As unemployment rates shrink, individual industries and job markets are heating up. There is, once again, promise for young professionals looking to climb the ranks and reap the financial and personal rewards of a satisfying career. According the most recent numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in their biannual Occupational Outlook Handbook and Career Guide to Industries, the total number of Americans employed will increase by 10.1 percent – or 15.3 million people – by 2018.
While many jobs have opportunities for promotion, the following three stand out for unique reasons.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, computer-related careers are on the rise. From 2012 to 2022, the number of computer systems analysts in the country is expected to increase by 25 percent, while computer support specialists will see demand increase by as much as 17 percent (both figures are faster than the national average). These are clear indicators of the nation’s enhanced focus on IT and cybersecurity.
However, it may be IT security specialists that see the biggest growth. As cybercrime increases and computers become increasingly capable of storing more data, the emphasis on cybersecurity will become even more important. According to Anthony Sequeira of CBT Nuggets, a reputable IT training resource, “As we store more and more information in the cloud, the perceived gain and perceived harm that can be done to individuals is greater and greater – adding more numbers to would be attackers.”
In 2013, the average IT security analyst made approximately $88,590 – with the top 10 percent taking home a hefty $138,780. Even the lower end is well above the national average, with the typical starting salary somewhere around $50,430. Some of the top job markets include those in San Francisco, New York City, and Sacramento – with plenty of growth in other West Coast and northeastern hubs.
If you’re looking at the Occupational Outlook Handbook and Career Guide to Industries, the occupation with the highest anticipated growth rate from 2008 to 2018 is biomedical engineering. Whereas there were only 16,000 biomedical engineers in 2008, a healthy 27,520 are expected to hold the title by 2018. That’s a 10-year growth rate of 72 percent.
But why is this industry growing so rapidly? It’s likely due in part to the aging population and an increased focus on health issues. Naturally, health professionals (and the general public) will continue to demand better and more superior medical equipment and devices for better healthcare. In 2008, the median annual salary for a biomedical engineer was $77,400. The current mid-career median annual salary is now somewhere around $97,800.
For those who want to work directly with people but prefer low-pressure environments, audiology is an ideal career. “If you don’t like stress but still want a career with good prospects and a decent salary, consider becoming an audiologist.” That’s what Alan Farnham of ABC News writes, referencing a 2014 report by CareerCast.com.
Audiologists are professionals who treat patients with hearing needs. You’re now required to hold a clinical doctoral degree to be a certified audiologist, but the rewards are worth it. The industry growth rate is well above the national average – hovering somewhere around 19 percent (according to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics).
According to PayScale.com, an Audiologist’s average annual salary is $63,579. The top 10 percent make more than $85,000 per year. Low stress, high outlook, and a salary potential of almost six figures? Not a bad industry to think about.
Launch Your Career Today
Now is the time to start a career in one of these four fields. In addition to having positive outlooks, each of these opportunities is interesting and rewarding. Reach out and make connections in order to get a foot in the door! Sometimes all it takes to get started is a willingness to ask the right questions.
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