The fastest growing jobs in 2018 – and beyond


These occupations are among those with the largest percentage growth expected through 2018.

According to the United States Labour Department’s "Occupational Outlook Handbook", these occupations are among those with the largest percentage growth expected through 2018.

Many of these trends are sure to translate to the South African context, so take a look at these professions of the future…

Computer software and systems software engineers

A bachelor’s degree and experience with a variety of software and systems are a must for a successful career. Software engineers must also educate themselves in the latest technology on an ongoing basis.

This profession is expected to grow as the demand for computer networking skills increases, as companies need new Internet applications, system safety, and upgrading.

Environmental engineers

A degree in engineering is required for almost all entry-level engineering jobs.

As engineers move towards preventing problems instead of controlling those which already exist, and also increasing public health concerns resulting from population growth, demand for environmental engineers will increase.

Occupational therapist assistants

Occupational Therapists assess and treat patients to develop, recover, or maintain the daily living and work skills of people with a physical, mental, or cognitive disorder.

As the elderly population increases the need for professionals to treat chronic and debilitating conditions also increases. Patients often need additional assistance in their treatment, making the roles of assistants and aides vital.

Biochemists and biophysicists

A bachelor’s or master’s degree is adequate for many jobs in applied research, product development, management, or inspection but a PhD is often a requirement for independent research and for career advancement.

Biological scientists have seen an increase in career opportunities over the past few decades, matching the growth of the biotechnology industry.

Athletic trainers

Certified trainers are often more successful than those who don’t have a recognised qualification.

As aging baby boomers becoming increasingly concerned with staying healthy and physically fit, the demand for personal and athletic trainers will increase.

Network systems and data communications analyst

Most companies require their analysts to hold a degree, but also place a high value on relevant work experience.

As businesses implement more and newer technology, more professionals will be needed to monitor efficiency and set up networks, and demand for this profession will grow.

If you’re about to graduate with a qualification in any of these fields, your job prospects for the years ahead look great. Even if you’re an experienced professional, a career change or a step up into one of these professions might be tempting.

However, these forecasts don't predict sudden changes in the supply of job seekers, which can happen in our current volatile economy, and planning your long-term career around these reports isn’t a sure-fire way to ensure job security after school. 

So you could just focus on doing what you love, like these local professionals did:

- Elizabeth Mamacos