Top Jobs Of The Future For Your Million Dollar Education

While doing research on different types of vacation jobs to try once my son starts going to pre-school, I stumbled across a Money Magazine article highlighting the hottest jobs in 2040. My son would be 23 by then, fresh out of college and ready to take on the world. Perfect!

When I graduated from college in 1999, the hottest jobs were in investment banking and management consulting. Even big law was considered in high demand. Now, all those fields are snoozefests. To be able to work at tech companies to feed people's narcissism is now all the rage.

Given it's graduation season, I thought it would be great to highlight these wonderful, future jobs and suggest a couple more for good measure. After all, some of you will ignore my advice of attending public school and spend big bucks attending private grade school and college even though everything can be learned for free nowadays.

Let's see whether all that time and money spent will be worth it!

Where Harvard graduates go for work

The Hottest Jobs Of The Future

Here are some of the hottest jobs in the future according to Money Magazine.

1) Virtual Store Manager – When someone e-mails to ask for their money back after they ate everything in the package, it's your job to make him happy.

2) Robot Mediator – When the robots start fighting over which one gets to be commander of the revolution, it's your job to remind them who's boss.

3) Robot Trainer – When the robot that has replaced hundreds of jobs already needs a software upgrade to replace a hundred more human jobs, it's your job to ensure it will do so.

4) Drone Traffic Controller – When there are hundreds of drones dropping packages on your head and spying on your every movement, it's your job to make sure they stop flying after 10pm.

5) Augmented Reality Designer – When housing is so expensive, all you can do is rent a studio and play with your virtual reality girlfriend or boyfriend, it's your job to get the users excited.

6) Micro Gig Agents – When a 12-year-old prima donna YouTube vlogger asks for only green M&M's, it's your job to take them out of the bowl and book her a gig on Financial Samurai's YouTube channel, which will be created in 2028.

The Hottest Job Of Them All

Automation fears

I don't know about you, but spending K-12 plus four years of college to do one of these jobs sounds depressing as hell! OK, the Augmented Reality Designer doesn't sound too bad, but the others do.

If these are the hottest jobs in the future, then I believe the 7th hottest job in 2040 is going to be Psychotherapist for treating all the sad people out there. There will be millions of disenchanted young adults who realize they didn't have to go to college at all.

The 8th hottest job will then be Physical Therapist for treating all the chronic back, shoulder, butt, and leg pain that goes with being angry at life. If you haven't experienced any chronic pain yet, you will, especially those who endlessly strive for money and prestige.

We know that automation and artificial intelligence will likely eliminate millions of present-day jobs. We just have to get ahead of the game.

One way is to make as much money as possible now so that you won't worry about a future job loss or a deadbeat child. Another way is to guide your children towards science and technology because, by definition, science and technology are what will disrupt our future.

But the best way is to build a business with a strong brand that will last throughout our lifetime so you don't have to rely on too many other people to determine our fate. I'm pretty sure the best job in the future will still be the one where you are your own boss.

There Is Still Hope To Change The Future

According to a forecast from the Institute for the Future (IFTF), 85% of the jobs in 2030 haven’t even been invented yet. Therefore, there's still time to plan and change the course of time.

The key is to work on universal skills and attributes that are requirements for any job: speech, writing, teamwork, empathy, knowledge, thoughtfulness, and execution.

According to the World Economic Forum, the top 10 skills to get a job in 2020 are complex problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, people management, coordinating with others, emotional intelligence, judgement and decision making, service orientation, negotiation, and cognitive flexibility.

Be More Strategic In What You Do For A Living

For all you parents out there stressing about your children's grades and getting into the best schools, you can now stop stressing. 

Except for perhaps becoming a Pyschotherapist, college won't be necessary to do any of these hottest jobs. You can learn all the job skills you'll need for free online within three months before the robots take over. Besides, the median income of Ivy League graduates is not much higher than non-Ivy League graduates.

Plenty of well-educated people are doing jobs today that don't require a college education. For example, Google is famous for hiring the smartest people to do the most mundane things like selling Adwords to small businesses. Despite dying souls, they stay because the pay and benefits are too great to leave.

