Jobs in demand

What's out there and where they'll fit

As the future unfolds around us, job opportunities are changing too.

Industries are evolving, as technology continues to shape the world we’re living in.

And the word ‘career’ doesn’t mean what it used to.

People are embracing different ways of working, from contract work to self-employment, and career paths are more fluid than ever before. Flexible working and self-employment is increasingly popular.

But where does your child fit into all this? It can be difficult to work out where to begin, and easy to become overwhelmed by options.

We’re here to help you both get excited about what’s ahead.

The jobs of the future

There's a world of opportunity out there

Scotland's recognised as the most important UK financial centre outside of London and the South East. Whilst half of those working in the sector in Scotland are employed in banking, the range of careers available is far wider, taking in insurance claims handling, accountancy and independent financial advice. Fintech (financial technology) is increasingly important too, offering careers such as ethical hacking, forensic computer analysis, actuary, market research data analysis. Many roles offer excellent salary and benefits packages, with opportunities for further training.

With 30 per cent of the construction industry aged 50 and over, the sector needs new entrants across a broad range of roles, and they won't all be working on building sites. Though traditional trades remain in high demand, the sector needs software developers, biotechnologists and project managers. And there's a wide range of pathways into these areas. With 27 per cent of those working in the sector self-employed, there's plenty of scope for people interested in running their own business.

More than 203,000 people work in social services - and with 161,000 staff, NHS Scotland is the country’s biggest employer. Both sectors are growing in size, and with an average age in the 40s, more new recruits are needed to fill the gaps. Occupations in demand include social workers, educational psychologists, nurses - but there are many behind-the-scenes roles too, from accountants and chefs to software designers with plenty of development opportunities. Staff in healthcare and social services roles are also working more closely together.

Between now and 2024, the UK needs 182,000 new workers with engineering skills - doubling the number of graduates and apprentices entering the industry. Opportunities are spread across many careers, suitable for people with all sorts of talents. Roles in demand include aerospace engineer, manufacturing systems engineer, and geoscientist. Routes into the industry are similarly varied, and there's a wealth of initiatives aimed at young people to inform them of available and get them excited about opportunities.

There's huge demand for digital skills in the global economy. More than 90,000 people work in digital technology roles in Scotland, and the current average salary of £37,500 is growing twice as fast as average salaries as a whole. Roles such as data analysts, network managers and web developers can be accessed through apprenticeships and graduate routes. With Scotland’s sector needing an estimated 13,000 new entrants every year to meet future skills demand, there's every opportunity to carve out a successful and rewarding career.

Around 39,000 people in Scotland work in early years and child care, and with the Scottish Government committed to increasing funded provision, the sector needs to recruit up to 11,000 new entrants if it is to meet demand. This covers occupations such as early years teacher, nursery manager, childminder, and early years practitioner. There are a wide variety of entry routes into all of these occupations, and employers in the sector are keen to attract a more diverse range of recruits.

The skills of the future

Whilst the jobs market is changing, these skills will always be in demand


Focusing our attention, adapting to changing circumstances, demonstrating initiative and integrity will keep us productive and efficient.

Managing the now

Social intelligence

Connection is more important than ever. Understanding different perspectives, demonstrating empathy, collaboration and leadership improve communication.

Connect with the world


By staying curious, using creativity and critical thinking to make sense of the information we’re presented with, we’ll be able to create and exploit opportunities.

Create our own change