“What do you want to be when you grow up?” must be our favorite question to ask kindergarten students. And then when you get to high school, it seems like everybody and his uncle asks, “What are you going to do after graduation?” Later, when we reach our 30s and 40s, adults can ask the question too: “What’s the right career for me?”
Wherever you’re at on your career journey, it’s helpful to see which industries are currently thriving.
Most of us want a career that fits our interests/goals AND also has a promising future of job opportunities. No shame if you love 1920’s fashion trends or vintage arcade game design, but to be honest there are only so many jobs that will put that knowledge to use!
Whatever your passions, where ever your interests lay, you’ll want to check out these trending industries.
How did we get this information?
The MS Department of Employment Security keeps a close eye on which industries are growing or shrinking in the Magnolia State.
We carefully reviewed their Occupational Employment Projections reports which cover both 10-year projections (2018-2028) and short-term projections (2020-2022). The Short-Term Projections were revised in mid-2021 with insights due to the pandemic.
These reports can help us see both the immediate and longer-term outlook on our state’s jobs to help YOU make decisions about your future career path. For this article we focused on career paths that have strong projections in both the short- and long-term in MS.
We feature specific industry segments that are expected to perform well in the percentage increase AND that also result in a significant number of job openings each year.
For instance, it’s projected that the job role of Economist will increase by 25% in MS by 2028… but that only means an addition of an average of 5 job openings per year. This article focuses on rising industries that also provide a significant number of potential job openings
We also reviewed US industry projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment site observations and other sources that we’ve referenced below.
2022 Trending Industries & Jobs in Mississippi
Thanks to our review, you won’t have to wade through all of the numbers unless you want to. Take a look at some of the top trending industries in our state right now:
No surprise here: the COVID-19 pandemic put the spotlight on the importance of the medical industry!
Don’t skip over healthcare even if you’re scared of blood, guts, and long hours in medical school. There are a host of occupations in the medical field that don’t include direct patient care. You can also pursue a career in the medical field at any level of education. Here are a few occupations you could consider:
- Pharmacy technician
- Healthcare support personnel
- Speech-language pathologist
There is still a strong need for physicians, registered nurses, and medical assistants/aides, but hopefully you’ll consider a job in the medical field even if you don’t prefer direct patient care.
This job segment is already growing much more quickly than expected for the 2018-2028 period. (Source 1 and source 2) Computers and information systems like networks are the lifeblood of every industry, so technical experience can give you job opportunities in all kinds of workplaces! Additionally, the pandemic forced many industries to rely even more heavily on computer technology.
There are all kinds of trending jobs in the tech sector:
- Software & web developer
- Network administrator & specialist
- Systems analyst
- IT support specialist
- Software quality assurance analyst & tester
These terms can sound complicated, but you might be more “techy” than you think. If you’re curious about a career in tech, check out some of the career change resources listed below for more information.
Like we said about the medical field: don’t skip over the education field just because you don’t want to become an elementary school teacher. The education field encompasses everything from pre-K teaching to doctoral degree administration to job-specific training. If you know something important today, it’s highly likely that someone taught you.
Here are just a few job options in this field:
- Self-enrichment education teacher
- Postsecondary (college) health & nursing instructor (there are postsecondary education jobs available in many industries)
- Teacher assistant
There’s also a significant demand for elementary and secondary school teachers and substitute teachers. School districts vary, but many allow you to be a substitute teacher as long as you have a bachelor’s degree – no teaching certificate required. This is a flexible career within the education sector, and it can help you discover if you’d like to make a long-term impact in education.
Community Social Services
This sector can intersect with the medical and education fields, along with many other industries. It encompasses many roles such as counselors, health educators, and therapists along with the traditional social worker. It’s such a broad field and is a valuable career path if you want to help make people’s lives better.
Here are some example job categories that are trending in the social services sector:
- Community health worker
- Mental health counselor
- Social & human services assistant
- School counselor
By the way, you don’t have to be perfect to help others in your community with social services. MS colleges also offer valuable training and degree programs to prepare our state’s social service professionals.
Finally, the field of management is not an industry as much as a career path. It’s important to feature here because every industry requires managers and supervisors, and it’s a rapidly-growing career option. This sector featured prominently in the MS employment projections.
Do you like to boss people around? Just kidding… that’s a common stereotype of managers! Managers and supervisors may manage people and/or projects and assets. Management characteristics include strategic thinking, listening, written and verbal communication, motivation, big picture AND detail-oriented thinking, and more. Managers provide a vital role that can make or break any workplace.
Example management jobs:
- Computer or information systems manager
- Financial Manager
- Medical & health services manager
- Natural sciences manager
- Education administrator from preschool to postsecondary roles
- First-line supervisor (high demand in many industries)
Maybe you have knowledge in a particular industry and want to move ahead in your career. Pursuing some additional education like an associate or bachelor’s degree could give you the edge that will help you advance into managerial positions.
How do I know if I should pursue a future in one of these trending industries?
In kindergarten, it’s easy to think you have the perfect career picked out. Most of us lose this clarity as we grow up though, so if you need some help deciding, here are a few resources:
- Career centers at colleges: Many offer career aptitude tests that can help you explore industries and specific job roles that you might not have considered. Learn more.
- Mississippi WIN job centers: Find a center near you to access free career counseling and a variety of career resources.
- Connect 2 Careers: Mississippi job resources connecting you to employers who are looking for qualified candidates just like you.
- C2C Coaches: Many MS adults who have earned college credits (but have not finished their degrees) qualify for the C2C program, which includes financial aid and access to a coach who can provide career and higher education guidance. Learn more about the C2C coaches here.
Next steps if you’re ready for a change
You’ve read this far so you’ve already taken the first step toward a career in a trending industry: Explore! Discovering the trending careers might light some “idea fireworks” in your brain.
Your next step could be to Experience an interesting industry further. This could include deeper research into jobs, but optimally, you should interview someone in the field or even do a grown-up “field trip.” Take tours, shadow someone in the industry for a day or two, or even do volunteer work in the sector. Getting an internship or an entry-level job in the field can also be a gateway into the industry you’re discovering.
Finally, fill in any gaps you may have with Education. This could include free training (YouTube binge night, anyone?), job-specific certifications, or college education. People with associate or bachelor’s degrees earn a lot more money on average than those with just a high school diploma, so completing a degree can make a big difference in your long-term success.
At each step of your career journey, be sure to also explore the Mississippi Complete 2 Compete (C2C) program options. The free C2C program helps MS adults who have some college credits to return to school to complete associate or bachelor’s degrees. Students access vital resources to help them complete college more quickly and for less money. It even offers a grant for each qualifying semester that can save you thousands on college costs. Learn more and apply.
- Maybe you don’t know what you want to “be when you grow up.”
- Maybe you’re still searching for the job that you’re excited to go to every day.
- Maybe you are just hunting for a career that pays a great salary so you can live a full life outside of work.
- Maybe you’re happy in your job but wonder if there’s something new and better available for you.
Whatever your reason, exploring the 2022 trending careers might be your first step to a brighter future.
And if it’s still too confusing to pick a career path, you could always become a Guidance/Vocational Counselor to help others choose their careers. This job category is expected to rise by 10% and have over 250 job openings in MS each year!