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The Top 13 Career Paths That Offer Opportunity in 2022 and Beyond

Choosing a career path can be a daunting task. You want to pick something that appeals to you and that matches your talents and skills, but there is also a practical side of things. You want to be sure that there is an opportunity not just now but for the years to come. It doesn’t make sense to pour yourself into potentially years’ worth of schooling and training if the job will become obsolete within the near future or there’s too much competition to make it worthwhile.

While there is no simple answer to what path to take, there are some careers that are showing promise right now and in the future. Let’s take a look at some trending career paths that are showing signs of growth in 2022 and could be perfect for you.

Nurse Practitioner

If you’re looking at one industry that is growing immensely with no signs of stopping, look no further than healthcare. The amount of jobs available is quite staggering, and with so much of the baby boomer generation either entering retirement now or shortly, the number of opportunities will only keep growing.

It’s impossible to name all the healthcare jobs that are in demand right now, so instead here’s one that may not currently be on your radar but it should be. Nurse Practitioners are quickly becoming the most in-demand job in the healthcare industry. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics,NP jobs are expected to grow by a shocking 52% from 2020-to 2030. That is extremely good news for anyone eyeing this field. Not only that, but more and more states are providing autonomy of practice to nurse practitioners, which raises demand further.

If you already have your Master’s degree in nursing (MSN) and an RN license, this could be the perfect time to look into accelerated DNP programs. You’ll walk away with the most advanced, highest, and essential skills possible. You’ll then be able to work in a leadership role or a clinical setting.

Speech-Language Pathologist

Also in the healthcare industry is the career of a speech-language pathologist. This particular path isn’t always one people jump to when considering a healthcare career but it can be perfect for the right people. In this job, you’ll be working with both kids and adults to assess and diagnose communication and swallowing disorders. It will also be your job to create a treatment plan and work with your patients. Sometimes it’s not about treating disorders; instead, it is about preventing them.

As for job growth, it is much higher than the national average and is predicted to grow by 29% from 2020-to 2030. You’ll need a master’s degree for this path, and on-the-job training will include internship/residency. The median pay is $79,060 as of 2021.

This can be a particularly rewarding job, and while it is patient-facing, it’s very different froma general physician or working in an emergency care setting.

Home Health Aide

With so much of the population heading into their senior years, the role of a home health aide has never been more important. It’s worth noting that home health aides don’t only work with seniors, but that is a big part of their patientportfolio. A home health aide can make it possible for seniors to stay in their homes longer and not have to worry about going to an assisted living facility.

In looking at the stats again this career path is enjoying exceptional levels of growth. From 2020-to 2030 the BLS expects jobs to grow by 33%. The median pay as of 2021 is $29,430.

What can make this job more rewarding and satisfying is that you can work in a variety of environments. This can include day services, group homes, and client homes. Both full and part-time work is usually available, which means you can be in control of your schedule.

Your main responsibilities are to provide care to people with chronic illnesses and/or disabilities that affect their ability to go about daily activities.

Optometrist

Yet another healthcare industry job that is showing signs of growth is an optometrist. An optometrist is a medical professional who cares for your eye health. This means diagnosing and treating eye diseases, preoperative care, postoperative care, prescribing medication, prescribing eyewear, and much more.

You will need a doctoral or professional degree for this career. Typically you will work in an office or a doctor’s office. The average yearly salary is $124,300 according to BLS.

Job growth is decent on this path, meaning it is inline with the national job growth average. It’s not growing as fast as some other positions, but there are still opportunities out there for those with an interest in the field.

Pediatrician

Do you enjoy working with children? Do you like the idea of being able to help them and make a positive impact in their lives? If so then the job of a pediatrician could be perfect for you. Yes, this is another healthcare position, but it just goes to show how many paths are available in the industry. To sum it up a pediatrician is responsible for diagnosing and treating injuries and diseases in children. They also help to prevent issues from happening by offering advice and information.

As for the salary, that comes down to where you will be practicing and your experience.To excel in this job you need to have excellent people skills, be sensitive to the needs of children, and be an excellent communicator. Patience will also help as kids can be quite nervous around the doctor.

Software Engineer

Stepping outside the healthcare industry there are many other fabulous opportunities available in 2022 and beyond, with one being a software engineer. This is a perfect path for those who love computers and all things IT-related. The field is growing very fast, which is why there is such demand at the moment. All you have to do is take a look at how much technology people use in their daily lives and suddenly it becomes clear why software engineers are so important.

