Returning to school to upgrade (or begin) an education leading to a new career is nearly impossible for many of us. The time, money and skills involved are just to much for most working adults. But by using projections from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, you can find work in the (soon-to-be) most cutting-edge industries in the world, in much less time and for less money!
5 Hot Industries and Occupations

  1. Green Energy - Sustainable energy sources, such as hydroelectric power and wind, will be more crucial in the future as other energy sources become scarce, while worldwide energy demand increases. High growth green energy jobs include:
    • Scientists – Specialists in geology, environment and health are needed for the research and development of green energy sources.
    • Surveying and Mapping Technicians Workers who can operate survey equipment and create maps will be in demand for multiple industries. Training is available either on the job or through vocational schools.

  2. Bio TechnologyThis industry combines life sciences, technology and manufacturing. Jobs are generally segmented into research and development, quality control or manufacturing. Careers in biotech include:
    • Medical and Veterinary Scientists – Scientists of the future need to be very computer-savvy.
    • Veterinary Technicians – Working with lab animals requires a high school diploma and some college training, usually through a certificate program available from vocational or community colleges.
    • Biomedical Engineers – New medical devices require the knowledge of both engineering and biology. These highly-trained workers participate in research, design and implementation of new products.

  3. Geospatial Technology Maps, global positioning devices (GPS), and other tools use data from satellites, planes and ground sensors to plot where things are on earth. Government and private organizations in the industry offer the following careers:
    • Cartographers and Photogrammetrists – These college educated workers collect and analyze data from surveys, satellites, and aerial photographs.
    • Urban Planners – Regional and local governments determine the use of land.

  4. Healthcare The role of the typical healthcare worker is changing as facilities increasingly seek, to contain labor costs by cross-training existing workers. More services are also being provided outside of traditional hospitals (for example, clinics located in drug stores). In addition to doctors and nurses, these healthcare occupations are expected to grow:
    • Health Educators – These (mostly) college-educated professionals train people to become and stay healthy.
    • Home Health Aides - New medical advancements enable patients to live longer. Patients require at home-care from physical therapists, pharmacy technicians and those especially trained to care for older, very sick patients who in the past may have died.
    • Mental Health Professionals – Help people overcome addictions, mental and emotional issues.

  5. Information TechnologyTechnology is becoming easier to use and more prolific as younger generations grow up immersed in it. They will not need professionals to operate computers for them. Instead, the future of IT careers is in innovation and data manipulation. High-growth careers:

  • Scientists – Specialists in geology, environment and health are needed for the research and development of green energy sources.
  • Surveying and Mapping Technicians Workers who can operate survey equipment and create maps will be in demand for multiple industries. Training is available either on the job or through vocational schools.

The theme for many emerging industries includes technology, environmentalism and services. If your skills, personality or interests don't mesh with the above industries, remember there will also be an increasing need for support personnel such as managers, accountants, and salespersons. (More and more companies are "going green", but that term, in itself, can be subjective. Find out more in Forget Green Stocks, "Green" Will Do.)

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