Whether you're pondering a career change or entering the workforce for the first time, you might want to do a little homework. Choosing a career is a big decision, and it can be hard to narrow down the possibilities. To help you out, we've compiled a list of 10 U.S. industries -- those that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts are likely to add the most jobs in the coming years. Maybe one of them is right for you.
1. Home Health Care Services
Individuals who are injured, disabled, mentally or physically ill, or elderly often require directed medical care in their home. If you'd like to provide this kind of dedicated, one-on-one care to someone in need, consider training as a licensed practical nurse (LPN), nurse (LVN), or patient care technician.
2. Software Publishing
Software is the key component in making computers work, and software publishers oversee the design, distribution, installation, and technical support of both application and systems software. Demand is on the rise for software in the areas of operating systems, games, graphics, data, Internet business, Internet security, and word processing. Good college degrees for a software publishing career include game design, computer programming, and information technology.
3. Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services
Consultants provide expert advice to domestic and foreign businesses, governments, and other organizations. Management consultants generally focus on operations, marketing, human resources, distribution, and security or focuses on specific industries such as healthcare. Scientific and technical consultants provide expertise on technology, environment, or specific scientific fields such as biology or chemistry. If you're interested in becoming a consultant, consider earning an MBA or a degree in information technology, engineering, or the sciences, depending on your field of interest.
4. Residential Care Facilities
Residential care facilities offer continuous medical care to patients whose conditions aren't serious enough for a hospital stay, and assisted living services to seniors. If you want to work in this booming field, you'll want a registered nurse (RN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN) degree, or a bachelor's of science degree in nursing (BSN). For a non-clinical career in this expanding industry, consider training as an assisted living administrator.
5. Facilities Support Services
A facilities manager oversees the planning, procurement, and maintenance of buildings for businesses, government agencies, and other institutions. While some facilities managers are responsible for engineering or architectural, many facilities managers handle the business aspects such as operations, real estate, finances, technology requirements, and personnel. Career training in administrative assisting or business management provides a good foundation for this widespread industry.
6. Employment Services
Employment services assist people with job placement on a temporary or permanent basis, and sometimes provide HR management services for a business. If assisting with job recruiting, employment service professionals should have experience in the particular field of placement and a degree in business administration and management. A certificate or degree in human resource management will train you in such areas as payroll, benefits, workers' compensation, and labor laws.
7. Independent Artists, Writers, and Performers
Artists can be found in a variety of specialty sectors, including art direction, fine art, craft art, multimedia, animation, and graphic design. If you're looking for a creative career in this sector, go for a degree in art, visual communication, or graphic design. Freelance writers produce fiction or non-fiction material for print, movies, television, or advertising and often have degrees in English, communications, or journalism.
8. Office Administrative Services
Office administration professionals include executive secretaries, administrative assistants, and even legal and medical secretaries. Performing a variety of clerical duties using multiple office technologies, office administrators ensure that office operations run efficiently. Career training programs for office administration include degrees and certificates in administrative assisting, office administration, business management, and associate's degrees in business administration.
9. Computer Systems Design
The role of computers in businesses is constantly evolving, as companies' needs and technologies change. Computer systems designers, programmers, analysts, and engineers work to plan, design, and maintain computer hardware, software, and communications technology. To get involved in this lucrative industry, you'll need a college degree in computer science or computer information systems.
10. Outpatient, Laboratory, and Other Ambulatory Care Services
An enormous portion of U.S. medical care does not involve an overnight stay in a hospital. Physicians' offices and other outpatient facilities are staffed with registered nurses or licensed practical nurses (to move up, you'll want a Bachelor of Science in Nursing). Other career training programs for this fast-growing industry include clinical laboratory technology, pharmacy technician, radiological technology, and respiratory therapy.