It's a tough job market out there: people are staying put in jobs they don't like, or are stuck in the unemployment line. If you're one of these highly skilled, educated employees that can't get a solid footing in their field, have you ever thought of consulting? The Department of Labor estimates a staggering 82% growth in consulting services across a variety of career fields by 2018. Here's where you can find the top consulting jobs.

In Pictures: 6 Hot Careers With Lots Of Jobs

Computer and Information Systems
If you're wondering where to find job growth in the future, look no further than IT - especially in the field of computer software engineering. The industry is expecting growth of 32% by 2018, much of which is likely to be in consulting. If you're already experienced in this industry and want to consult, look at specializing in areas like cyber security, networking, troubleshooting, banking and finance. If you're looking for a new career, this industry may be a good place to start: many consulting jobs require just certification and the skills to do the job.

Human Resources
Often seen as a soft sector when it comes to jobs, human resources is the place to be for consultants - overall job growth in this industry is expected to increase 22% by 2018, according to the BLS. Look for consulting positions within a corporate structure, advising on ways to improve anything from hiring policies to record keeping. With a more fluid job market, you'll also find good HR consulting opportunities in recruitment services (like temp services) or headhunting. An undergraduate degree is expected to be successful in HR consulting.

It's not easy to run a corporation, which is why jobs in management will see a growth of about 24% by 2018. Management consultants comprise the largest part of the consulting industry in general but expect the competition to be stiff in this sector. To be successful as a management consultant, a graduate degree (like an MBA) and a good sense of sales and marketing are key. (Find out if an MBA is really worth it, read The Real Cost Of An MBA.)

Environmental and Conservation
Energy is a hot commodity and so are jobs in the field of conservation of the environment: growth in this sector is expected at 28% by 2018. A large portion of work is in the government sector, but consulting jobs will increase in the private sector as regulation and cost savings will force corporations to improve waste management and other practices that have an environmental impact. Consulting makes up 21% of the environmental engineering sector - a great place to be if this is your niche. (Learn more about possibilities in environmental fields, read 9 Green Careers With High Pay.)

If you know your way around financial statements, consulting is a great career move. With increased regulation, accountants and auditors will be in high demand; the industry as a whole is projected to grow 22% by 2018. For increased success as a consultant, consider specializing in forensic accounting, accounting software or international finance law, and continuing your education to a Masters degree if you don't have one already. CPA licensing is a plus.

Sales, Marketing and Public Relations
Do you have a nose for sales or marketing? Consulting may just be for you - though expect the competition to be fierce in all sales and marketing consulting branches. The overall industry is projected to grow steadily at 13% by 2018. For success as a consultant, look at specializing in areas like international business or internet marketing utilization.

The Bottom Line
This is just the tip of the consulting iceberg; if you're an expert in your field, no matter what it is, you can be a consultant. With corporate outsourcing and cost cutting measures being made across the board, you may find that your old job is now being performed by a consultant. Look for new career paths in consulting, like as a personal trainer, image consultant, or graphic designer. (Learn more about the field of consulting in Consulting - Everybody's Doing It, Should You?)

If you're unsure about consulting as a career path, consider this: consultants make on average 50% more than their employee counterparts. If you use your connections, plan your consulting business carefully and take the leap, you may find you're blazing a great, profitable new career path.

Catch up on your financial news; read Water Cooler Finance: Who Is The Next Buffett?

Related Articles
  1. Professionals

    Credit Risk Analyst: Job Description and Average Salary

    Learn what credit risk analysts do every day and how much money they make on average, and identify the skills and education needed for this career.
  2. Economics

    The Difference Between Finance And Economics

    Finance and economics are often taught as separate subjects, but they are interrelated disciplines that influence one another in many ways.
  3. Professionals

    A Day in the Life of an Investment Banker

    Take a look at a day in the life of an investment banker, one of the most sought-after and stressful jobs in the financial sector.
  4. Professionals

    Top 3 Misconceptions About Financial Analysts

    Learn misconceptions about financial analysts, such as they exclusively study the stock market, they are the same as financial advisors and they are all rich.
  5. Professionals

    Becoming a Real Estate Agent Or Mortgage Broker

    Considering a career as either a real estate agent or a mortgage broker? Here are some factors that might help you choose between them.
  6. FA

    CIPM: The Key To A Niche Career In Finance

    CIPM designates usually work as investment performance analysts.
  7. Professionals

    Consider A Career As A Financial Communications Professional

    Regulators, sales people and clients all look to communications professionals to help them navigate the markets.
  8. Professionals

    Investment Analyst: Career Path and Qualifications

    Learn how to prepare for a career as an investment analyst, and read more about how many professionals in the field progress during their careers.
  9. Personal Finance

    Insure Your Future with a Career as an Actuary

    If you've got excellent math skills, they can add up to a lucrative career as an actuary.
  10. Professionals

    5 Must Watch Films and Documentaries for Investment Bankers

    Discover several lesser-known films that provide more accurate glimpses into the world of investment banking than big-budget blockbusters.
  1. Do financial advisors have to find their own clients?

    Nearly all financial advisors, particularly when new to the field, have to find their own clients. An employer may provide ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Do financial advisors get drug tested?

    Financial advisors are not drug tested by any federal or state regulatory body. This means you may receive your Series 6, ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Is a financial advisor required to have a degree?

    Financial advisors are not required to have university degrees. However, they are required to pass certain exams administered ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Do financial advisors have to be licensed?

    Financial advisors must possess various securities licenses in order to sell investment products. The specific products an ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Do financial advisors need to meet quotas?

    Most financial advisors are required to meet quotas, particularly if they work for firms that pay base salaries or draws ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Does a financial advisor need an MBA?

    Obtaining a license as a financial adviser does not require an Master's of Business Administration (MBA) degree. The Certified ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Take A Bath

    A slang term referring to the situation of an investor who has experienced a large loss from an investment or speculative ...
  2. Black Friday

    1. A day of stock market catastrophe. Originally, September 24, 1869, was deemed Black Friday. The crash was sparked by gold ...
  3. Turkey

    Slang for an investment that yields disappointing results or turns out worse than expected. Failed business deals, securities ...
  4. Barefoot Pilgrim

    A slang term for an unsophisticated investor who loses all of his or her wealth by trading equities in the stock market. ...
  5. Quick Ratio

    The quick ratio is an indicator of a company’s short-term liquidity. The quick ratio measures a company’s ability to meet ...
  6. Black Tuesday

    October 29, 1929, when the DJIA fell 12% - one of the largest one-day drops in stock market history. More than 16 million ...
Trading Center