When we consider the industries seeing significant growth and change, there are trends that simply can’t be ignored, given their propensity to shape and distinguish both the personal opportunities and the economic realities of the country.
Specifically, technology is changing everything. From the job sectors seeing growth to how and where those jobs are taking place. In Colorado specifically, the state ranks in the top five for private aerospace employment, concentration of high-tech workers and performance, as well as a STEM-based economy.
But Colorado isn’t alone in its participation in the changing landscape of industries and the economy.
Tech Jobs Are No Longer Just in Silicon Valley
This will come as no surprise. One of the main areas in which job growth is happening is within fields wherein the main platform is technology. USA Today reported that, as of this past spring, there were over 6.9 million jobs in the tech industry.
Historically, jobs tied to technology often meant that those within the field were also tied to the specific areas of the country (California, Boston, etc.) where the concentration of jobs were. However, they are becoming a big enough presence that that is no longer the case.
As previously noted, these jobs were moving out of the areas they have typically dominated. Not only is Colorado a part of the frontier, but as Joel Kotkin wrote for Forbes, “The most recent data on STEM jobs – in science, technology, engineering or mathematics – suggests that tech jobs, with some exceptions, are shifting to smaller, generally more affordable places.”
On a practical level, this means that the growth is widespread and that it’s not just that there are more opportunities, but that those opportunities aren’t as sequestered but now available beyond certain geographic areas.
Technology Is Changing Traditional Careers
While it’s becoming easier to recognize the force that technology can be in virtually every field, perhaps one of the easiest examples of a field for the layperson and professional alike to recognize the shifts is nursing. While nursing has been an established field for much of modern history, the field is just as susceptible as others to the influence of modern tech. Forbes listed registered nurses as the number one job with a “bright future.” It’s a job where the need is growing and it’s not going anywhere.
As I’ve written before, “Becoming a doctor, nurse, or dentist is appealing because it’s a job that allows people to bring goodness into the world … Of course, working in medicine is time-consuming, requires unsociable hours and can take an age to become a fully-fledged doctor, etc. However, the pay isn’t bad, and the positions are always needed and in demand.”
The need won’t change, and the affirming quality of the job won’t change. What will change is the nature of the job. Nurses will have to adjust. As new technology arrives that makes the job more efficient, nurses will also have to learn to keep up with those advances.
According to Duquesne University, “The Internet of Things phenomenon introduces new medical devices on a daily basis. Blood sugar monitors, vital signs sensors, radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags, and brain-computer interfaces are not only making nurses’ jobs easier and increasing the quality of patient care, but they are also making healthcare more efficient.”
Across the board, healthcare is a valuable place to see how technology can completely revolutionize an industry. From the way that 3D printing is changing radiology and making it possible for patients to understand their own diagnoses with more clarity than ever before, to the way that mobile apps and wearables are allowing healthcare professionals to make better, smarter diagnoses, the changes are prevalent.
Technology Makes Remote Work Possible
Not only is technology creating brand new opportunities and changing the dynamics of the jobs that do exist, it is also altering where we’re doing those jobs. Unlike the professional world of yesterday, remote work is becoming a far more viable option.
The most recent poll on remote work from Gallup shows that the number of individuals who work remotely is consistently growing, and that those who do work remotely are doing so more of the time than they previously did. The reality is that technology is consistently removing the barriers that previously existed; essentially, the hindrances to productivity and engagement are becoming increasingly less influential.
Technology is also removing remote work barriers. Even a field like nursing, which in the past was strictly regulated to in-person care, has begun to see an entirely novel facet. TeleNursing, which according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, utilizes “technology to deliver nursing care and conduct nursing practice.”
Thus, every type of professional from parents who want to work from home in order to maintain a better work-life balance to professional teachers, writers, and therapists who are interested in cultivating a freelance or contract-type work environment, the options are out there.
Ultimately, when one considers how job sectors are growing and changing, the common theme across the board is that technology is making serious waves; it has created options that are completely new and didn’t even exist a decade ago, and it has changed the framework of jobs as a whole.
The types of skills that were once limited to those working in the IT department are now the skills utilized by the masses, and for those with an expert understanding of IT infrastructure, computer systems design and management, and software testing, the world has more options than ever before.