Special Report

America's 25 Fastest Growing Jobs

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15. Software developers, applications
> 2018-2028 projected employment change: +25.6% (944,200 to 1.2 million)
> Typical education needed for entry: Bachelor’s degree
> Median annual wage: N/A

Application software developers create, design, and modify computer software applications or special utility programs. As more and more devices become computerized and connected to the internet, these developers will be in high demand to create the software needed to run these devices — which will range from household appliances to medical equipment. By 2028, there will likely be around 1.2 million software developers in the U.S., up from 944,200 in 2018.

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14. Operations research analysts
> 2018-2028 projected employment change: +25.6% (109,700 to 137,900)
> Typical education needed for entry: Bachelor’s degree
> Median annual wage: $84,810

Operations research analysts help businesses maximize efficiency using skills such as mathematical modeling. It is one of just 14 jobs in which overall employment is projected to grow by more than 25% from 2018 to 2028. As the amount of electronic data available increases, more analysts will be needed to utilize it and improve businesses processes.

With a median annual wage of nearly $85,000, operations research analysts make more than double what the typical American worker makes. More than three-quarters of these analysts have at least a bachelor’s degree, and over one-third have a master’s or doctorate degree.

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13. Mathematicians
> 2018-2028 projected employment change: +26.0% (2,900 to 3,600)
> Typical education needed for entry: Master’s degree
> Median annual wage: $105,030

Employment for mathematicians is projected to climb by 26.0% from 2018 to 2028. Growing demand will be driven by the growing amount of electronic data, which will need to be analyzed and sorted to help businesses improve processes and products.

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12. Genetic counselors
> 2018-2028 projected employment change: +27% (3,000 to 3,800)
> Typical education needed for entry: Master’s degree
> Median annual wage: $81,880

Genetic counselors assess the risk of genetic defects or disorders based on family history and genetic information. As researchers come to better understand human genetics, this genetic information is projected to be more accurate, more in demand, more useful, and less expensive as compared to years past.

There were 3,000 genetic counselors in 2018, a figure projected to increase 27% up to 3,800 by 2028. This is a highly specialized career field, with nearly two-thirds of genetic counselors holding at least a bachelor’s degree.

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11. Physical therapist assistants
> 2018-2028 projected employment change: +27.1% (98,400 to 125,000)
> Typical education needed for entry: Associate’s degree
> Median annual wage: $58,790

Physical therapist assistants, unlike aides who generally do not assist in patient treatment, work under the supervision of physical therapists and are directly involved in patient care — either in improving mobility or reducing pain.

Demand for physical therapists and their assistants is projected to climb as the baby boom generation ages and will need physical therapy services to remain active. Additionally, the rising prevalence of chronic conditions like diabetes in obesity in the general population will also drive up demand for physical therapy services as many Americans with these conditions need assistance to remain mobile.