The skills and knowledge you need to succeed in the fastest-growing jobs in America
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- Certain skills and knowledge can give you an advantage in occupations that are likely to see a lot of employment growth over the next decade.
- We used data from the US Labor Department to find common skills and knowledge areas that have high importance in the fastest-growing jobs.
- Customer and personal service knowledge, active listening, and critical thinking were among the top skills on the list.
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If you are looking to grow your skills or wondering what to study, you may want to focus on subjects that could help you land jobs that are likely to grow quickly in the next few years.
Every two years, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics releases employment projections, estimating how employment in various occupations is likely to grow over the next decade. The most recent projections include a list of the fastest-growing occupations based on the estimated employment change between 2018 and 2028. To determine what changes in occupational employment may look like over 10 years, the BLS used various resources like historical data and scholarly papers.
According to the BLS, two of the broad occupational groups that will be quickly growing are healthcare support, with an expected increase in employment of 18.2%, followed by personal care and services, where employment is projected to grow by 17.4%. Jobs that are predicted to grow within these occupation categories include various kinds of healthcare aides, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners.
To get a sense of what skills are most important to the fastest-growing jobs, we used the Labor Department's Occupational Information Network (O*NET) importance scales regarding skills and knowledge. Based on surveys of employers and workers, these scores range from 0 to 100, where a higher score indicates a more important skill or knowledge area for a particular job.
We looked at the top three skills and knowledge areas for each of the 15 jobs with the highest projected employment growth between 2018 and 2028. Occasionally, there were ties among the top three most important skills and knowledge areas.
For the fastest-growing occupations, there was some overlap in the kinds of skills and knowledge areas that are important to fulfilling job responsibilities. Active listening was the most frequently listed skill among the top three in the 15 fastest-growing jobs, while understanding English and psychology were the top knowledge fields.
It's worth noting that these skills are non-technological ones - O*NET has a separate technology skills section. Although it may be important to have a background in various technology applications, it is interesting to see which social or conceptual skills employees and workers find important in order to succeed in their jobs.
Read on to find out the 15 projected fast-growing jobs between 2018 and 2028, along with their growth rate, average salary in 2018, top skills and knowledge areas, and job description according to O*NET.