With the economy and job growth back on the upswing, Insights consulted labor reports and asked COCE experts about growth predictions for the next few years. Here is a glance at a few of the hottest industries identified for 2015 and beyond.
26 percent by 2022
(U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts healthcare will add more jobs by 2020 than any other industry.
Much of the growth will be seen in community health care, outside the traditional hospital setting, said Dr. Sherrie Palmieri, SNHU’s executive director of Nursing and Healthcare.
“The Affordable Care Act is taking some care out of the acute care environment of hospitals into the community, so jobs are shifting from the hospitals to the community rehabilitation centers, nursing facilities, physician practices — even insurance companies and health plans,” she said. “There is a very strong shift from acute illness management to health prevention and promotion and wellness.”
The aging workforce, particularly in nursing and nursing education, also is fueling job growth. Between 525,000 and 800,000 new jobs are predicted for nursing and nursing education alone due to the retirement of current practitioners, Palmieri said.
Public health, nursing and nursing administration, healthcare administration and management, healthcare informatics and nursing education are “hot” fields, Palmieri said. Many of these positions require advanced education. Plus the Institute of Medicine is urging all nurses to have their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees by 2020 in an effort to improve patient care and safety.
SNHU has enhanced and expanded its offerings in nursing and allied health in response to the very real and growing need for educated and trained healthcare professionals. The university’s existing programs and those in development all are in these areas of expected rapid growth, Palmieri said.
Master of Science in Nursing student Gretchen Forsley said she returned to school to advance her career and expand her role in the field.
“There is going to be a need for trained leaders in the field,” Forsley said. “What we do as nurses is changing and growing. We need leaders who can adapt to the changes and help their peers and patients.”
Business and Finance
12 percent to 16 percent by 2022
(U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Globalization and increased scrutiny of business and finance are two key reasons behind expected job growth, according to
Dr. Bruce Stetar and Dr. Joe Cappa.
The Great Recession ushered in a host of changes to local, national and international regulations and laws. It also changed how the world does business, what it means to grow a business, and what the risks and rewards are.
“The increasing globalization of business, increased international business environment and the rebound of the economy means that business is in demand in general, and finance in particular,” said Stetar, executive director of Graduate Business at the College of Online and Continuing Education.
The recession prompted businesses to analyze what went wrong and what can be improved and to focus on fiscal responsibility, he added.
Financial planning is a “hot” subset of finance and has prompted COCE to incorporate personal financial planning, estate planning and other courses and content focused on fiscal responsibility into finance programs, said Cappa, executive director of Undergraduate Business.
“I’m not surprised that the finance area is growing in that direction,” he said.
Marketing is another business discipline expected to see above-average job growth, due in part to the growth of global markets.
“As competition tightens up globally, marketing is more global,” Cappa said. “For example, South Africa will be the new No. 1 market for westernized franchises. You have to know how to market to the South African population.”
“Worldwide in emerging markets, the single biggest growing class is the middle class. Knowing how to market to those emerging middle classes is going to be huge in the coming years,” Stetar added.
Social media, changing demographics and sectors such as higher education and the sustainability movement that are engaging in marketing at levels they never have before also are contributing to growth, they said.
“Marketing used to be seen as advertising and sales. Now it’s much more than that,” Stetar said. “It’s come back around again as a good career to be in.”
18 percent to 37 percent
(U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields encompass everything from code writing and cybersecurity to engineering and soil science, plus much more. At its essence it’s about developing the skills to solve the myriad puzzles humanity faces daily.
Dr. Gwen Britton is the executive director of the university’s online STEM offerings and is a veteran of the technology trenches. She studied math and computer science at a time when it was not uncommon for her to be the only woman in many classes, and sometimes in an entire program.
She toggled back and forth between academia and the private sector, where she saw the true value of being good with people as well as numbers and science.
STEM encompasses a variety of people in diverse fields and careers that have a common skill set, she said.
“You’re looking at people who are creative, critical thinkers,” Britton said. “It doesn’t matter which area, that’s a commonality. People are able to think creatively out of the box in the flavor that’s most interesting to them, whether they want to play with the science of the earth or the science of data or technology.
“Environmental science is very different from a degree in IT, but requires the same sorts of skills across the board. You have to be a critical-thinking, creative problem solver in either one, but the types of problems will be different.”
Britton sees opportunity in careers involving environmental science, geoscience, conservation and natural resources as well, and “not in the narrow way people think. There are many areas you can go into.”
Data and technology also are hot, she said. Networking, telecommunications, database administration and security, for example, are important in every type of industry, be it business, a STEM field or healthcare.
“We’re generating so much information. Somebody has to figure out how to move all that data and connect all these people. Where is it going to be stored, how is it going to be secured, what are we going to do with it all?” she said.
Many of the projected hot jobs can fit in any of the aforementioned fields. Information security experts are needed in healthcare and business, for example; financial expertise is necessary in technology companies and hospitals. And data runs through them all.
“Data now drives much of business,” said Rose Winn, an SNHU Career advisor team lead.
Dot-com and tech busts helped push the resurgence of business and resulted in more workers seeing business fields as an attractive alternative to tech, Stetar said. Now both fields are on the rise. Today a new marriage of data, tech and business is creating new career paths.
“I see STEM as the single biggest area to move the economy forward in the coming years,” Stetar said. Yet, “STEM can’t exist on its own; it’s only usable to this country if it’s in a business environment. Partnership is the key for STEM and business.”
The university recognizes this need for interdisciplinary education, as evidenced by programs in such areas as healthcare informatics, undergraduate business and MBA programs with concentrations in technology and healthcare administration, and healthcare programs that incorporate leadership and project management, for example.
“We realize our business students who want to straddle both fields are looking for that missing link,” Cappa said. “It’s our job to give them the ability to compete.”
The same goes for healthcare.
“As people excel in their principal positions and get promoted into management, they need additional education to support that leadership and administrative responsibility,” Palmieri said.
Choosing a Career
It is important to remember that finding a rewarding career goes beyond the “hot” list.
Britton said to be aware of the flavor of the career. An analyst job in finance will be different from being an analyst in accounting or marine science. The venue can make or break the career.
Finding the right career is a matter of carefully assessing what a person wants to do and blending that with his or her strengths, Winn said.
“We spend so much time at our work that if you are not in a job you enjoy, your workday can become drudgery,” Winn said. “As a Career team, we strive to help students identify career options that align with their strengths and interests. It is our goal to help students pursue career opportunities in fields that are near and dear to their heart so they can utilize their education in a professional venue that fully capitalizes on both their capabilities and passions.”
Eric Baxter, Michelle Dunn and Melissa Page contributed to this story.