6 Fast-Growing Industries To Consider a Career In
These industries offer job security and career growth for any major.
When thinking about career paths, some students know exactly what they want their job function to be, whether that’s sales, software engineering, or marketing. But the job function only tells part of the career story. What about the industry?
It’s a common belief that one needs a very specific major to enter certain industries, but this simply isn’t true. Every company and every industry relies on people with diverse academic backgrounds and job responsibilities in order to run successfully. This opens up a host of possibilities for entry-level candidates and means that some of the fastest-growing industries are viable career options no matter your major.
If you’re still exploring your career options but you know you want to work somewhere with job security and career growth, we’ve rounded up several strong industries to start a career in any role, from research and engineering, to sales and marketing, to HR.
Cybersecurity is poised to become one of the fastest-growing technology industries within the next few years. Research from Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that by 2021, cybercrime will cost the world $6 trillion annually, an increase from $3 trillion in 2015. To combat cybercrime, there will be 3.5 million cybersecurity job openings by 2021 alone, compared to only 1 million in 2016. Students with backgrounds in computer science might be interested in cybersecurity, but in this ever-evolving industry, there are careers for just about any background, technical or not.
One example of a company with a wide range of career opportunities is Palo Alto Networks, a cybersecurity leader dedicated to protecting the future of the digital world with products and services in cloud security, artificial intelligence, analytics, automation, and more. At Palo Alto Networks, employees can work in specializations ranging from threat intelligence to information security, engineering, people, marketing, threat response, product development, and marketing. The company’s global internship program trains future employees in those specializations, giving students a chance to launch their careers in this globally relevant industry.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in healthcare occupations is expected to grow 14% from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. As the U.S. population ages, the healthcare industry is projected to add more jobs than any other occupational group in order to meet rising demand. However, you don’t need to go to medical school to join the healthcare sector. Professionals interested in the healthcare industry can explore careers not only in medicine, but also in healthcare administration, social work, marketing & PR, pharmaceutical sales, and more.
The insurance industry is composed of companies that offer financial protection through insurance plans, in which the insured pays a small fee to the insurer under the agreement that the insurer will guarantee payment should an unexpected future event (such as an illness, a car accident, or an untimely death) come to pass. Insurance companies might specialize in health insurance, auto insurance, life insurance, and property/home insurance. Data from the Insurance Information Institute reveals that by 2020, the insurance industry will need to fill 400,000 open positions across all levels and all areas. Some of these positions include opportunities in sales, marketing, underwriting, finance, and more. There is no specific major that translates into a career in insurance, making this industry ideal for entry-level job candidates with any academic background.
For example: Liberty Mutual Insurance, the 5th largest property and casualty insurer globally, employs an estimated 50,000 people in roles ranging from marketing and HR, to claims and customer service, to technology and design. Liberty Mutual also has a special focus on helping college students and graduates map out their careers in insurance. Not only were they recognized as one of America’s best employers for new grads, but their student careers page states: “No matter what your area of study, there’s a place for you at Liberty Mutual.” True to this sentiment, Liberty Mutual’s undergraduate internships and post-college full-time opportunities include areas of focus such as analytics, corporate strategy and research, sales, human resources, and more.
The global biotechnology industry is projected to reach $727.1 billion by 2025, increasing at a rate of 7.4% since 2017. Biotechnology refers to the practice of manipulating living systems and organisms to develop or modify products for commercial use. Biotechnology is most prevalent in healthcare and agriculture, especially in the development of pharmaceutical drugs, new medical procedures, and pest-resistant crops. Biotechnology is ideal for STEM majors who are interested in research and development, although business majors can also leverage their management experience and liberal arts majors can draw upon their transferable skills like written and oral communication to work in marketing, grant writing, and more.
Human capital is defined by Investopedia as “the economic value of a worker's experience and skills.” As the workforce continuously evolves, the need for professionals who work in human capital is also expected to rise. Research from Deloitte indicates that some of the major trends affecting human capital include the rise of the gig economy, increased reliance on artificial intelligence in recruiting or people management, and the need for business leaders who can successfully navigate the challenges of the 21st century global economy. Human capital puts people first, so job candidates with social science majors like psychology and sociology could make a positive contribution to this field. In addition, students with backgrounds in economics, math, technology, or business can also draw upon their quantitative skills to implement technology and processes that will benefit employees and an organization at large.
Employees in this field might work in-house for a company, or with a consulting firm that handles multiple clients. For example, Notch Partners, a human capital consulting firm based in NYC, connects private equity firms with backable C-level executives, resulting in more profitable investment activity. Associates at Notch are given independence and responsibility early in their careers, enabling them to hone their professional skills in collaboration and communication as they progress in this exciting, people-centric industry.
Software as a Service
Nearly every company utilizes technology, which has led to the rise of “software as a service” (SaaS) companies, especially those that use cloud-based technology. Research from Gartner indicates that global cloud service revenues are set to grow from $175.8 billion in 2018 to reach $278.3 billion in 2021. Some SaaS providers that you may already be familiar with include Salesforce, Dropbox, and Slack. SaaS companies employ engineers who assist in developing new products, as well as sales representatives, marketing personnel, and business and operations teams.
There are countless industries that can make for an exciting and fulfilling career – but these six stand out for the substantial opportunities available for candidates from nearly all academic backgrounds. If you think you might be interested in working for one of these industries, start reaching out to your alumni network for informational interviews or browse companies on RippleMatch’s ‘Discover Companies’ page to see what kind of opportunities are available for entry-level employees in different job functions. With so many opportunities available in these fast-growing industries, there’s a high chance you’ll find the perfect opportunity to kickstart your career trajectory.