Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Most Lucrative Jobs in a decade Thread

  1. Aug 20, 2008 #1
    In your opinion, what are the most lucrative jobs going to be in about 10 years?

    My thoughts:
    1. Nuclear engineering
    2. Nanotechology
    3. Medical

    - Vanguard
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 20, 2008 #2
    Medical and Energy related fields.
  4. Aug 20, 2008 #3

    Math Is Hard

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I'm thinking there will be a fast-growing demand for positions related to gerontology/geriatrics, so these will pay well. We're going to have a lot of aging baby-boomers, and there doesn't seem to be a lot of planning for it yet.
  5. Aug 20, 2008 #4
    The most lucrative jobs in ten years will be the same as the most lucrative jobs today, namely jobs in finance and banking.

    Nuclear engineers and doctors are paid a pittance compared to what competent bankers and quants earn.
  6. Aug 21, 2008 #5
    The most lucrative job is technology. Regardless of what you are doing. Become a owner, sell your ideas to venture capital, sell your company, instant profit.
  7. Aug 21, 2008 #6
    Very high potential rewards. But the key word is potential. And the reward/risk ratio isn't great.

    The most lucrative careers in ten eyars will be exactly what they are now, ie banking (inc hedge funds) followed by law, medicine, consultancy, ...

    Science is way, way down the list.
  8. Aug 21, 2008 #7
    Water treatment and desalinization.

    Alright--maybe not in 10 years, but soon enough to be worried imo.
  9. Aug 21, 2008 #8
    I'll second that.
  10. Aug 21, 2008 #9
  11. Aug 21, 2008 #10
    You can't just focus on salary. What about job prospects? It doesn't pay to major in finance if you will be unemployed after graduation.

    What about this: Which major areas of research will receive a significant amount of government funding? During the Cold War it was nuclear physics. What about now and in 10 years?
  12. Aug 22, 2008 #11
    Whereas they're just screaming out for physics grads to do research. That's why physics pays so well. Oh no, wait...

    Actually finance isn't looking like such a smart move at the moment either, most banks and hedge funds are cutting back on recruitment and some have put on hiring freezes. Expectations are that it will pick up on 2-5 years though, whereas physics is always going to be competitive and underpaid.

    Complexity theory, mathematical biology, adaptive systems, machine learning, ...

    My guesses anyway. Not so sure about the physical side of things.
  13. Aug 22, 2008 #12

    Andy Resnick

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Research funds (in the US) will likely stay flat or go down due to the increasing mandatory spending: social security, medicare/medicaid, payments on the debt, etc. as well as decreased discretionary spending.

    Because government research is decided by, well, the government, look also for increased amounts of "set asides"- money in the general pot that is directed to be spent on specific projects decided by congressional members, leaving the scientific agencies less and less to spend on what they consider to be good science.

    The main topics to be funded by the US government are likely to include:

    Health and biotechnology (especially translational research and patient care)
    energy research- especially for electrical and transportation power generation
    climate change- think "mission to planet earth"

    Those are fairly broad and cover a lot of large fields- nanotechnology, for example.
  14. Aug 22, 2008 #13
    This is far too simplistic a comment to be of any use. Whereas some sectors in the finance industry are being annihilated, the alternative investment sector is booming. Job opportunities for quants in this area are excellent at the moment.
  15. Aug 22, 2008 #14


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Nobel Prize winners should still make out all right.
  16. Aug 22, 2008 #15
    There won't be any if scientists can't perform the experiments. They don't hand those out for just theory!
  17. Aug 22, 2008 #16
    I have one word to say to you. Software Engineering.
  18. Aug 22, 2008 #17
    True but that doesn't make a difference to what I said. There are far fewer jobs in finance as a whole (including quants) now than there were 18 months ago. People applying now will find it much harder to get jobs than the most recent round of graduates did.

    If you can get a job then you're sorted, there are some excellent positions out there. But getting in in the first place is hard.
  19. Aug 23, 2008 #18
    It actually completely invalidates what you said. The point is that most banks have not put on hiring freezes in all areas.

    My experience of the area suggests this is not true. The jobs that have been shed in the finance industry are the "light" jobs - those essentially worthless support staff and middle management who are always the first to go. Banks and investment funds have, however, been predictably reluctant to get rid of their quants.

    Harder, yes. Much harder, no.
  20. Aug 23, 2008 #19
    Andre is making a mental note to call MIH in a decade or two, when geriatrics strikes.
  21. Aug 23, 2008 #20


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Though I'm not optomistic that it will change (so you are probably right), the financial sector is the one sector where pay has gotten most out of hand and needs to be reigned-in. Regulation may help fix it, but we'll see.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook