Best Career Choices in 2016

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Once-coveted jobs such as newspaper reporter, broadcaster and disc jockey are now considered some of the worst available, thanks to declining opportunities, falling pay and a lack of job security.

One of the key problems with these roles is that there is huge demand and shrinking supply. Industry changes compound the problem and mean that these sought-after roles are relatively unrewarding and unlikely to lead to long careers.

Employers in America often complain about not being able to find the right talent to fill job vacancies, and the near-record number of open vacancies supports this. In a 2013 Deloitte survey 39% of executives at large companies said they were “barely able” or “unable” to hire the right people, due to a lack of certain skills and experience.

So where is the recruiter demand in 2016? Here are three of the most-promising career opportunities for 2016 according to recruitment website GlassDoor.

Data Scientist

U.S job openings: 1,736

Median base salary: $116,840

Data science is a field all about the collection, processing, analysis and interpretation of data. It encompasses more traditional activities including statistical analysis, machine learning, data mining and predictive analysis.

Businesses in a wide array of sectors see their data as an unexploited opportunity to tap into new growth or efficiencies. More and more business leaders are able to make key decisions based on insights gained through data analysis.

Data science can relate to several different parts of a business including marketing, human relations, business development, inventory management and customer relationship management. Data is playing an increasingly important role in many of these activities.

Data scientists may be expected to apply machine learning and statistical techniques to solve business problems, invent and deploy new solutions, triangulate proprietary data with third party sources, enhance data collection procedures, verifying the integrity of data and present results and reports to senior managers and other stakeholders.

While some businesses may be more data-centric than others, data science is a growing field and something that is increasingly being seen as crucial to all businesses. A growth in demand for individuals in these roles means that data science can also offer good job security and career progression opportunities.

If you’re underqualified for a data scientist role it may be necessary to embark on some further education, and there are several good data science or analytics masters programs available in the U.S.

Engagement Manager

U.S job openings: 1,356

Median base salary: $125,000

Engagement managers are tasked with maintaining excellent relationships with clients. They are responsible for all billing and invoicing for a particular client, for managing their entire experience with the vendor and are accountable for the revenue, profitability and success of customer relationships.

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Source: flazingo_photos

Engagement managers typically lead an engagement team, providing them with client feedback and ensuring that they adhere to the expectations of clients. Engagement managers may be in charge of task and resource allocation, regular reviews and reporting to senior managers about the performance of individuals, the team and individual projects.

As an engagement manager you may be responsible for leading training, monitoring daily performance, acting as a primary point of contact for clients, tracking and solving their issues.

Engagement managers will typically have a background in project management or account management, the important distinction is that an engagement manager’s responsibilities are focused externally, on the needs of clients, rather than internally on the needs of the business or its departments. For this reason an engagement manager is often expected to represent clients internally, making their expectations clear.

Product Manager

U.S job openings: 6,607

Median base salary: $106,680

Growth is important to businesses, and scaling up an existing product is just one way to do this. New products and services are also an important way for companies to grow. Whether it’s rethinking an existing product to cater for a new customer base or crafting an entirely new service for existing customers, new products are crucial for growth, expansion and diversification of income.

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Source: gruntzooki

Product managers are often considered ‘product CEOs’; investigating, selecting, refining and driving the development and roll-out of new products for their organizations.

Product management sits at the intersection between business, technology and design/user experience. There are several different routes into product management, but typically product managers have experience in product development, sales or marketing. Arguably the most important element of product management is having a detailed and accurate understanding of the market and competitive landscape, and how products can fulfil demand.

Andrea R. Jones

Andrea writes about the issues closest to her heart including technology, business, home improvement and youth alcohol/drug addiction.