Hot jobs for the future

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Is your job going the way of the dinosaur? Are you trying to decide what college classes or training you should take to prepare for a promising career?

Goals for your work life should depend mightily on your personal skills, aptitude and interests. But you also should pay attention to what the hot jobs or growth industries are. There's no sense preparing for your dream job if it won't exist or the opportunities are severely limited.

Here are some occupational areas that stand a good chance of needing you, in the near and long term:

Elder care: As the population ages, there's an ever-growing demand for more nurses, nursing assistants, nursing home workers, therapists, chronic disease managers, home health aides and transportation providers devoted to the elderly.

Social and mobile media: Cell phones and other multifunction devices are proliferating like wildfire. Device engineering, software application development and customer service, including call centers, go hand in hand with every new device or program.

Translation services and English-as-a-second-language education: Global business deals and growing immigrant populations need bilingual help, to learn English and to transact business in other languages. One niche is translating to help people obtain health care services.

Green jobs: Jobs in wind and solar energy, energy-efficient construction, public transportation, environmentally friendly manufacturing and "sustainability" regulation are in growth mode.

Security and public safety: From home security equipment sales and manufacturing to private security companies to government homeland security, the field is burgeoning.

Accounting: Accountants, auditors and forensic accountants (fraud investigators) are needed in accounting firms, within businesses and in the government.

Sales and marketing: No matter the industry, organization or product, the word has to get out.