Contemplating a Career Upgrade – These Seven Industries Are Set to Explode

Do you want to earn more money in the future? Maybe you are getting bored in your career and need to make a change? Or, perhaps you want to recession-proof your future?

Working in an in-demand industry will help your career prospects in several ways. First, it helps ensure that you’ll have a good job in the future. It also nearly guarantees a decent salary, especially if you hold a Master’s degree or have a lot of experience.

If you are ready to upgrade your career, here are the industries to focus on over the next decade.

Artificial Intelligence

The Artificial Intelligence industry is still hot, and all signs point to that continuing over the next decade. And you might be surprised at how common AI is today.

Auto manufacturers are spending billions of dollars on autonomous vehicle research. As a result, artificial intelligence-based technologies like hands-free driving, lane assist, and adaptive cruise control are already standard in many cars.

Homes are quickly adopting artificial intelligence as well. From “smart” security systems to automated climate and lighting controls, AI has already transformed the way we live our lives.

The average salary of an artificial intelligence professional in the U.S. is almost $165,000.

Online Learning

Going to college by going to college is a thing of the past. According to Harvard Business Review, over 2,500 colleges and universities offer online learning programs, which will expand over the next ten years.

Thousands of jobs are available all over the country in the burgeoning e-learning industry, even part-time ones. Online learning depends on software developers to design software to host the learning content. It also requires instructors and content developers to build and vet the lessons while working remotely.

Online learning is expected to turn into a $300 billion industry by 2025.

Cloud Computing

You have probably heard the phrase “in the cloud,” referring to computer technology. Cloud computing delivers fast, reliable, and scalable computing services, such as data storage, web servers, networking, analytics, and artificial intelligence over the Internet.

In other words, you don’t need to own and store expensive hardware to take advantage of powerful web-based computers. Instead, you can rent these systems online.

For instance, do you back up your photos to Google or Amazon? Cloud computing powers these backup services. Amazon Web Services, or AWS, is a top-rated cloud computing environment that thousands of companies rely on for secure and high-powered databases, web services, storage, analytics, and other capabilities.

The Internet of Things (IoT)

Like artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things refers to networking physical objects with software, wireless communications, and sensors.

For instance, controlling your lights at home from your smartphone is an example of the Internet of Things already in widespread use. But, IoT goes far beyond home use. The healthcare, construction, energy, agricultural and military sectors depend on interconnected technology to communicate smartly, quickly, and effectively worldwide.

The IoT industry is expected to exceed $1 trillion by 2026.

Data Science

Data scientists build and manage highly-efficient repositories of data, often in databases. Virtually all organizations store huge volumes of data, making this profession one of the fastest-growing (and highest paid) industries.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of a data scientist is over $100,000. Seasoned data scientists earn substantially more, especially those with an advanced degree, like a Masters or Ph.D.

According to a 2016 study, data science salaries increase by $2,500 or more with every year of experience.

Healthcare

Over the next decade, jobs in healthcare are projected to grow by 16%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. From doctors to nurses, healthcare is here to stay.

Specific healthcare fields will have an explosion of opportunities. For example, according to CNBC, the projected growth rate of nurse practitioners over the next decade is more than 50%, and their median pay is already well over $100,000 in many areas of the country.

The top fields in healthcare expected to expand include nurse practitioners, occupational therapists, and physical therapy assistants.

Social Services

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the social services industry will grow by 12% by 2030. On average, almost 80,000 new social service jobs are anticipated every year. The median yearly salary for social workers was $51,760 in 2020.

Social workers help people deal with problems of everyday life. For instance, social workers help physical and psychological abuse victims escape their abusers. They also help children find loving and supportive households. Some facilitate disagreements between couples or manage disability services for those in need.

One of the best ways to boost your salary in the future is by pursuing a career in an expanding industry. Many high-paying industries are computer-based, but not all. But seeking jobs in growing industries will help ensure your career is long and profitable.

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Steve Adcock is an early retiree who writes about mental toughness, financial independence and how to get the most out of your life and career. As a regular contributor to The Ladders, CBS MarketWatch and CNBC, Adcock maintains a rare and exclusive voice as a career expert, consistently offering actionable counseling to thousands of readers who want to level-up their lives, careers, and freedom. Adcock's main areas of coverage include money, personal finance, lifestyle, and digital nomad advice. Steve lives in a 100% off-grid solar home in the middle of the Arizona desert and writes on his own website at SteveAdcock.us.