Discovering potential business and career opportunities is a lot like assembling a jigsaw puzzle. To succeed, you need skills in identifying patterns, finding missing parts and visualizing the big picture. While dozens of variables could affect a new business or job search, success often springs from knowledge of emerging trends in the marketplace.
According to a recent labor market study by CareerBuilder, three catalysts in the U.S. marketplace affect certain occupations, industries and related businesses. These trends, which have accelerated the demand for certain services, products and skill sets, are creating opportunities for both entrepreneurs and job seekers.
"Whether we're talking about the rise of the sharing economy, the power of smart technology, or companies communicating in multiple languages or time zones, these trends are moving the needle on job growth for a wide variety of fields," Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder and co-author of "The Talent Equation" (McGraw-Hill Education, 2013), said in a statement.
Although the restaurant business has long been perceived as a risky enterprise with a high failure rate, employment figures suggest a growing demand for well-managed eating establishments. One key indicator is the rate of job growth in the restaurant business from 2012 to 2016. During that time span, nearly 165,000 jobs were added, an increase of 16 percent.
The study also noted that Americans are becoming more health-conscious. The growing popularity of grocery stores that specialize in organically grown, unprocessed food is one of several signs of an escalating consumer demand for products and services that support healthier lifestyles. Additionally, the 12 percent job expansion in the fitness profession reflects increasing opportunities for personal trainers, aerobics instructors, and entrepreneurs starting gym or fitness businesses.
Predictably, technology continues to play a growing role in everything from business management and marketing to home security and vacation planning. In many parts of the country, career and business startup opportunities are available for software developers, tech-savvy marketing managers and IT consultants, the CareerBuilder study said.
Looking at the big picture, the growth rate of the U.S. technology market is expected to climb from 5.1 percent in 2016 to 5.9 percent in 2017, based on projections from Forrester Research released earlier this year.
The trend toward a more global approach to doing business is also opening doors for consultants, corporations and aspiring entrepreneurs. As companies seek to gain a greater understanding of international markets, more opportunities will emerge for market research analysts. That profession has shown a 15 percent rate of job growth over the past four years, and is expected to continue growing.
The move toward globalization is also creating a stronger demand for cartographers to develop maps for mobile phones and navigation systems. Professionals fluent in several languages are also increasingly sought after in the corporate world.
Globalization has also affected the job market in the environmental arena. The occupation that has shown the most growth in recent years is wind turbine service technician, the report showed. CareerBuilder attributed the 37 percent surge in hiring in this field to "a greater emphasis on preserving the global environment."
The CareerBuilder study was conducted through the company's labor market analysis arm, Emsi, which collects and interprets data from more than 100 employment resources.