Job Search Tips

Top 5 Hottest Jobs With The Most Potential for 2017

Written by Kate Lopaze

As the New Year approaches, maybe it’s also time for a new you? Or maybe just a new work you? If you’re looking for a career change, one of these five buzzy jobs could be the one for you.

1. Survey Research

Did you know that 4 out of 5 survey researchers recommend this career path? If you think you could be the next Nate Silver, then helping companies surf the numbers to find patterns and predict trends might be the right path for you.

This is a pretty highly skilled area (you’d likely need a master’s degree and a background in statistics, sociology, and business), but it’s lucrative (it has a $45,050 median salary for 2017) and expected to grow 18 percent by 2022, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Survey says…look into it!

2. Software App Developer

Okay, so for every developer who sells an app for $15 million and retires to a condo in Silicon Valley, there are hundreds of developers who have more of an everyday software career. But if you go in this direction, it could be you who comes up with the next Candy Crush.

This is definitely a wave-of-the-future career, with more hands needed on deck all the time to create, develop, and maintain software applications. With a Bachelor’s degree and some hands-on coding and programming experience, app developers can make a median salary of $90,000. That’s a lot of Candy Crush boosters, no? Plus, the field is growing like gangbusters: in fewer than 10 years, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects 23 percent growth.

3. Travel Agent

Full disclosure: I wasn’t even aware until recently that travel agents are still a thing. How is this possible, when we do everything over the internet now? Fact is, travel agents have not only adapted to the growing tech and self-service parts of travel, they have positioned themselves as travel ambassadors. You might not walk into a storefront full of fake palm trees anymore and have someone phone the airline to book your ticket, but a travel agent (often someone who works from home on a freelance basis) can help you navigate for a better deal and manage booking arrangements on your behalf. Travel agents today have an average salary of $56,000—not to mention a suite of sweet travel perks.

4. Physician Assistant

Jobs in the medical sector are always a great bet—as immortal as we may think we are, we all need healthcare at some point. Physicians’ assistants are especially in demand right now, as they’re increasingly used to fill gaps caused by doctor and nurse shortages.

These jobs typically require a two-year training program and a certification, and have a median salary of $74,980. The field is expected to grow a whopping 27 percent in 2017.

5. Veterinary Technicians

Just before Black Friday, I got an email from a major pet store chain (which shall remain nameless) telling me to shop now for gifts to “surprise your pet for the holidays.” Pretty much everything surprises my dog, so I can’t say I spent much at that store. However, it showed me how the pet industry has become Serious Business. Someone who tries hard to surprise his cat with the perfect holiday gift is likely also someone who takes good care of said cat, and wants quality veterinary care.

If you like animals (even the less cuddly ones) and are willing to take a 1-2 year training program, you could be the one providing that care. The median salary for vet techs is $27,750, but what it lacks in gold watches, it more than makes up for in puppy cuddles. Or snake cuddles. Whatever floats your boat. Either way, it’s a solid career path with lots of growth potential (41% projected by 2022).

Whether you jump right into a new career or take a few classes to get started, 2017 could be a major turning point for your professional life. Think outside the resume, and you might find the exact right opportunity for yourself.


About the author

Kate Lopaze

Kate Lopaze is a writer, editor, and digital publishing professional based in New York City. A graduate of the University of Connecticut and Emerson College with degrees in English and publishing, she is passionate about books, baseball, and pop culture (though not necessarily in that order), and lives in Brooklyn with her dog.