The Best Industries for Career Growth in 2015

Got big plans for your career in 2015? The good news is there should be plenty of opportunity – if you know where to look and how to position yourself accordingly. That’s what the latest SoFi Quarterly Employment Trends report revealed when we released it at the end of last year (the full report is available to SoFi members – contact me for details).

Recent jobs data painted a rosy picture for the US labor market, with the national unemployment rate dipping to its lowest level in six years in October.[1] Whether you’re sefeking a promotion, a raise or a new job, this is great news because low unemployment rates create scarcity and demand for talent – in other words, it’s a great opportunity for you to make your move. Also, as our report notes, certain industries and occupations may offer more professional and compensation upside than others in the coming year.

Ready to take your career to the next level? Here’s a quick guide to some of the big professional growth themes in 2015:

Tech is where it’s at.
According to a recent report by Robert Half, professionals in the technology sector may expect the largest gain in starting base compensation in 2015, with a projected 5.7% increase. Areas like mobile, security and big data are growing fast, resulting in increased demand for relevant skill sets. If you have experience in these particular areas, you’re in luck – companies are expected to pay a premium to recruit and retain talent like you.

Analysis from LinkedIn showed a similar trend, with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines dominating the top 25 skills of LinkedIn members who got hired in 2014. In addition, statistics and data skills were highly valued across the globe.

Risk growth means career growth.
As the regulatory landscape continues to evolve, it’s more important than ever for firms to stay on top of changes and have the proper risk controls in place. Robert Half found that this has resulted in more hiring of risk, compliance and internal audit professionals – and is driving an expected 3.5% growth in finance and accounting starting salaries.

The same report revealed that finance and accounting professionals are expected to have an edge when it comes to the scarcity side of the equation. A reported 68% of CFOs have struggled to find qualified candidates for professional-level positions, indicating a significant undersupply of specialized talent. And where there’s scarcity employers are typically willing to pay up, which could translate to higher compensation and incentive packages for those roles.

Rising rewards for creativity.
Gone are the days when creative career pursuits were considered impractical, money-losing propositions. In today’s technology-driven workforce, creative talent can be positioned to meet growing demand for highly sought-after skills. For example, the rise of the digital era has generated widespread demand for digital marketing and user-experience specialists. This is perhaps the primary reason why Robert Half found that the marketing and creative spaces were tied with finance and accounting for the second largest expected salary growth of 3.5%.


No matter what your career goals are for 2015, I wish you the best in achieving them. Check back on the SoFi blog often this year for job search and professional growth tips from me and other members of the SoFi Career Coaching team.


SoFi is a leader in marketplace lending and the largest provider of student loan refinancing with over $1.5 billion in loans issued. We help ambitious professionals accelerate their success with student loan refinancing, home loans, and personal loans. Learn more about SoFi’s products and services.

[1] Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

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