The Top 3 Job Trends for 2013

Is your New Year’s Resolution about getting a new job? If so, you’ll want to be aware of these top 3 job trends that could affect the kind of position to look for, how you’ll apply for it, and the skills you need to succeed.

job trends 2013

Hot Job sectors, Résumé Honesty, and Work-Related Education: Top 3 Job Trends to Watch in the Coming Year

Job Trend #1: Six sectors will offer on-ramps to career growth

A number of industries weathered the Great Recession or recovered quickly when it ended. Here are six sectors that will follow a growing economy to new heights.

1. Healthcare

America’s fastest-growing sector, it’s projected to grow 29% by 2020. Looming staff shortages make this an exceptional time to enter the field. New clinical managers, educators, and facility administrators will also be needed as millions more Americans obtain health insurance under Obamacare.

2. Information Technology

Nearly every industry will need systems analysts, software engineers, helpdesk pros, and network admins for the foreseeable future. Total employment is predicted to rise 22% by decade’s end.

3. Nonprofits

This sector includes hospitals, museums, and public universities along with charities. Nonprofits offer stable employment and steady growth, and in the coming decade they’ll need new blood. By 2016, nonprofits will require at least 80,000 new senior managers as Baby Boomer–era chiefs retire.

4. Education

Leaving corporate America? Universities are hiring instructors and administrators with management knowledge as they adopt business-inspired best practices. Older students returning to school will also appreciate a peer instructor who can share real-world experience in class. These factors are contributing to the projection that education, training, and library professions will add 1.4 million jobs by 2020.

5. Business Services

Three quarters of U.S. jobs—in fields such as staffing, hospitality, and advertising—occupy the business services category, which is expected to generate 18 million new positions by 2020. In addition to customer contact and sales, service-oriented firms seek workers from numerous professional backgrounds, including HR, finance, and property management.

6. Manufacturing

Forget hot, dangerous factories. Today’s manufacturing industry, which conducts 70% of the country’s industrial R&D, is a high-tech innovation machine that needs degree-equipped floor workers, computer-operated machinery programmers, and internationally inclined logistics experts who can extend companies’ global reach.

Job Trend #2: Career credentials will be under real-time scrutiny

The presidential campaign and Hurricane Sandy were widely followed on social media, but not everything users saw was real. Be forewarned that instant fact-checking isn’t limited to politics or disasters. Current and future employers can easily Google your resume, and hiring managers are using rigorous vetting tools including background, credit, and reference checks—and for good reason. Research indicates more than 40% of employment applications and resumes still list questionable employment history, college degrees, or accomplishments.

You learned the solution as a child: Be honest. Your career and reputation now live online. Build an Internet persona that accurately represents both. And do so across your entire social network outreach: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, photo sites like Instagram, and comments on news stories and blog posts.

A consistent online portrayal demonstrates your trustworthiness to future colleagues and hiring managers. It could also qualify you for cutting-edge jobs with an online component. For example, because online reputation is considered an important worker credential, firms hiring social media representatives will seek people who can craft authentic digital identities and attract audiences through honesty. So think before you tweet!

Job Trend #3: Work and education will intertwine

In 2013 workers and employers will rely more on the fruits of higher education. U.S. businesses are facing a skills gap: they can’t find enough employees with the types of competencies that college degrees and certifications provide. Meanwhile, as life spans increase, workers will need to plan careers that last 50 years or longer; to compete for jobs or change fields, they’ll need to constantly review and revise their skill sets.

Workers and employers have a shared interest in workforce education. Firms are realizing that, because workers value company education and tuition programs, they should offer them to attract, retain, and motivate top talent. Workers also need to understand how a higher degree can boost lifetime earnings potential. Recent data has shown that working adults who earn a higher degree are projected to earn about a 22% return on the cost of their education.

So begin planning today. Take any internal training your company offers, like leadership courses or technology tutorials. Pursue certifications to align your knowledge with industry standards. Or cross-train in other departments by doing job rotations to learn a new aspect of your firm’s operations. This can help develop a “T-shaped” profile, which demonstrates both breadth and depth of job-related knowledge. The complex challenges of the future will require multifaceted problem-solving skills. By pursuing lifelong learning and gaining new work experiences, you’ll be more prepared for tomorrow’s work projects.


Dr. Tracey Wilen-Daugenti

A leading authority on the convergence of education, technology, and work, Dr. Tracey Wilen-Daugenti is Vice President and Managing Director of Apollo Research Institute, where she guides the Institute’s study of career and workforce issues critically important to employers, educators, and policymakers. A former Silicon Valley executive, Dr. Wilen-Daugenti has held leadership positions at Apple, HP and Cisco.

The author of 10 books, Dr. Wilen-Daugenti catalyzes new thinking among business leaders and academics. For her latest book, Women Lead: Career Perspectives from Workplace Leaders (January 2013), she served as principal researcher, examining women’s contributions to the workplace and the economy. Dr. Wilen-Daugenti was named San Francisco Woman of the Year in 2002, and was honored by the San Francisco Business Times as a 2012 Most Influential Woman in Bay Area Business.

Featured photo by photologue_np

Scroll to Top