A new report reveals the fastest-growing industries from 2010 to 2020 - and the importance of a college degree to pursue a career in one of them.After the Great Recession of the past several years, the country seems to finally be getting back on its feet. But will it look the same in terms of employment?
A new report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce* says no. And there are two factors that are driving this conclusion: a shift in industries that are projected to be the fastest-growing in the U.S. from 2010 to 2020, coupled with the increasing importance of a college degree for many jobs in these industries.
For example, in a different Georgetown report from 2010**, the industries that topped the fastest-growing list from 2008 to 2018 were health care and STEM (science, technology, engineering, math). But neither of these industries is first on the list in the 2013 report.
And the importance of a postsecondary education continues to grow. "What's clear is that in the past decade, the entry-level skill and education requirement has gone way up," says Anthony P. Carnevale, the center's director and co-author of the study. In fact, of the 55 million job openings that are forecasted from 2010 to 2020, 65 percent - or 36 million - will require some college education.
We dove deeper into the report and took a look at the five fastest-growing post-recession industries, along with the education you may need to pursue a career in one of them. So read on, because some of the information may be quite educational.
#1: Private Education ServicesRate of Growth from 2010 to 2020: 28 percent*
With parents more concerned than ever about the quality of their kids' education, private education has grown rapidly in the past few decades, Carnevale says. And since it shows no sign of slowing down, he doesn't see it as a surprise that this was the number one fastest-growing industry in the Recovery 2020 study.
Why It's Growing: "More and more people recognize that the quality of their children's education will pretty much determine their ability to pass on their middle-class status - or to leverage their kids into the middle class, if they themselves aren't in the middle class," says Carnevale. So, parents are taking more control of their kids' education through private schools, he says.
Why College Is Required: The vast majority of the workers in this group are teachers and principals, says Carnevale. "And they're very highly educated. The overwhelming majority has at least some college and often bachelor's and graduate degrees," he says.
Potential Career: Elementary school teacher
Love the idea of helping the next generation learn new concepts and skills? How about working with individual students to challenge them and developing and enforcing classroom rules? That's what the U.S. Department of Labor says teachers do. And according to the Department of Labor, private elementary schools typically seek teachers who have a bachelor's degree in elementary education.
Next step: Click to Find the Right K-12 Program Now.
The Department says that job opportunities for elementary teachers (both public and private) are expected to grow by 17 percent from 2010 to 2020, or by 248,800 jobs.
#2: Health Care ServicesRate of Growth from 2010 to 2020: 26 percent*
With just about every person in America needing some kind of health care service, this has long been a big growth industry, says Carnevale. Perhaps the only shocker, then, is that it came in at number two, not number one.
Why It's Growing: One of the biggest drivers of growth has been nurses, says Carnevale. "Nurses have been a big growth profession for a very long time, for the last decade or two," he says. Another big reason is an aging nation. Baby boomers are hitting retirement age, but are living longer and needing more health services, because they want to stay healthy and active into their twilight years, he says.
Why College Is Required: Although there are many jobs in health care that don't require college degrees, says Carnevale, more and more jobs require some post-high school education. As for that big job driver, "[nursing is] moving toward a bachelor's requirement more and more," says Carnevale.
Potential Career: Registered nurse
If you've always enjoyed helping people get well or educating them on how to stay healthy, a career as a nurse could be a good fit. To prepare, the U.S. Department of Labor says most nurses take one of three educational paths: a bachelor's of science in nursing (BSN), an associate's degree in nursing (ADN), or a diploma from an accepted nursing program. Registered nurses also must be licensed.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Nursing Program.
According to the Department of Labor, job opportunities for registered nurses should be "excellent," with a growth of more than 700,000 jobs, or 26 percent, from 2010 to 2020.
#3: Professional & Business ServicesRate of Growth from 2010 to 2020: 25 percent*
This category includes the army of mostly college-educated workers that both big and small companies hire as independent contractors, says Carnevale. These contractors can be anything from paralegals and lawyers to architects and managers, says Carnevale.
Why It's Growing: "This category didn't even exist prior to 2000," says Carnevale. "So the growth in business services really reflects that there's a fundamental structural change in our economy." That change is a trend toward businesses contracting out as much work as they can, says Carnevale. "So the contracting out of technical, managerial, professional, and support workers has been enormous."
Why College Is Required: Carnevale says that this group is made up of a lot of white-collared workers, including a lot of management positions [that require college degrees]. "They are mostly professionals, so it's a huge employer for college graduates," says Carnevale.
Potential Career: Paralegal
If you're not ready for years of law school, a career as a paralegal may be a good alternative for entering this booming occupational group. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, paralegals investigate facts for cases, help lawyers prepare for trials, and even assist them in court. The Department of Labor says most paralegals have an associate's degree in paralegal studies or a bachelor's degree in any subject with a certificate in paralegal studies.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Paralegal Program.
According to the Department, job opportunities for paralegals are projected to grow by almost 46,900 jobs, or 18 percent, from 2010 to 2020.
#4: Financial ServicesRate of Growth 2010 to 2020: 25 percent*
Did you think that the collapse of Wall Street a few years back meant the collapse in demand for those skilled in finance? Well, think again, says Carnevale. "It always surprises people that this sector is growing, but it is," he says.
Why It's Growing: "Financial structures became more and more complicated - so complicated they eventually collapsed. But as a result of that complexity, every institution has a finance person. That wasn't true 20 years ago. But now, it's a must," says Carnevale.
Why College Is Required: Carnevale says that this group is a very educated one, with many bachelor's and master's degrees in finance, business, and other related fields. He says these workers need to be educated in not only finance and business economics, but also the latest government regulations.
Potential Career: Financial analyst
Do you like the idea of studying economic and business trends for a living? How about suggesting investment strategies to businesses and individuals? Those are just a few of the things financial analysts do, says the U.S. Department of Labor. Many positions require a bachelor's degree in a field such as business administration, accounting, finance, economics, or statistics, says the Department of Labor.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Finance Program.
According to the Department, financial analyst jobs will grow 23 percent, or by 54,200 openings, from 2010 to 2020.
#5: Leisure & HospitalityRate of Growth 2010 to 2020: 18 percent*
This industry is a lot more than a battalion of maids and tour guides making your vacation memorable. In fact, the leisure and hospitality industry, says Carnevale, is made up of 30 to 40 percent college-educated professionals. And thanks to the end of the recession, it's growing fast, says Carnevale.
Why It's Growing: "This industry is one of the first to get hit in a recession, because it's the first thing you don't do - take the family trip to the national park. So it takes such a heavy hit in the recession that when the recovery comes, it recovers stronger than a lot of the other industries, because there's a pent-up demand," says Carnevale.
Why College Is Required: You might think that the leisure and hospitality industry has a lot of low-wage, non college-educated workers - and you'd be right. "But they also support a managerial group and technical people, a real mix of professional people that any industry needs to run. So a large number of the industry jobs require college," says Carnevale.
Potential Career: Lodging Manager
These professionals are the people who make sure your hotel stay is a pleasurable one, while also ensuring the efficiency of the hotel and its staff, says the U.S. Department of Labor. Most full-service hotel chains hire managers with a bachelor's degree in hospitality or hotel management, says the Department of Labor. At hotels that provide fewer services, the Department says applicants with an associate's degree or certificate in hotel, restaurant, or hospitality management may qualify.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Hospitality Management Program.
The Department says lodging manager jobs should grow by 8 percent, or more than 4,300 jobs, from 2010 to 2020.