Through analysis of online job postings and employer searches for candidates, the team at Workopolis was able to put together a list of the most in-demand jobs right now, emerging skills gaps, and those roles that are on their way out. Our recent Thinkopolis report on in-demand skills indicates that the greatest increases in recent hiring have been in the Technology, Healthcare, and Data Analytics sectors.

So here is a closer look at the jobs of the present, the future and the past.

Hot jobs right now:

Because of the higher than average turnover rate in the retail industry, Sales Clerks and Managers are consistently among the most in-demand job titles listed in online job postings. (Retail sales clerk is actually the most commonly held job in North America – more people hold this role than any other.)

These jobs have the most online job postings by volume:

  • Retail Sales clerks and managers [View jobs]
  • Sales reps [View jobs]
  • Marketing and Advertising managers [View jobs]
  • Supporting roles in healthcare- nurses, pharmacy technician, dental hygienist, care givers [View jobs]
  • Truck drivers [View jobs]
  • Cooks, kitchen help, food servers [View jobs]

These jobs were trending upwards throughout the first half of this year:

Fast emerging jobs

Most of the up-and-coming in-demand job skills are technology based. Employers are actively seeking to hire (and often struggling to find) candidates with these skills:

Other in-demand skills

  • Bilingual (English/French) workers continue to be in high demand
  • Food Preparation, and Serving, and Truck drivers – These are hands-on vocations that cannot easily be outsourced or automated. (Which are among the biggest causes of jobs becoming obsolete.)

Similarly, most of the Skilled Trades continue to be in-demand and are ‘future proof’ career paths. Equipment Operators, Welders, Pipe Fitters, Electricians, Plumbers – all of these trades are in short supply in Canada. Mechanics and Service Technicians are one of the most in-demand jobs right now. Canada faces a shortage of one million tradespeople by 2020, as many people in that field will be retiring. The average age of welders is 57, and large numbers of trades workers across the board are also into their 50s.

Also numerous healthcare positions are projected to be in high-demand through 2020 and beyond. Nurses, Managers in health, education, social and community services, and Medical technologists and technicians will all experience greater demand due to the needs of an aging population – plus these fields’ retirement rate will be one of the highest among all occupations, largely due to older workers and earlier retirements compared to many other jobs

Future projection:

In order to create a powerful and sustainable career path, it is becoming essential to have cross-disciplinary skills: communications + technical wizardry, skilled trades + business acumen, healthcare + management.

This kind of multi-faceted skillset is going to be the key to future success. The best paid and most secure jobs will go to people with solid analytic and interactive abilities, who are able to continually learn new skills in order to adapt along with the evolving needs of the market.

Jobs of the past

If you’ve been in a taxi lately you’ll notice many drivers are accepting calls over a smartphone app instead of a dispatcher through a CB radio. In ten years taxi dispatchers, much like travel agents, may find themselves in an obsolete profession.

Similarly, telemarketers will become a thing of the past as more people ditch home phones to go cell-only with call display.

Retail cashiers will be in decline with the increasing popularity of self-checkouts and online ordering. (However this creates a need for logistics, warehousing and delivery people.) The jury is still out on what self-driving cars and delivery drones will do to the jobs of couriers and delivery people in the not-so-distant future.

Other declining occupations with limited potential:

  • Print journalist
  • Postal worker
  • Meter Readers, Utilities
  • Word Processors and Typists
  • Library technicians

And of course we’re seeing a decline right now in job postings for many natural resource related jobs – mining and oil and gas extraction and processing – but these are tied to the current price of oil rather than long-term trends.

Of course, it’s important to remember that technology and the internet create as many new fields of opportunity as they eliminate. Millions are already employed in internet-dependent jobs. Mobile devices and wireless connectivity have revolutionized the way individuals and businesses communicate. Plus, somebody has to provide tech support for when the computers won’t boot up and the robots break down. [See jobs in robot repair and maintenance.]


Peter Harris
Peter Harris on Twitter