeker. People are spending more time on their mobile devices, tablets and laptops than they do anything else. Whatever you are interested in, if you can center it around the internet, program development or computer manufacturing, you are likely to have a job in the future.
3.    Homeland security: In the past 10 years most of the world has been impacted by threats of terrorism from either domestic or foreign sources. Security is a big industry and it continues to grow. There is likely to be a strong job market in the future for those with a background in security, strategy and safety management systems.
4.    Cyber security: As more people transition their livelihoods to be connected to the internet, and as threats of terror continue to rise, the risk of those two things connecting becomes more profound. Already almost every major western government has been exposed to some sort of cyber security breach. The field if information assurance and cyber security are likely to expand.
5.    Renewable energy: This is another field that is already affecting the global economy and is expected to continue doing so. Both the EU and the United States have plans to cut emissions by 2020, and a lot of work needs to be done in both the public and private sector to accomplish these goals.
Of course, no one can read the future, and so there is always a risk of a future trend being incorrect. The best thing a current or prospective student can do is to stay aware of trends as they are developing and to adjust your plan of action as necessary.

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