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Bill Gates: These skills will give you the most opportunity in the job markets of the future

If you're not sure where to steer your career, you may want to take advice from self-made billionaire Bill Gates.

The Microsoft co-founder, who frequently works with industry-disruptors and reads books about the future of humanity, has an idea of what backgrounds will be the most in-demand from here on out.

"Clearly we need a hugely broad set of talents," Gates said during a Q&A with his wife Melinda and Lin-Manuel Miranda in New York City last month. "But if your talents take you towards science or programming or advances in biology or energy breakthroughs, those kind of deep areas are going to be the biggest source of change."

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Melinda Gates and Bill Gates speak during a panel at Hunter College in New York City
John Lamparski | Getty Images
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Melinda Gates and Bill Gates speak during a panel at Hunter College in New York City

He said something similar in a 2016 interview with LinkedIn Editor In Chief Daniel Roth: People with backgrounds in science, engineering and economics will be "the agents of change for all institutions." He added that "a lot of careers in the future will be very demanding on those things."

This doesn't mean you have to be an expert "writing code," he said, but "basic knowledge of the sciences, math skills [and] economics" will help you out tremendously.

The reason these skills will create so much opportunity is because "we need better tools to deal with all these diseases worldwide," Gates said during the NYC panel. "Governments are having problems meeting all the needs out there, partly because health costs are exploding, and the only solution to that I see is innovation."

There are multiple paths to success, he noted, but "if science grabs you … that is where a lot of the opportunity comes from. The more you can learn the science, the more you'll see where that next opportunity is."

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Video by Jonathan Fazio