It can be difficult to pick a college major, particularly if you aren’t sure how that degree program will apply in the job market. While it’s always a good idea to pick a concentration that matches your aptitude as well as interest, you probably don’t want to spend a lot of time at the unemployment office! So, it also makes sense to investigate the job market, and consider a career in one of the fast-growing fields.
While no one can predict the future with 100 percent certainty, we know that some job fields are growing more quickly than others. Since a high number of job vacancies mean a greater chance of landing a position soon after graduation, we would urge all high school and college students to at least consider the following four fields.
Healthcare. With the Baby Boomer aging into retirement, and life expectancy increasing, the healthcare field won’t stop growing any time soon. In fact, registered nurse positions are expected to grow by 16 percent over the next ten years, with other jobs in the field increasing at similar rates. Any college major related to healthcare should be a solid choice right now, but research your interests carefully with regard to degree requirements, expected pay rates, and so on. These factors can vary greatly.
Software and Information Technology. It’s probably no surprise to learn that software and IT fields will continue to grow. The need for software developers will grow by about 19 percent over the next decade. Or, you could become a computer systems analyst (growing at 21 percent), information security analyst (growing at 18 percent), or a computer user support specialist (growing at 13 percent).
Business. The business field is still robust, but quite a diverse array of occupations fall under this category. Therefore, it can be difficult to nail down growth rates precisely, but we do know that over the next ten years, the operations research field will grow by about 30 percent. Marketing and management analysis also look like promising choices.
Sales. the percentage of growth might not sound high, at 6.8 percent, but we expect to see about 314,000 new retail sales jobs over the next decade. The wholesale and manufacturing industries will add about 93,000 sales representative jobs in the same time period. Sales can be a difficult field, because the pay often relies upon commissions, but those who are good at selling can earn a very generous salary. If you’re friendly, confident, and persuasive, sales might be a field to consider.
Of course, you should also feel excited about your potential field for more personal reasons. Weigh the promises of job security with your interests, and throw in a career aptitude test for good measure. When you see some overlap in each of those factors, take a closer look at those career fields.