It's absolutely worth finding a job you love to do with your one and only life. Perhaps you'll never be able to find a perfect match. But at least you should be able to find an organization which employs people you admire and enjoy. Working with great people is half the battle, no matter how crappy the job is.

Time to get excited about the future!

Related posts about the hottest jobs:

Would You Accept $1,000,000 To Go To Public School All Your Life?

What If You Go To Harvard And End Up A Nobody?

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Negotiate A Severance For A Better Job Or Life

I recommend everybody negotiate a severance if you want to leave a job you no longer enjoy. If you negotiate a severance like I did back in 2012, you not only get a severance check, but potentially subsidized healthcare, deferred compensation, and worker training. Since you got laid off, you're also eligible for up to 27 weeks of unemployment benefits. Having a financial runway is huge during your transition period.

Conversely, if you quit your job you get nothing. Check out, How To Engineer Your Layoff: Make A Small Fortune By Saying Goodbye, on how to negotiate a severance. I first published the book in 2012. And have recently expanded it to over 240 pages with new resources, strategies, and additional case studies thanks to tremendous reader feedback.

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37 thoughts on “Top Jobs Of The Future For Your Million Dollar Education”

  1. Don’t spend much on that education in the 1st place. Become a Wind Technician repairing wind turbines. This is the number 1 job growth in America. Huge shortage and no end in sight. And robots will not take your job. You will make 50K with a 6 week training certificate starting in the rural midwest and you will have the ability to become a wind plant manager making $150,000 working for Fortune 500 with great benefits within a few years.
    Plus you will get free access to education to understand AI on optimization of the maintenance for example. Or how to predict weather patterns. So if you don’t like that high tech/manual outdoor job you can always reconvert to boring 100% IT jobs on SF making less after expenses.

    And by the way, they have those jobs available in Hawaï too. I know Sam likes that part of the world. Pay will be higher there too.

  2. I would take anything printed in Money magazine with a grain of salt. No one can predict the hottest jobs more than 20 years into the future. However, If I were a high school student looking for a career, and did well in my math and physics courses, I would seriously consider computer science or electrical engineering. That background will help new graduates adapt to, and have a hand in developing, changing technologies over the next 20 years.

    1. But once AI gets going won’t computers be much better at understanding electricity and physics? Then the engineers will be out of work too.

  3. Simple Money Man

    I would have predicted something in the healthcare or maintenance of health would be hot in the future. More and more people are trying to be healthy, stay healthy, live longer. There are more healthy options everywhere and such. But who knows. I agree that continuing to enhance soft-skills are a key to success now and in the future.

  4. You missed “cryptocurrency broker”. I have been reading about this potential job/designation and since the world is going bonkers about it, it makes sense to shed light into what could be its effects on building a future job. Unlike a stockbroker, the cryptocurrency broker apparently does not depend on forecast or insights but on other parameters like views about the market by industry veterans. It’s crazy, but it’s something to ponder about.

  5. Hey where is my job? – Accountants – It’s not a job of the future. Oh wait, I had heard they are done outsourcing the blue collar jobs, now they are outsourcing the white collar jobs. Never thought it would happen.

  6. Ha it will be such a different time by 2040!! Hard to imagine in some ways. I can picture drone traffic controller though lol. I see one flying around my neighborhood randomly once a month or two now so I’m sure there will be even more by then.

  7. I can’t help pointing out – its beaucoup bucks, not boku bucks. Beaucoup is french for “a lot”, as in you could say “merci beaucoup” for teaching you this :)

      1. I did google boku japanese translation before I posted, but the only result I got was that it was referring to yourself like “I”

          1. Hahaha….nice one Sam. I actually appreciate correct grammar and spelling. The internet is bad enough.

  8. Those jobs are a horror show. =)

    No programming or mechanical engineering jobs left to build specialized robots? Those might require either college or a return to an apprenticing model. There is an awful lot to learn to be productive at that sort of specialized engineering. Self taught is possible, but I wouldn’t call it a repeatable model for success.

