This is the year you put your career track into hyperdrive. The U.S. unemployment rate has been hovering around 5 percent for some time now - a sign the economy is back on track and incredibly healthy. This is due in large part to the astonishing success some newer - and accelerating - sectors of the market have experienced.
If you're looking for a job, why not take a glance at the industries moving the quickest? They provide the best chances for job training, upward mobility and an elevated income.
1. Health care
The health care industry is growing on a number of different levels. An increased rate of retirement due to an aging baby boomer generation has begun a hiring frenzy for nearly every position. Technology has also infused itself into age-old practices. According to Inc. magazine, the Affordable Care Act will raise funding in this sector to $3.1 billion by 2020.
There are a plethora of opportunities available, but it's key to gravitate toward those that are growing quickly. These positions often provide the most accelerated opportunities with the best potential pay scale. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top 5 markets expected to have the highest compound annual rate of change over the next 10 years all come from within health care:
- Home health care services: 4.8 percent
- Outpatient care centers: 4.1 percent
- Offices of health practitioners: 3.8 percent
- Other ambulatory health care services: 3.4 percent
- Medical and diagnostics laboratories: 2.8 percent
It's not a fluke that these five industries top the board for expected growth. The amount of daily retirements will ramp up over the next 10 years as the baby boomers continue to leave the workforce, letting millennials fill their roles. If you're a programmer, consider joining one of the blossoming medical technology companies, as they're all sure to have an impact on the market.
2. Educational software
As it becomes a more acceptable form of a degree, educational software will eventually reform the educational services industry. Schools that have been in the red for years will eventually be closed or reformatted to make way for more efficient ways of teaching. It's not the distant future - it's happening real soon.
It's not all taking place at the collegiate level, either. According to Entrepreneur magazine, the market cap for pre-kindergarten educational software grew from virtually non-existent in 2010 to a hefty $14 million in 2012. TMCnet believes the overall market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 20.3 percent right through 2017, meaning a massive amount of money will be pumped into these resources.
"We've had the opportunity to partner with some Educational Software companies on the development of their K-12 and Higher Education eLearning Platforms," says Lindsay Reardon, Division Director of Beacon Hill Technologies in Boston. "It's exciting to see how these new programs are changing the way students are learning by providing a specific, interactive training module tailored to the way each individual understands and retains classroom material."
Ms. Reardon believes that, due to this innovative technology, the market will continue to explode. "The development of Educational Software is opening up additional cutting-edge opportunities to all IT employees across the US. It's been identified as an industry in high demand since no two students are alike, and handwritten homework assignments seem to be a thing of the past. As we grow into a culture that relies heavily on the internet, Educational Software is quickly becoming the future of education, setting it up as an ideal industry if you're looking for a new, creative challenge."
Nearly once a week you hear about ransomware or some other form of virus hacking large office buildings. It's a common crime and even the most wealthy Fortune 500 companies are susceptible to having their information hacked. Cybersecurity has taken over physical security, as corporate espionage has become a war of computers.
According to Forbes, the market reached $75 billion in 2015, and there's really no sign of it slowing down anytime soon. Those with programming degrees should hop aboard the train now, as you will certainly reap your fair share of reward later.
These three industries are booming not only because of the expected demand, but are also swelling internally due to the growing talent pool. "With the demand for hands-on programmers at an all-time high, we are seeing candidates be more specific about the industry they want to work in," says Tristan Marchette, Senior Managing Consultant at Beacon Hill's Technologies Division in Boston. "In addition to traditional preferences, such as tech stack, company size, and office culture, software programmers are also adding their preferred industry to their list of wants. And to no surprise, candidates often share with us that they want to be a part of the exciting growth within cybersecurity, healthcare, and educational software."
In addition to their growth volume-wise, these industries (and programming, in general) have changed fundamentally from where it was five to ten years ago. Mr. Marchette notes, "Another thing that is cool about these industries has been the focus on user experience and the need for digitally-appealing products. Traditionally speaking, it was always about the challenge of building really hardcore and backend heavy applications within these sectors. Now that the world of technology has evolved and the users of these software products have so many choices to choose from, consumers are making decisions based on how a product looks, feels and responds. Because of that, these industries are also seeing a high demand for frontend focused software talent more than ever before."