10 Fastest Growing Careers and Which Online Degrees to Help

Fastest Growing CareersWith a hard economy, it’s important to know what careers will experience the most growth and better salary over the years. As many businesses and industries go under, there are still those other careers which are experiencing rapidly increasing need for professionals.

Online schools have followed these trends, developing rigorous and specialized vocational training, while others are more advanced, providing bachelor and graduate degree programs for students. Those who earn online degrees for these careers are able to transition quickly, particularly as colleges create more accelerated online programs to handle the need for these job markets. Here are the top 10 professions according to statistics and numbers by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Network systems and data communications analyst

The projected increased in 2016 is expected to be the greatest for this profession. With a 54 percent increase, network systems and data communications analyst held 262,000 jobs and had an average pay of almost $70,000, though those with their own private businesses will have the most success. The jobs in this field require a bachelor’s degree, but a two-year vocational degree is also sufficient with the right training. Earned degrees provide the most independent programs for those who want to study on their own and develop their own systems. Businesses will implement more technology with newer ideas for integration, and network analysts will be needed to monitory and set up networks.

Personal and home care aides

The jobs for this field are expected to grow by over 50 percent. There were also an incredible amount of jobs available for personal and home care aids, about 800,000. Online degrees provide programs with both on-the-job training and core content, through video lectures. Most states require at least an associate’s degree with a specialization for elderly care. Rapid job growth is expected as there will be new generations graduating to senior citizen status, which will depend on home care. The average pay for this profession is $18,180.

Computer Applications Software Engineers

Online DegreesWith the current technology progressing at a constant rate, it’s no surprise that the job market will continue to provide successful job placement for those who want to work in computer applications and software engineering. The projected increase is about 45 percent according to the BLS. There were almost 507,000 employed in 2006. While the average pay is about $82,000, those who start their own companies and firms providing personalized software or products that relate to specialized industries, will make the most money. With individualized programs,  degrees provide the biggest flexibility for computer majors, who want to create their own software and programs. Bachelor’s degrees are the minimum requirement to work in this field as well.

Veterinary technologists and technicians

This position is a little different than a typical animal doctor. Veterinary technologists and technicians are like nurses for veterinarians. They provide help in private clinical practices and aid in tasks that are carried out by the overseeing veterinarian. Degrees typically last for one to two years, earning an associate’s in veterinary technology. Vocational degrees are also incredibly popular for this job market. There are about 160 veterinary technology programs. The median income for veterinary technologists and technicians is about $30,000, but there were almost 75,000 employed in 2006. This number is expected to increase by 41 percent through 2016.

Personal financial advisers

One of the fastest growing jobs is personal financial advisers. This profession will experience a 41 percent increase by 2016. Currently, there are over 176,000 jobs for financial advisers, and the pay isn’t that bad either. At about $66,000 a year, personal financial advisers need at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting, economics or statistics to work within the financial industry and keep up with the changes. Like financial analysts, financial advisers work one-on-one with clients, giving guidance to businesses and individuals to make the right investment decisions.

Theatrical and performance makeup artists

If the world of cosmetology is inspiring to you, makeup and set design is expected to experience a 40 percent growth by 2016. Training for this profession is competitive, with a focus on independent creativity and specialize in makeup training. The average pay for those who go into theatrical and performance artistry is $36,000 per year. Degrees for cosmetology, theatrical design and makeup are all beneficial to those seeking new techniques, professional training and facial props. There is still a relatively small pool of jobs for this profession, so you have to rely on your creativity and personal portfolio.

Medical assistants

Online degrees for medical assistants are incredibly sophisticated. It is one of the most popular careers due to the accelerated programs and great need for medical assistants throughout the medical community. There is expected to be a 36 percent increase in the job market according to BLS. There were also 417,000 jobs for medical assistants in 2006. If that isn’t enough to motivate you into a career, medical assistants make between $26,000 and $50,000 to start, depending on location and type of medical clinic. Online programs award one-year certificates or two-year associate’s degree that enable students to become medical assistants and earn on-the-job training.


There is expected by almost a 28 percent increase in jobs for veterinarians in 2016. There are already about 78,000 employed in America alone. With the average pay at $82,000, veterinarians have very lucrative business opportunities, particularly if they set up their own animal clinics. However, veterinarians need to get through a four-year post-grad program, which are available online, in veterinary medicine. Veterinarians also need to be licensed by the state. Pet owners will continue to need non-traditional services, such as dental care, for various animals. Those who specialize in feline, canine, and equine care have the most success. Advances in this career will also give veterinarians the ability to work on hip replacements, blood transfusions and cancer treatments.

Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 34.3 percent increase for this profession. There were 83,000 jobs in 2006. With an average pay of $36,000 a year, counselors will continue to enjoy success as there will be a focus on rehabilitation for criminals and drug abusers in the next few years. The demand will continue to rise as people voluntarily seek treatment and drug abusers are placed in rehab facilities, rather than jails, which are already at full capacity. However, in order to be successful in this field, you need certain qualifications. Colleges have met this demand with online degrees in education, psychology, counseling and human services. Courses will center around human growth and development, social and cultural diversity and group work, with other courses focusing on career development and other counseling techniques.

Financial analysts

In order to find work in this field, you need at least a bachelor’s in accounting or related field, such as economics, statistics or business. There is a 33.8 percent increase expected for financial analysts in the job market. Those who choose to study accounting and finance have considerable success in this field. The median pay currently is almost $80,000 per year. The financial industry will continue to grow in size, and the demand for analysts, especially in mutual funds, will make it one of the more popular fields. Degrees programs focus considerably on math, analytical, and problem-solving skills, but curriculum will focus on analyzing money markets, tax laws and the economy. There are also certifications that can study for and take online courses to prepare for, particularly the test by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to become licensed.