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The Best Jobs for Future You

Six cool careers to consider in the new decade—and how to get started on each one.

When you think about jobs of the future, maybe you imagine someone taking a self-driving car to the office, where they design high-fashion space suits. But many of the coolest jobs of tomorrow are actually around today—which makes now a great time to think about what you’ll be doing in 10 years. From a farmer selling fresh produce to her community to a hacker using his talents for good, here are six people with amazing careers—maybe one’s right for you!

I Help Companies Look Cool Online

Digital designers create what you see on your screen

JOB TITLE: Interactive Art Director, Scholastic

THE JOB: If you’re reading this on your computer, you might be looking at Sabrina’s work right now! She creates websites, designs quizzes and slideshows, and chooses fonts, text colors, and illustrations for the digital versions of Scholastic’s magazines.

WHY IT HAS A FUTURE: Everything you look at online was designed by someone. As more and more businesses develop websites, apps, and social media channels, they’ll need digital designers to design those services.

THIS MIGHT BE THE JOB FOR YOU IF . . . you love art, coding, or both. You’ll be working with clients, so it’s also important to be a good listener, Sabrina says.

GET STARTED NOW! Look into opportunities with your school yearbook, website, or newspaper. You can also search for blogs featuring examples of cool digital design, or follow designers you admire.

I Work in Mid-Air

She’s keeping turbines going to create clean energy

JOB TITLE: Rope Access Technician

THE JOB: Wind turbines (giant machines that turn wind into electricity) create energy without pollution. But the blades can get damaged by lightning, snow, and dust. That’s where Jessica comes in. She repairs the blades with power tools (all while geting blown around by the wind while dangling hundreds of feet above the ground).

WHY IT HAS A FUTURE: The demand for wind energy in the U.S. will almost quadruple by 2050—so keeping turbines going is important work.

THIS MIGHT BE THE JOB FOR YOU IF . . . you love climbing. But you need patience too. “It sounds adventurous, but you have to be able to keep a cool head in stressful situations,” Jessica says.

GET STARTED NOW! Check out your local climbing gym and practice until you feel really comfortable with heights.

I Eat Pizza for a Living

Entrepreneurs create their own dream jobs

JOB TITLE: Professional Pizza Enthusiast & Owner, Scott’s Pizza Tours

THE JOB: Scott really loves pizza—he loves eating it, making it, and even studying it. He turned his passion into his day job by starting a company that does tours of pizzerias all over New York City, and he’s now considered a pizza expert.

WHY IT HAS A FUTURE: Social media has made it easier than ever to turn whatever you already love doing into a personal brand (and get paid for it).

THIS MIGHT BE THE JOB FOR YOU IF . . . you’re self-motivated and obsessed with details. As a small-business owner, you’ll be responsible for making sure you earn money (yes, there’s math involved). Instagram skills come in handy too.

GET STARTED NOW! “Reach out to the founder of your favorite company,” Scott suggests. “Say, ‘Can I have 10 minutes on the phone to pick your brain?’”

I Hack Computers--Legally

“White hat” hackers defend companies’ security systems

JOB TITLE: Software Engineer, Co-founder at Veramine

THE JOB: A “black hat” hacker breaks into computer systems illegally. A “white hat” hacker uses the same skills, but for good. Companies hire them to test their computer systems’ security. “You get to see what the attackers are doing, so you learn from them, and then you respond,” Bruce says.

WHY IT HAS A FUTURE: As we store more of our personal information online, more hackers will try to steal it, Bruce says, which makes this one of the most exciting (and best-paying) jobs in tech.

THIS MIGHT BE THE JOB FOR YOU IF . . . you love computers and are curious about how things work. You’ll need programming or coding skills and an understanding of the major computer operating systems.

GET STARTED NOW! MIT and Stanford University have free programming classes on YouTube. Online Capture-the-Flag (CTF) games let you practice hacking skills in fake but realistic situations.

I Help People Get Strong

Fitness instructors make you sweat online and IRL

JOB TITLE: Fitness Instructor

THE JOB: Mario teaches yoga in gyms—his classes blend three different styles of yoga to leave students sweaty but peaceful. Other fitness instructors have YouTube channels—and millions of subscribers—for classes in everything from aerobics to Piloxing (think Pilates meets boxing).

WHY IT HAS A FUTURE: As people become more aware of the benefits of exercise for health, wellness, and stress management, the fitness industry is booming—and the increasing availability of internet access makes online workouts especially hot.

THIS MIGHT BE THE JOB FOR YOU IF . . . you like exercising and choreography (putting exercises together to make a routine). Fitness teachers also should understand human anatomy—not just the muscles and joints, but also how they work together.

GET STARTED NOW! Look up beginner videos online. You can also follow instructors like Mario on social media for inspiration. The American Council on Exercise (acefitness.org) has how-tos for basic stretches and exercises.

I Grow Food for My Community

CSA farmers deliver veggies to your door

JOB TITLE: Owner & CSA Manager, Raleigh’s Hillside Farm

THE JOB: Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farmers grow, harvest, and deliver fresh fruits and vegetables to members of their communities. Lauren and her husband grow things like tomatoes, peppers, and watermelons on their 10-acre farm.

WHY IT HAS A FUTURE: The demand for locally grown, healthy produce is growing like, well, a weed—in 2019, consumers spent an estimated $20 billion on local food, twice as much as just five years earlier.

THIS MIGHT BE THE JOB FOR YOU IF . . . you love gardening, working with people, and creative problem-solving. At first, Lauren and her husband couldn’t afford a shed for packing and washing produce, so they washed everything on a big cement slab behind her parents’ house!

GET STARTED NOW! Look up CSA farms in your area and see if they offer internship programs. Some high schools have agriculture classes, but don’t worry if yours doesn’t. “If you’re a hard worker, a farm would love to have you,” Lauren says.

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Skills Sheets (6)
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Skills Sheets (6)
Skills Sheets (6)
Skills Sheets (6)