    I will say that I’m a little bit looking forward to seeing pizza delivered through a sunroof at highway speed by a flying drone.

    I also worry about the mental and physical health of humans who eat poorly, don’t have clear structural reasons to exercise, and potentially lack career/work options. That’s a dark future we need to solve for.

  9. Because I came across something, just had to comment on:
    “After all, some of you will ignore my advice of attending public school and spend boku bucks attending private grade school and college even though everything can be learned for free nowadays.”

    As far as I understand it, the 2001 Nobel Prize in Economics was won on the idea that signaling to the labor market that you are valuable because you went to a fancypants school is the whole point and not anything about the actual facts you learn…

    So you should pay whatever it takes to get in those schools if you think the delta in lifetime earnings will cover the cost, even if the school doesn’t teach you anything you couldn’t just learn on the internet.

    1. You and others are free to go right ahead and spend those big bucks for signaling reasons. What I foresee happening is actually the need for specific skills in the future, not degrees where you forget 95% of what you learned.

      Let’s see how things shake out!

  10. Mr. Rational Buck

    Yes! This post was funny and informative in such a good way. We obviously have a huge problem with student loans in our culture – kids go to college and rack up mountains of debt, all to become slaves to that debt in (more than likely) average salary jobs after graduation. I’ve recently been there and done that.

    There are so many ways to avoid the problem. I wish that there wasn’t such a stigma around options such as community college or technical school. I wish I would’ve attempted to join R.O.T.C. or apply for more scholarships, both of which will pay for a degree. Most importantly, I wish that I had more of a money-mindset in college instead of a “have fun and don’t worry about the cost” mindset.

    Looking back, I can think of many ways (including picking a better major) that would have placed me in a better position financially today. I appreciate this post a lot!

  11. I wonder what the jobs of today that weren’t around in 2000… Which is further away than 2030.

    1. Not around in 2000, people working in: social media, commercial data science, mobile app developers, commercial AI, self-driving vehicles, private space programs, nanotech and nanobots, commercial robotics (other than on assembly lines), sustainability, anything to do with “The Cloud”, gene therapy, YouTube content creators, rideshare drivers.

      Unfortunately, with the possible exception of the rideshare drivers (who are going to be run off the roads by self-driving technology) none of these things creates jobs in anything like the numbers that currently exist in the occupations that are going to go bye-bye.

      Your best bet is going to be to make lots of money in the near term and have it very well managed. I already have one mutual fund (ETF actually) I am invested in that is run by an AI. It seems to hold it’s own and I’m betting it’s only going to get better at it.

  12. Lol Sam you are funnyyy! It’s a full bowl of snark cereal this morning :D

    The robots are coming and no one is safe. But I’ll go with…fictional writer. I don’t think robots will do good with fiction. If it’s something that doesn’t exist + that’s based off emotion, robots are at a loss. Plus I agree alot with Joe. Your brand + healthcare will be another big thing. Most of everything else, we’re screwed.

    1. Oh man, I just realized your husband works at Google right? My bad, if so. When does he plan to leave it?

      I’ve met so many people who work at Google here in the bay area and just want to get the hell out. But the money is too hard to quit, and so are all the benefits.

    2. There will always be a small market for manual labor in automated industries. For example, a small percentage of people still make a living as, if you will, “horse mechanics”, but compared to what the percentage was 120 years ago, it’s not significant.

      For creative writers, as far fetched as it may seem now, it could be the same. Netflix and Amazon have algotitjms that, while still not to the point of replaving humans, can predict what different segments of the population enjoy watching. Netflix is particularly good at this. All their Netflix-produced shows have stories and situations that have been algorithmically predesigned.

      Humans still have to concoct stories around those algorithms, but as time goes by and the entertainment mathematical models get better, the industry for creative writers will be mostly limited to cogs that perform the tasks that AI has not yet learned how to do.

  13. Whether or not their future job can be automated may be a great factor for a young person picking a career. It really should not be taken lightly.

    For those of us already working, it’s important to be human at our jobs. By that I mean, challenge assumptions, think through both sides of a potential decision and to focus on both short and long-term goals. We need to do the things that a computer cannot.

