NEW YORK (MainStreet)—If you're like most college students or recent graduates, you're worried about the future. By now you've seen the numbers, and they aren't comforting. You're concerned about the stubbornly mediocre economy, about its impact on your career prospects and your transition into the workforce.

The downturn and the changes in behavior it caused have shifted the dynamics of the job market. In this new economy, we are left wondering what fields will provide the greatest opportunity for advancement? Here are five fields that are showing strong signs of growth:

Information Technology

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The IT industry has remained strong through the downturn and is expected to continue to show growth. According to the Forrester Research report, spending on IT products in the United States is expected to grow 7.2% in the next year to over $2 trillion dollars. This represents a tremendous opportunity for advancement in the tech world.

Much of the increased IT activity has been a result of an active tech market fueled by new products and developments. "Tech employment has remained strong over the past few years with an average increase of 2% in monthly job growth", said Jason Langhoff, director of corporate development at TriNet, Inc. "New innovations and a strong angel and VC funding environment have helped drive the growth. Both consumer and business interest and demand for tech products have remained high throughout the downturn."


The transportation industry is expected to see a lot of activity in coming years due to substantial investments made by both the public and private sector.

Oliver McGee, former Clinton U.S Deputy Assistant secretary of Transportation points to the federal government's recently enacted transportation project as a sign of momentum in the industry, "The signs of job growth in the transportation industry reside in the recent Congressional appropriation of the $108 billion MAP21 surface transportation legislation," he said. "This key transportation legislation calls for investments in smart technologies for highway and rail services, including advances in information technologies incorporated inside trucking and motor carrier small businesses."

There are also several other transportation projects on state levels around the country that will allow for collaboration between business and government, creating thousands of new jobs in the process.


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If you thrive in a sociable environment and enjoy interacting with people, then maybe a career in hospitality would be a great option going forward. According to's annual hiring statistics, hospitality job postings have increased 29% year-over-year, more than double any other reported category.

In a report released by the U.S Travel Association, David Huether, senior vice president of research and economics at the U.S. Travel Association said, "Since early 2010, the travel industry has been a significant source of employment growth for the economy by adding almost a half million jobs. Moreover, the increase in travel industry jobs has outpaced that of the rest of the economy, making up 92% of the jobs lost during the recession compared to 77% of jobs for the rest of the economy."


As the driving force of enterprise, it comes as little surprise that sales jobs remain in high demand. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, sales positions are currently held by 4.3 million people, representing 11% of the U.S workforce. The sales sector as a whole is expected to grow 13% by the year 2020. With the exception of registered nurses, retail sales is expected to add more jobs than any other occupation.

"Sales remains a process needing human relationships to grow business, and for this reason, the category will continue to add jobs.", said David Mattson, CEO and president of Sandler Training. "Sales careers give you the chance to maximize your income, rise to the top, become more visible in the company, interact with people on a daily basis and, as long as you're performing well, rest assured knowing your job is secure".

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The healthcare industry is expected to experience a tremendous amount of growth in coming years as a result of changes in the system. Some of these changes include the modernization of healthcare services, treatment for an expanding aging population and yes, the implementation of the divisive Affordable Care Act legislation.

John Boyd Jr., principal for Location Consultants, believes the healthcare industry is already showing signs of expansion, "Healthcare is booming," he said. "We are seeing a flurry of hiring among our clients in medical devices and digitalization of healthcare records."

Going forward, there will be many job opportunities emerging to help facilitate the transitions the industry will undergo over the next several years.

--Written by John Okoye for MainStreet