America's new jobs: We don't need no education, just comfort

The United States doesn't have much in the way of productivity in its future, according to BLS projections.

If you're looking for a job in the next few years, here's some good news: A college degree is not required for over 81 percent of the jobs on the list. Well, I suppose that's good news if you want one of the jobs that doesn't require a degree. Funny enough, I'm betting that the vast majority of people reading this blog don't actually need a degree to do their job, so perhaps Pink Floyd was right. Perhaps "we don't need no education."

Here are the top-10 jobs the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected the U.S. economy will add through 2016:
  1. Registered nurses (587,000);
  2. Retail salesperson (557,000);
  3. Customer service representative (545,000);
  4. Food preparation/fast food (452,000);
  5. Office clerks (404,000);
  6. Personal care aides (384,000);
  7. Home health aides (384,000);
  8. College/post-graduate teachers (382,000) (requires a degree);
  9. Janitors/cleaners (345,000);
  10. Nursing aides (264,000).

Surprised not to see computer programmers on the list? They come in at No. 15 (net new 226,000 jobs), right behind secretaries and waiters/waitresses, and a category or three before computer systems analysts (146,000, degree required) and network/data communication analysts (140,000, degree required). On this last one, it is the fastest-growing occupation in the U.S., according to BLS data.

What do these jobs tell us about the United States? has an interesting perspective:

The macro reflection of these fastest growing segments paints a picture of an aging nation more interested in shopping, health care, fast food and a pretty garden than tech education. What is equally troubling is the forecasted high turnover of post secondary teachers. Without quality college/post graduate/doctoral teachers our nation is particularly at risk in all fields of endeavor...not just science and math.

Ugh. Just what we need. Complacency as we ride out our last few years of technology leadership in peace. These aren't good signs for American competitiveness. But then, maybe we'll be driven to working harder by the U.S.' propensity to overspend and under-save. We'll be working into our 90s to pay off the silly debts of our 20s and 30s.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


    Discuss America's new jobs: We don't need no education, just comfort

    Conversation powered by Livefyre

    Show Comments Hide Comments
    Latest Articles from CNET
    Spill no milk with the Joseph Joseph SwitchScale