In an ever-shifting job market, what occupations have emerged in recent months? According to Payscale, eight positions have emerged as more valuable now than they were five years ago, based on the following factors:
Projected Growth: Data taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on overall growth for the specific job from 2010 to 2020.
Relative Experienced Median Pay: The median of total compensation for the job, based on an employee who has the average amount of experience in the position.
Total Cash Compensation (TCC): Annual salary or hourly wage combined with bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, and other forms of cash earnings.
The top eight jobs are listed below, with descriptions of what the job entails — you may or may not be surprised to see that many of these jobs are linked to “green” industries — for an overview of new opportunities there, see this Military.com article. To access these types of jobs and others, visit the Military.com Job Search section.
Projected Growth (2010-2020): 18.7%
Relative Experienced Median Pay (REMP): $98,600
Job Description: According to IBM, a data scientist is somebody who “is inquisitive, who can stare at data and spot trends.” A traditional data analyst may look only at data from a single source, but a data scientist will explores and examines data from multiple sources. The data scientist will sift through all incoming data with the goal of discovering a previously hidden insight, which in turn can provide a competitive advantage or address a pressing business problem. A data scientist does not simply collect and report on data, but also looks at it from many angles, determines what it means, then recommends ways to apply the data.
Video Game Designer
Projected Growth: 32.4%
Job Description: According to a guide to video game work by the Department of Labor, “Designers are video game dreamers. They imagine almost everything about and in a game. To develop a game, teams of designers write detailed descriptions of their ideas for all of its parts, including plot, characters, and gameplay. The teams hold regular meetings and select the best concepts. When a game is in production, designers work closely with programmers and artists to ensure that their designs are being followed. Designers frequently use scripting languages, a type of programming language that controls applications, to view their ideas within the prototype game. Scripting languages do not require extensive coding and allow designers to test various concepts as they arise in gameplay. Then, designers choose the concept they like best. If issues arise during production, designers might have to go back and edit or review the game design document.”
Projected Growrth: 18.7%
Job Description: Sustainability consultants give advice to businesses on how to make their products as ecologically sustainable as is required or requested. They can give advice on the engineering challenges in meeting modern day building standards, such as making buildings and businesses more “green.” Sustainability consultants for building construction focus largely on the energy performance of a building: how much energy will be needed to heat, cool, or otherwise power a building, and how efficiently this energy can be recycled. They might also consult on the source of the energy if it will be from an alternative source.
Solar Sales Consultant
Projected Growth: 16.4%
Job Description: Responsibilities may vary, but here’s a typical example: “Solar sales consultants will spend a great deal of time traveling to and visiting with prospective customers. Responsibilities include sales of residential/commercial solar electric systems, evaluating customers’ current kilowatt usage and financial return on investment, and creating solar energy installation proposals for customers that meet their needs.”
Social Media Manager
Projected Growth: 13.6%
Job Description: Think Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of online outreach. Combine that with public relations and marketing savvy, as well as creative and analytical skills, and you get your typical social media manager. With more businesses looking to build on their online presence through social media, jobs in this field should continue to multiply in the years ahead. In terms of day-to-day tasks, social media managers execute strategies for building and driving user traffic to business websites, leveraging customer and market information to deepen user engagement across social channels, and driving member registration and subscriptions.
Wind Turbine Mechanical Engineer
Projected Growth: 8.8%
Job description: According to Mymajors.com, these engineers work from blueprints, technical drawings, schematics, or computer-generated reports, developing and testing turbine models. They confer with engineers or other personnel to implement operating procedures, resolve system malfunctions, or provide technical information.
Solar Energy / Solar Power Engineer
Projected Growth: 6.6%
Job Description: These engineers perform site-specific engineering analysis of energy efficiency and solar projects involving residential, commercial, or industrial customers. They also design solar domestic hot water and space heating systems for new and existing structures, applying knowledge of structural energy requirements, local climates, solar technology, and thermodynamics.
Solar Energy Systems Designer
Projected Growth: 6.6%
Job Description: Insidejobs.com describes this job as follows: “As a Solar Energy Systems Designer, you might also be an Electrical Engineer. That’s because Solar Energy Systems Designers work in the field of electrical engineering. You know about electrical currents and voltage, but you’ve also mastered the art of reading the sun. Your job requires you to visit homes and businesses where the solar system is to be installed. You monkey around on the roof, take measurements, figure out the slope, and evaluate how many panels the roof can accommodate. In addition, you calculate the direction and angle of the sun’s rays so that you can ascertain the amount of energy that can be collected. Back in your office, you use grid paper and computer programs to sketch out the actual design. That might be for a water-heating system, heating a barn, or sole solar reliance for a cabin off the power grid. Whatever the challenge, you consider pumps, batteries, storage, usage, flow rate, and layout to create the most effective design for your customer’s needs. With an approved design in hand, you may also travel back to the job site to oversee installation.”