I just listened to the retention podcast. M&M mentioned about industry outlook in the next 30 years. They mentioned about semi-conductor business. What else do you think are good?

I am quite concern in
(1) environmental technology and energy (will it be another bubble?)
(2) insurance (industry already saturated?)

I am thinking as an employee planning to enter the industry point of view.

Any comments?

Thank you

James Gutherson's picture

If the environmental tech and energy sector is a bubble and it bursts, we are all in a lot of trouble (because in my mind we have then given up).

I had some friend in my under grad day doing Env Science while I studied Mech Eng - I'm now thinking they had more foresight than I gave them credit for :oops:

skwanch's picture

I think in some ways this is asking the wrong question (I wish I could think of a more diplomatic way to say that . . . ). I'm just finishing up 'The World Is Flat' and the point that gets hammered home time and again is that we will all have to learn, forget it and re-learn, many, many times in our career. IOW, thinking about which industries are bubbles is less important than seeing and capitalizing on what opportunities exist *right now*. If business conditions mean that a given business model begins to lose traction, then mgmt will need to adapt quickly to the new conditions and tweak/trash/change their business model as needed. To some extent this will be true in all industries, so 'worrying' about a bubble is a bit beside the point.

terrih's picture

I agree. The most important attribute in the modern world is adaptability.

jhack's picture

Adaptability is great, but realistically, you can't shift from biostatistics to nanofabrication to alternative fuels to business process consulting. Each field is too complex and specialized.

So you can be a generalist (HR), and industry vertical specialist (health care) or a technology specialist (software design).

The point about industry is important. Farming at one time accounted for the vast majority of US jobs; today it is a tiny fraction.

And, the world is getting flat, fast. Adaptability is key for everyone. Today's hot technology will be a commodity before long.

So your decision isn't as simple as going into, say, "Plastics."

Think in terms of basic human needs: Health care, food service, housing, transportation. These will be competitive but they aren't disappearing.

Hot technologies are tough to call. Computers aren't going away. There are lots of software problems that haven't been solved (unless there's an easy to use, bug-free computer out there that I don't know about). Nanotechnology will be important. Biotechnology will be huge. The merging the three will amaze our grandchildren.

Energy technology will make it all happen, but how that plays out is very uncertain. Focus on energy efficiency rather than production might be a place for your bets.

OK, now think about this: what do you love? What gets your juices flowing? If you want a great career, do what you love. The success will follow.


jhack's picture

I spoke to a friend in environmental technology (reconstruction of damaged environments, in particular). While long term this looks promising, he pointed out that funding follows government policy, so the last few years (at least here in the US) has been tough. Be aware that this might have some up and down cycles.

Not sure what you mean by "energy." That's a huge set of industries. Was there something in there that you were considering in particular?

Insurance isn't going away. The challenge is to find a growth area within that industry.


sadicarnot's picture

< While long term this looks promising, he pointed out that funding follows government policy, so the last few years (at least here in the US) has been tough. Be aware that this might have some up and down cycles. >

I work at a power plant and while it is true that funding for environmental rehabilitation does have ups and downs Power Plants can't be outsourced. No matter the political situation all plants need to be permitted and then ongoing testing and regulatory filings to meet those permits.

The water industry is another area that is recession proof. Here in FL there will be big changes in that industry. At continuing education seminars I am usually the youngest person there and I am 41.

karaikudy's picture
Training Badge

Biotechnology, Oh! Not even has began, looks like a sleeping Monster just woken up. Having worked in a BT Company (Monsanto), the potential looks unlimited in Both Agri as well Pharma applications. Just check the stock price growth chart of these type of companies, will look like a Heart attack ECG a run for the money.

Wind Energy application looks like long term bet to go places.