By Kathleen Furore
As job seekers get ready to polish up their resumes and head into the new year, what are some of the careers that are growing/show the most promise (in the U.S. specifically)? I posed this question to LinkedIn Principal Economist Guy Berger, fresh off evaluating data from the company’s 2020 Emerging Jobs Report. According to Berger, there are three key categories to focus on when considering areas that show the most promise for job seekers moving forward:
1. Artificial intelligence (AI)
It’s a brave new world out there where technology is concerned, and it’s impacting the employment marketplace in significant ways. Berger says roles like data scientist, robotics engineer and cybersecurity specialist are on the upswing; and not only in areas you’d generally consider “hard sciences.” AI is entering industries like real estate and business development too.
“AI is going to be pervasive in the economy of the future, and lots of jobs will be reliant on AI, at least behind the scenes, impacting and boosting our jobs and lives in ways that we’re not even conscious of,” Berger says. “Think about all the AI systems already running on your smartphone that you use every day!”
This is a big one: More than 50 percent of the emerging jobs on the 2020 list are related to engineering, Berger reports. And there’s some overlap with the AI category, since these roles include careers as robotics engineers and data scientists. One reason for the appeal: “Engineering is one of the fields that also has great opportunity for flexibility, a perk that’s turning into a must-have,” he adds, noting that LinkedIn data show that almost half of all U.S. professionals work from home on occasion.
3. Mental health care and recovery
There’s no denying health care is a big topic today, and the good news is that all the discussion and debate has made mental health top of mind. “New mental health benefits have become more mainstream following changes to health care insurance, and as Gen Z pushes this conversation in the workplace, jobs related to care and recovery are on the rise,” Berger says. “We saw an example of this on the Emerging Jobs list this year: behavioral health technician has seen 32% annual growth.”
According to Berger, this is one area that doesn’t always require employees – many who work with patients with autism or behavioral disorders, often with children in school environments – to have a four-year college degree.
What skills and experience do job seekers who are interested in this field need? They range from “somewhat expected” areas like mental health and psychology to “the more unexpected” like community outreach, crisis intervention, public speaking and teaching, Berger explains.
You can get a copy of LinkedIn’s 2020 Emerging Jobs Report at https://business.linkedin.com/content/dam/me/business/en-us/talent-solutions/emerging-jobs-report/Emerging_Jobs_Report_U.S._FINAL.pdf.
Kathleen Furore is a Chicago-based writer and editor who has covered personal finance and other business-related topics for a variety of trade and consumer publications. You can email her your career questions at email@example.com.
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