Ever since the recession started there’s been a lot of talk about the changing American workplace. Everyone from the presidential candidates to business leaders to union officials has expressed concern that:

  1. Jobs lost during the recession are not coming back; and
  2. American workers who lost their jobs do not have the skills necessary to perform the jobs being created.

The prospect of continued unemployment for thousands of American workers is behind the growing push for retraining. America appears to have the manpower to fuel a new, technology/big data-based economy. What many fear we lack is workers with the high-level science, technology, engineering and mathmatics (STEM) skills to fuel such an economy.

Based on projected demand through 2020, Career Builder recently named the STEM jobs expected to experience the greatest growth. Jobs related to medicine, computer software/systems development, and big data manipulation led the pack. Below are the top 5 STEM jobs and their expected growth rates over the next 8 years (click the link above for the full list):

  1. Biomedical engineer 62%
  2. Medical scientist 36%
  3. Software developer 32%
  4. Biochemist and biophysicist 31%
  5. Database administrator 31%

Supportive job positions in these fields can also be expected to be in demand. Positioning yourself to develop skills in these fields may be the key to future employment. Many community colleges are already offering retraining programs to boost America’s STEM job workforce. If the president and Congress can come to terms, employment experts are hoping to see a major influx of retraining opportunities initiated in the next year — something to watch for.

Career Builder’s assessment of highest paying STEM jobs also provides some direction on trending careers to those who want to position themselves for future employment. Career Builder expects future growth in the following fields:

  • Natural science
  • Engineering
  • Computer/information systems
  • Petroleum

This would seem to reflect trending national concerns such as the environment, rebuilding of America’s infrastructure, the rise of big data, and the importance of becoming energy independent.

For more information on trending careers, read The Zoondy Daily.