As our ongoing train-wreck of a presidential race demonstrates daily, folks are hurting because the economy is changing and no one is offering real answers to the enduring and unsolved problems that plague our nation.
The real answer is as unsexy as it is true: there is no catch-all solution to our problems. Neither deportation, xenophobia, tariffs, and partial national debt payments on one side, nor bank bashing, high taxes, and complete debt forgiveness on the other will solve our endemic concerns. Indeed, extreme proposals are likely to exacerbate people's problems and solve nothing.
However, one key obvious solution for those hurting in 2016 is aggressive planning and partial subsidization of worker retraining for jobs that pay well and will age well in the next economy.
Until the government decides to help foot the bill for widespread retraining, which only grows more necessary by the day, folks will have to pursue career change on their own. Here is a list of 10 careers that have stronger employment prospects and pay and are likely to be relevant in 2030 and beyond.
1) Web developer
The internet is not going away. In fact, as we move toward Web 3.0 and a completely digital economy, web development will increasingly grow more complex and split between ultra-high skill developers and entry-to-medium level developers who can perform most tasks. Although a significant percentage of these jobs will be outsourced to talented developers globally, there is often no substitute for in-house development that is close at hand, and those with these skills will remain in demand.
There may be no more needed job in the US than nursing. Hospitals are chronically understaffed on nurses and this trend will only grow more urgent in the coming years. Nurses who develop an affinity for new hospital technologies and are adept at managing digitalization will be in the highest demand.
3) Hospital technicians
Hospitals are growing more technologically advanced, and some tasks are becoming remote. However, they remain deeply understaffed and there will be an ongoing and urgent need for skilled technicians on-site to handle arising issues.
4) Technology-friendly teachers
Teaching is increasingly going digital but the focus will increasingly move to the teacher. As my friend Eileen, president of Think Cerca, told me, technology in a vacuum does little to improve real classroom results because it needs to be delivered effectively by teachers to reach students in a powerful way. Many older teachers who lack the skills to use - and willingness to master - new technologies will retire or be phased out, and technology-friendly teachers will be urgently needed to replace them.
5) Small business digital entrepreneur
The cost of starting a functioning niche company has come down a-thousand-fold (not an exaggeration) in the past decade in a half since the dot-com boom, and by a ten-fold margin since just 2010. Increasing economization of critical underpinnings of digital business - such as Amazon Web Services and other cloud-space providers - means that talented individuals targeting important niches where they have great knowledge will be able to get off the ground with very few setup costs.
6) App developer
The media rage over apps may be dying down, but most companies are continuing to go mobile and few have mastered it. Even as apps lose media attention, there will actually be far more app development going on behind the scenes in the coming years.
7) Social media brander
Increasingly, talented and enterprising youth can set themselves up with a major audience on platforms such as Instagram and make money by parlaying their enthusiastic audience into product purchasers through brand promotion.
Trading has always been a difficult game - only those with top-of-the-industry tools could have a real prayer to beat the market. However, the increasing availability of data and sophistication of algorithmic trading may ultimately become more available for semi-mass use in the near future.
9) Grassroots lobbying
The nation is headed - both in this campaign and beyond - toward a battle between the SuperPacs and industrial-sized lobbying enabled by the Citizens United ruling, and the grassroots efforts toward small donations that increasingly target millennials. Indeed, millennials are now even starting their own lobbying groups at a grassroots level, such as the Association of Young Americans.
10) The military
The military is becoming increasingly digital and the select group of people with both technology skills - even at a moderate level - and interest in serving will receive strong attention from recruiters in the coming years.