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by Cathryn Vandewater | February 17, 2011


Tired of hearing how bad the economy is for young job seekers?

Here's some good news: the Bureau of Labor Statistics has released a list of job titles and industries that should still be booming in five or six years. That's enough time for you to figure out what you want to do, finish high school, and make it through undergrad—and still have jobs waiting for you.

If you're not sure about four years of college, you'll be happy to know that a lot of careers with a bright future only require an associate (2 year) degree, or training on the job.

Below are five of the top fastest growing industries, and the jobs they encompass—each sorted from lowest to highest degree of required education.

1. Consulting services (Management, scientific, and technical)

Jobs Affected:

  • • Compliance officers 31.05% (Long-term on-the-job training)
  • • Environmental engineering technicians, 30.1% (Associate degree)
  • • Biomedical engineers, 72.02% (Bachelor's degree)
  • • Financial examiners, 41.16% (Bachelor's degree)
  • • Environmental engineers, 30.62% (Bachelor's degree)
  • • Survey researchers, 30.36 (Bachelor's degree)
  • • Financial advisors, 30.13% (Bachelor's degree)
  • • Biochemists and biophysicists, 37.42% (Doctoral degree)


Consultants are needed for work on projects in a wide variety of industries, including planning and logistics, government and environmental regulations, employee benefits, and workplace safety—and no technological advances can replace human experience and judgment.

2. Individual and family/educational services services

Jobs Affected:

  • • Occupational therapist aides, 30.74% (Short-term on-the-job training)
  • • Personal and home care aides, 45.99% (Short-term on-the-job training)
  • • Fitness trainers and aerobics instructors, 29.41% (Postsecondary vocational award)
  • • Occupational therapist assistants, 29.78% (Associate degree)
  • • Athletic trainers, 36.95% (Bachelor's degree)
  • • Self-enrichment education teachers, 32.05% (Work experience in a related occupation)

Why: In a poor economic climate, many people invest in their number one asset: themselves. Job seekers take extra classes, parents purchase tutoring and exam prep for their kids, and everyone tries to get in shape.

3. Home health care services / Outpatient, laboratory, and ambulatory care services

Jobs Affected:

  • • Home health aides, 50.01% increase in employment (Short-term on-the-job training)
  • • Physical therapist aides, 36.29% (Short-term on-the-job training)
  • • Pharmacy technicians, 30.57% (Moderate-term on-the-job training)
  • • Skin care specialists, 37.86% (Postsecondary vocational award)
  • • Veterinary technologists and technicians, 35.75% (Associate degree)
  • • Veterinarians, 32.95% (First professional degree)
  • • Physical therapists, 30.27% (Master's degree)

Why: More people are choosing outpatient and/or home care instead of expensive hospital stays, so doctor's office are thriving—and requiring more staff to keep up.

4. Offices of health practitioners

Jobs Affected:

  • • Dental assistants, 35.75% (Moderate-term on-the-job training)
  • • Medical assistants, 33.9%% (Moderate-term on-the-job training)
  • • Dental hygienists, 36.14% (Associate degree)
  • • Physical therapist assistants, 33.28% (Associate degree)
  • • Physician assistants, 38.99% (Master's degree)

Why: An aging population will require more health care services, and better technology is increasing the productivity of health care centers so that they can take on more patients. The result: more hiring.

5. Computer systems design/Data processing, hosting, and information services

Jobs Affected:

  • • Network systems and data communications analysts, 53.36 (Bachelor's degree)
  • • Computer software engineers - applications, 34.01% (Bachelor's degree)
  • • Computer software engineers - systems software, 30.44% (Bachelor's degree)

Why: Businesses consider software and applications a money saving/making investment, so this is one field they're willing to put the money up front in.


Filed Under: Job Search