Hot Academic Jobs of the Future: Try These Fields

Many changes are expected in academia over the next few years. Tenured positions of the past may be replaced with more adjunct and part-time faculty creating a need for more virtual learning, self-paced study and hybrid classes. Students will need to have strong skills in self-advocacy and personal accountability to make the most of this new learning environment. High schools will need to promote those skills beginning freshmen year.

Still and all, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that 662,000 jobs will be available from 2006-2016 in academia. Some of the hottest fields are in areas that high school students today may not even be able to define:

  • green chemistry
  • energy
  • gerontology
  • educational administration
  • nanotechnology
  • health policy
  • information technology
  • engineering

There will be a 14% increase in educational administration between 2006-2016. This comes at a time when teachers will be retiring in droves and new teachers have not been successfully retained in the profession. There is a real opportunity here for leaders who are educational pioneers: people with a vision of excellence, a commitment to raising what is possible for low-achieving students and people who don’t give up on the idea that all students can have an education and build sustainable career skills for lifelong independence, fulfillment and economic abundance.

While the liberal arts areas don’t show as many high growth opportunities in higher education, there are plenty of private sector opportunities for students who are strong writers, communicators, problem-solvers and creative decision-makers. Smart, hard-working and committed students are going to graduate and create a bright future for themselves no matter what the job forecasts are in any given year. There is nothing that can replace habits of success, personal accountability and the experiences that add value to learning and give one the needed perspective after graduation in the world of work.

Chronicle of Higher Education

At a time when the academic job market is looking bleak, we asked career experts and economic forecasters to predict where faculty job growth could come in the next decade. Many agreed that job prospects will be dim because of budget cuts and diminishing faculty pension funds that have made professors less likely to retire. In addition, the growing use of graduate students and adjuncts to teach classes means fewer jobs are available that are secure or financially rewarding.

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