Before deciding on your college major, it’s important to consider what career path you’ll be taking, and to analyze what experts project will happen to that career in the coming years. It may sound a bit like gambling, but you’ll want to position yourself to graduate right when your chosen career is in an upswing, not only to better your chances of finding a position, but also to keep your salary competitive.
We spoke with Heather Huhman, a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder of Come Recommended, about which careers she foresees taking off, and why some traditional fields are slowing down.
Read our interview with Heather below, and follow her on Twitter @Heatherhuhman.
Could you tell us which industries you feel are taking off and which you feel are struggling?
Industries related to technology, math, or big data are ones that are definitely taking off this year. There’s a strong demand to improve current business processes and learn more about our customers through technology. Jobs such as statisticians, software developers, and computer systems analytics are career paths in demand because they meet the demand for technology development and research.
On the other hand, one struggling industry that really comes to mind is journalism. The Internet and social media has given almost any person the opportunity to be a journalist and create news. This has forced many print newspapers to go digital in order to produce news 24/7. In addition, less people are reading print newspapers, which has created a strong demand for news to be distributed on social media and online sources such as blogs and websites.
Dying Career: Semiconductor Processor
(down 27% from 2012 – 2022)
Rising Career: Software Developers
(up 22% from 2012 – 2022)
We noticed that software development is a red hot degree according to BLS.gov. Could you provide insights as to what kind of companies are looking to hire these graduates and why?
Companies such as Amazon and Microsoft are hiring software developers because they need professionals who are bold, innovative thinkers. Not only do these types of companies want to advance their current business processes, but they also want to improve the customer experience for their users. Software engineers provide the talent required to advance these companies and increase their competitive advantage through software development.
We also noticed that, despite most engineering and technology careers taking off, that semiconductor processors are not. Could you please explain why?
We live in a society where technology is rapidly evolving every day. If you take a look at Moore’s Law, for example, you’ll notice the number of transistors on a circuit double almost every two years. Because of these rapid advancements, it’s almost impossible for humans to keep up with the changes. Much of the work a semiconductor does can now be performed by a computer because most microchips are too small for the human eye. Although these technology advancements help us, they also hurt our workforce by taking away jobs from humans and replacing them with computers.
Dying Career: Journalism
(down 13% from 2012 – 2022)
Rising Career: Technical Writing
(up 15% from 2012 – 2022)
Broadcast and newspaper journalists are struggling to find a job, but we noticed that technical writing majors are still doing well. How easy would it be for a journalist to transition into a technical writing career?
Surprisingly, the transition from journalism to technical writing is a lot easier than you think. If you think about it, in journalism you’re reporting facts and the same applies for technical writing except in a different angle. With technical writing, you’re more focused on reporting facts for a manual or a white paper for a particular industry. You don’t have to be tech savvy to be a technical writer, you just need to be able to write clearly and understand that industry you’re writing for.
Dying Career: Fashion Design
(down 3% from 2012 – 2022)
Rising Career: Industrial Design
(up 4% from 2012 – 2022)
What is the difference between a fashion designer and an industrial designer? Are there any skills a fashion designer would have to pick up in order to switch into an industrial designing career?
Fashion designers design clothing, shoes, and accessories. They’re also responsible for creating concepts, producing designs, and need an eye for color and patterns. Fashion designers typically work closely with forecasters and buyers to design clothing for seasonal trends.
On the other hand, an industrial designer is a designer who works closely with materials scientists, engineers, and marketers, to come up with a new product. They also work closely with their client to see how they can improve current products and how they meet the needs of their current customer base. Industrial engineers also focus on designing the “look and feel” of a product to ensure to sells in the marketplace.
Although the work of industrial designers and fashion designers often overlap in regards to creativity and design, industrial designers have more experience with marketing, accounting, quality assurance, and project management. If a fashion designer wanted to transition into this field, they’d have to have a stronger business background to be successful.
Are you following a career path because of its current demand in the market? Did you choose your degree based on your own interested and passions? Let us know your thoughts below!
This article was written and produced by CareerGlider