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Future Jobs Sidebar: Booming Business

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By Jack Feuer, Illustrations by Kozyndan

Published Jul 1, 2009 8:59 AM


art

Digital media isn't the only big change sweeping the workforce.

Current and new social trends like the recession and the emergence of a digital society are powerful factors in future job creation. But another catalyst for new careers is actually an old — well, aging — story: baby boomers. That's the outlook of Eric Mokover M.B.A. '80, associate dean of career initiatives at UCLA Anderson School of Management.

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"I think there's going to be a big shift in job opportunities in the next five to 10 years, but it has more to do with population shifts," he explains. "Baby boomers are going to be packing it in and there are going to be a lot of available jobs — one of the biggest issues UCLA faces, for example, is how to replace retiring baby boomers. That means tremendous opportunities for our children."

But the boomers, characteristically, will not go quietly into the night. Far from it. And they'll create new momentum in all sorts of categories because of that tendency, Mokover believes. He predicts:

• Flush Financial Services

"Boomers have been told we're going to live longer. So we still need to manage our money and our financial affairs. New types of financial services, asset managers and investment managers will work with retiring baby boomers. And that's going to continue for the next 30 years."

• Part-time Professionals and Volunteers

"Millennials are really anxious to change the world. Well, so were we, and we didn't do a pretty good job of it. But there's still a chance. You're going to see a lot of do-gooding as boomers retire. There could be a resurgence of things like the Peace Corps. They'll also look for part-time work opportunities."

• Raising the Roofs

"There's going to be a real shift in real estate. Not just younger people coming up, but retiring boomers again. They are going to be trading down and younger people are going to want a nice place to live. Real estate, which is struggling now, will certainly turn around. Probably sooner than later."

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