    1. Agree. This should be the template for all of us in no matter what we do. Be the human that automation struggles to replicate.

  14. It’s going to be tough in 2040. I think most jobs will be gigs. Secure jobs will be thing of the past. You just have to be flexible and learn valuable job skills. Build your brand to target the real people behind the screens. With everything being virtual, people will crave some genuine humanity. It’ll be crazy.

    Healthcare – Hopefully, robots will be able to do nursing and care taking by then. I don’t think this field is good because it’s all analysis and logic. A robot should be able to do my doctors’ job. Why not? Just scan and prescribe pills.

    1. Disagree. While I cant speak to the specific disciplines, but patients aren’t emotionally monolithic. A robot isn’t going to care about them or issue kind words to calm people down or assist with them dealing with a bad diagnosis. There are some things robotics can help with. And, while many industries will mechanize all they can, there will always be a need for the human/emotional component to the extent needed. You don’t necessarily need it at the Arbys drive up window, but people might not want to give it up in matters of health

  15. It is scary to think what the future holds for many job industries. As self driving technology improves it can wipe out an entire trucking industry for example. My daughter wants to follow my footsteps and become a physician. My father was a physics as well. There was such a change in how medicine is practiced from the first generation to mine that I shudder to think what it holds for my daughter if she does end up doing that. The Golden age of medicine (80s and pre HMO) is long past. As government regulations increase and reimbursements decrease the appeal of being a physician is rapidly disappearing. That is why there is a current epidemic of physician burnout and increasing suicide rate.

  16. Shout out to Dentists at #2 on that list. As a 4th year dental student, the future looks bright! 11 years of school has flown by, and it hasn’t been depressing in the least. I’m blessed to be in a career path that I absolutely love, so as long as people are around I’ll have teeth to fix and I’ll be busy. Here in the US we enjoy very reasonable compensation and work hours as well, so that’s icing on the cake.

  17. I have seen some statistics a year ago that there are over 3 million truck drivers in the USA and they could all be replaced with an auto driving AI. The problem is that this is probably at a maximum an of a decade distance, there are different companies doing this at the moment.

    The problem is that there won’t be enough jobs for everyone and that will most probably create an even bigger gap between the rich and the ‘middle’ class.

    What I think it’s missing from those jobs is an ‘AI creator’ job will make it’s way in the top jobs because you could automate most of the things that a normal person does. The future looks grim for someone looking for a job.

    1. Luckily the average age of truck drivers is 49, with a big wave hitting retirement age hopefully at a time corresponding with increasing automation.

      I worry more about taxi drivers that are traditionally more of an entry point into the labor market for immigrants.

    2. Working on my Tan

      Truckers tell me it’s never going to happen. It’s a big scam. The biggest problem is the the sensors getting dirty.

    3. Think I figured out a few years ago that truck drivers, taxi drivers, and bus drivers together were about six million people in the US. The last new industry that generated jobs in those kinda numbers was fast food.

  18. Interesting post, Sam.

    On your questions:

    – I think one of the hottest industries, not necessarily job, will be healthcare. Related to Accidental FIRE’s comment, people will likely be living longer, in general. It might be hard to pick a specific job (like a hot single name stock), but it might be easier to pick the industry.

    – Re: college, most employers consider it a prerequisite at the moment. To your point, I don’t think it will have as much weight in the future as it does now.

    Thanks for the post. – Mike

  19. Fun post! I think robot trainer will be an actual job – have you seen those Boston Dynamics robot videos!? And physical therapist would be my pick. As we get more and more digitized as a society, I see our obesity and unhealthiness getting worse and worse. Short of a magic DNA-trick to cure it (which I don’t think will happen), there’s a lot of money to be made in fixing people who shouldn’t be broken but are.

    1. Check this out: (no I dont work for them)

      They motion captured a famous chef down to the hand motions and little flair in concocting certain dishes. I dont know how fast the future will arrive, but some day, most places wont even need a Michelin star chef or possibly anything more than someone to load the hopper with fooddstuffs.

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