If you like the idea of working with computer languages, programs, and algorithms then you will probably want to take a deep dive into what this career can offer. You will be creating software such as a user interface design or you will be programming. It takes an analytical mind and someone with an eye for detail to excel in such a position.

Web Developer

How much time do you spend browsing various sites online?  Now think about how many websites exist and you’ll begin to understand the importance of web developers. According to the BLS, this career is growing faster than the national average and the average yearly salary is $77,200.

In this job, you’ll be the one making and designing websites, plus it will be your responsibility to maintain them. There is plenty of creativity involved but it’s important to note that you’ll be running plenty of tests to ensure all works as intended.

A big benefit of this job is the fact you can be self-employed or work at a company. This gives you options, something that many people appreciate. It also means that whatever you start with, you can always change things up later in your career. For example, you may start with a large company to gain experience and then open your own business later on.

IT Manager

Are you looking for a management-level job in the field of IT? As an IT manager, you will be the person who plans, oversees, and directs everything related to that company’s IT systems. Depending on the size of the company, you may be the only one in the department or you may be managing a large number of employees.

There are many facets to this job including analyzing the company’s needs, implementing an IT system, upgrading it when necessary, making improvements, monitoring it, training, and more.

Data Scientist

The words “big data” aren’t just buzz words, they refer to real data that is being analyzed by all kinds of professionals – and data scientists are one of them. As a data scientist, you need to be able to analyze and interpret data so that you can apply it in different ways. This is done using statistics, testing, infrastructure, and more. It’s the perfect kind of job for people who like to peel away the layers of a problem and get to the root.

Some of the key responsibilities in this job include collecting data, processing the data, conducting an in-depth analysis of the data, storing the data safely, applying different techniques to the data, measuring results, and reporting on your findings.

Different jobs fit into this category and they don’t all go by the name “data scientist”. You may also wish to look at such careers as a data engineer, data analyst, data architect, or business intelligence specialist. Each one is unique, but they all deal with big data.

Marketing Manager

If you like the idea of a fast-paced career that is always fresh and new, then a marketing manager is worth investigating. Your key job is to make sure that your client’s customers are happy, but that means you need to figure out how to market and sell their products in a way that achieves the maximum profits.

Having plenty of creativity and flair can help you to be more successful in this job. It’s also another one where excellent communication skills are needed. Job growth is listed as 10% from 2020-to 2030, which is still above the national average.

Public Relations Specialist

Do you have excellent communication skills – listening, writing, and reading? Do you like the idea of crafting messages for the public or companies and working to create an image for your clients? These are exactly the kind of things that a public relations specialist deals with.

Again, it is enjoying faster than average job growth and the median pay is $62,800 in 2021. You may work for a large public relations company, a professional association, a school, media buyers, or an organization. Your job is to ensure your client’s public image is positive, which means crafting and delivering the messaging.

Accountant

While this job isn’t always thought of as glamorous, for the right people it can be the ideal job. As an accountant, you will be dealing with finances. You may wish to work with individual clients (personal taxes), work for an accounting firm, or work in an accounting department of a company. The basic responsibilities in this job are to prepare and then maintain all the important financial reports such as tax returns.

Civil Engineer

Would you like to make an impact on the very infrastructure that surrounds us all? This is what a civil engineer is responsible for as they plan, design, and then construct infrastructure. As a civil engineer, you’ll also be responsible for managing projects that can be relatively small or quite large. Projects can include building railways, highways, airports, bridges, mass transit, power plants, water supply systems, schools, and so much more.

Today, there is a real push for intelligent structures and smart vehicles, and highways. Watch for this trend to only grow in size and it will be civil engineers that can answer the call. Many are even referring to this period as the revolution of the industry. Times are changing and civil engineers are helping to lead the charge in envisioning new ways to live and exist in towns and cities.

2022 Is Proving to Be Very Exciting on the Job Front

If you’re eyeing a career change or your first career, the good news is that there are a lot of paths worth looking into for 2022 and beyond. Many industries are enjoying faster than average job growth, which is very exciting. The only question you have to ask yourself is which path most appeals to you so you can figure out what steps you need to take to land your dream job.

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