As 2016 winds down, it is fun to celebrate and cheer, imbibing in the sweet drink of goals accomplished, new trends that took root and career visions materialized. Equally exciting is anticipating the coming year’s hot trends, and especially those that relate to the jobs industry. As such, after some research and thought work, I present my insights about the hottest job trends for 2017.
1. Will virtual reality and augmented reality continue to be growing industries hiring at a rapid pace?
It appears the growth will continue, but perhaps with the caveat that widespread adoption is slowing a bit.
According to Andy Patrizio in the September 2016, Virtual Reality’s Future: 7 Key Trends, “This year will definitely go down as the year virtual reality (VR) reached the masses, thanks in part to the explosion in the availability of headset.”
However, despite the momentum of augmented reality and virtual reality in the current market (e.g., Pokeman and Oculus Rift), their widespread adoption is slowed by an ability to “render 3D environments in real-time,” according to Jonathan Ronzio in the article, “The Latest in Augmented Reality,” in Cramer.com
[Related: 5 Jobs Trends to Watch in 2017]
2. What are the hottest jobs in the VR Space?
According to SmartRecruiters as quoted in Forbes, the hottest job in the VR space is Computer Vision Manager.
And, doing a quick virtual reality jobs search on Glassdoor nets nearly 700 jobs just in California alone. Positions span the gamut: from highly technical software development roles to director roles in technology strategy and sourcing to HR Business Partner-Tech to Customer Service roles to Sales to Content Acquisition positions. The majority of jobs—no surprise—are technology- and software-centric.
[Related: 9 Companies We’re Excited About In 2017]
My prediction is that next year this number of available hot jobs will continue to grow into the double digits as visionaries in the VR space continue to work overtime to spur more widespread adoption across diverse industries.
3. Will Telecommuting Finally Triumph Over In-Office Work?
In my experience working with careerists across a wide swath of industries and roles, I’d estimate nearly 50%–if not a majority—of professionals currently work in a telecommuting capacity, occupying no corporate office space because their primary setup resides in their home quarters.
According to PGi’s 2016 Global Telework Survey, “telecommuting has seen a 37 percent rise in popularity in the last decade.”
With the continued surge of service sector roles and the ever-expanding repertoire of technology applications and tools at our fingertips to ensure at-the-ready performance, I foresee telecommunicating to overcome in-office work in 2017, if it hasn’t already.
4. What Might Happen to Job-Sponsored Healthcare in a Trump Presidency?
I think it’s really too early to tell the impact of employer-based healthcare under the new administration. According to modernhealthcare.com, “… pushed by rising healthcare costs, employers likely will continue on their own to alter benefits that require workers to pay for more of their healthcare upfront—a development that long preceded the Affordable Care Act.”
According to benefitnews.com, “Under a Trump presidency, employees may become more familiar with health savings accounts. That’s because the Republican promotes the use of HSAs and specifically would allow tax-free transfer of HSAs to all heirs.”
5. Will the Gig Economy Thrive?
While the desire for change, challenge and an independent work style still are in vogue, and align well with a gig economy, many employees are also leaning into more stable, sustainable environments where long-term collaboration and future career building are possible.
Conversely, there is a strong population of professionals – especially the Millennials, but also including a significant portion of Gen Xers and Boomers, drawn to a more independent, flexible lifestyle. This desire, combined with continued innovations in technology, ensures that the gig economy is not waning any time soon.
6. Will Sales Jobs Still be Hot?
Always. At the root of every company’s success and bottom line is the ability to sell: services, widgets, ideas.
7. Will Blue-Collar Jobs Be on the Rise?
All you have to do is follow TV Host, Writer, Narrator, Producer, Actor and Spokesman Mike Rowe to become a believer that skilled trades are largely being ignored because they aren’t “aspirational.” The fact is, according to Rowe, “most of the 5.6 million available jobs (that were reported open in a DOL report earlier this year), don’t require a diploma – they require a skill.
I think that a new Administration focused on bringing jobs back to the working class, along with more conversations showcasing the skilled trades job gap, means that blue-collar jobs will be on the rise in 2017.
8. Will More People Opt Out of Career Climbing to Reclaim a Healthier Balance?
I’ve noticed an increasing drumbeat by job-seekers weary of the imbalance that a lifestyle saturated with stress and time-constraints are opting to take the reins and choose a better balance.
These individuals, despite being secure in their current roles, are proactively aspiring to seek out and discover a better, more healthy and lifestyle-tolerant job, and are willing to change jobs and companies to attain it.
9. Will Younger Professionals Assume Leadership Roles as Older Workers Retire or Scale Back?
Yes. According to Brett McIntyre in Yoh.com, “This year, more than 3.6 million company chefs (were) set to retire as younger professionals ascend to managerial slots. Companies are busy planning this transition in order to cope with the massive loss of boomers.”
It is becoming more common across accounting, sales, manufacturing, technology, digital media and a plethora of industries for Generation Yers, many in their late 20s and 30s now, to assume the reins of roles previously held by their boomer colleagues.