Growth industries: The hot fields to train for now

Which growth industries are hiring now and in the near future? If you want to change direction, consider one of these job-rich fields.

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Illustration: Ana Benaroya


Cybersecurity

The inclination toward more sophisticated technology systems spells greater opportunity for cybersecurity specialists, who apply computer science backgrounds to legal and criminal situations to discover, analyze and ward off cybercrimes.

Computer Science graduates must mix practice with theory in order to successfully complete a master of science in Digital Forensics and Cybersecurity at John Jay College (www.jjay.cuny.edu); graduates have gone on to become cyber-investigators, special agents with federal agencies, digital forensic analysts, information security specialists and cybersecurity analysts. Graduate students pursuing an M.S. or certificate in Cybersecurity at NYU-Poly (poly.edu) may do so in person at the school’s Brooklyn campus or, appropriately, online. And they’ll have the National Science Foundation–funded Information Systems and Internet Security (ISIS) laboratory at their disposal.

“Everyone needs security,” notes Nasir Memon, a professor in NYU-Poly’s Computer Science and Engineering department and director of ISIS. “And this need will never go away. If you have assets connected to the Internet, you need to have a security posture to deal with the threats. And you need people who develop, design, build, operate, monitor, maintain and continually evaluate your security posture.” For Memon, the ideal student for a career in cybersecurity is “someone who has a passion for computer science and has the natural curiosity to look deeper into how things work—and how they could fall apart.”

Biotechnology

Repurposing living organisms as a tool for invention is nothing new; medical, agricultural, industrial and environmental professionals have been doing it for hundreds of years. But recent advances in the field of biotechnology—from pharmaceutical development to gene therapy—have created a serious need for qualified professionals who can help to push these developments to the cutting edge.

In an attempt to keep its denizens competitive, the New York City Economic Development Corporation recently launched a Bio & Health Tech Entrepreneurship Lab (nycedc.com/program/bio-health-tech-entrepreneurship-lab-nyc), a six-month “mini-M.B.A.” program focused on building a larger community of self-starting life science and health-care professionals in New York City—and developing the tools to keep them here. Students looking to follow the more traditional route can earn an A.S. in Biotechnology in two years at Kingsborough Community College (www.kbcc.cuny.edu).

Media

While the position of newspaper reporter may soon be as outmoded as Pitman shorthand, the vast digital landscape has created a growing need for media multitaskers—right-brain types who know their SEO from their CPC.

“We’ve definitely seen a shift to social media—everybody needs to know that at this point, whether you’re an editor for a print magazine or you’re just graduating from college or you’re writing a book,” says Jessica Eule, executive director of education at Mediabistro (mediabistro.com), a leading provider of news, research, job listings and education events for the media industry. She notes that the organization has seen an uptick in companies that are on the lookout for technology experts with creative backgrounds, or “someone who has the skills to put together technical things in plain English for people to understand.”

Mediabistro offers a range of classes—both in person and online—with these very job seekers in mind, including instruction in Web analytics, search engine optimization, HTML5 and CSS, and software tutorials in must-have programs like Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Final Cut Pro X. The lineup of educational offerings comes from a mix of industry research, student request and faculty recommendation. “Our teachers are all actively working in the fields they’re teaching,” says Eule, “so they know, day to day, what’s coming up and what’s changing and what people need to know in order to break into that field.”

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