With Americans living longer than ever before, to say nothing of the pressures of an ongoing pandemic, it’s no surprise that the profession of nurse practitioner is experiencing a boom in demand. Amid a shortage of primary care physicians, nurse practitioners can diagnose and treat patients, as well as prescribe medications. According to US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates, 121,400 positions will have opened up in the field by 2030, a 53 percent increase within a single decade. Indeed, “nurse practitioner” tops a recent list predicting the five fastest growing occupations requiring at least a bachelor’s degree.
But also on the list of hottest jobs are a couple of more surprising occupations: film and video editors, for one, and agents/business managers who represent artists, performers, and athletes. What’s driving those increases? It turns out the pandemic is likely playing a role there, too.
Michael Rieley, an economist at the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, says part of the projected growth is due to a projected hiring rebound by 2030, following the 2020 hiring pause brought on by the pandemic and recession. But he also suggests that a kind of pent-up demand from life being put on hold by the pandemic is being released. With more people back to celebrating weddings and other special events, for example, there’s expected to be more need for skilled video and film editors to record the special occasions. Meanwhile, as audiences and talent return to theaters and art exhibitions, representatives for artists and other creative types will be back on the job in a big way.
Below, a look at four of the hottest jobs right now, the numbers behind them from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, and a few words from Boston-area professionals who love what they’re doing in their chosen fields.
1. Agents and Business Managers of Artists, Performers, and Athletes
> Projected job growth through 2030: 46%
> Projected number of new jobs: 8,600
> Mean annual wage: $116,410
The demand for agents and business managers is expected to grow, thanks in part to the return of television, movie, and live theater performances. But new kinds of performers play a role, too, with the rise of stars on TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and other social media platforms. Agents help their clients negotiate contracts, find branding partnerships, and more.
“I started my visual art agency representing cutting-edge visual artists with the hopes to build a community amongst other freelance artists. It’s a career goal I’ve had for years and to now witness it flourishing is what I love the most. As an artist myself, the mission is to contribute to the overall growth of every artist represented by my agency. There’s no doubt I chose the right career path.”
— Mic’a Sahara, 28, visual art agent at MuralMica Studio in Boston, Atlanta, and Miami
> Projected job growth through 2030: 35%
> Projected number of new jobs: 15,000
> Mean annual wage: $99,450
Many who followed news about the COVID-19 pandemic saw how crucial statistics are to public health. But other fields — including medicine, government, environmental and climate science, and more — also rely on statistics and the people who can make sense of them, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“I’m delighted to be a statistician. Unlike mathematics, statistics consists of two components, namely quantitative reasoning and qualitative reasoning. Put simply, statistics is philosophy more than mathematical computation. Statistical epistemology makes people think and analyze. It is the most essential element for communication studies and decision making. Additionally, the subjective nature of the subject matter makes you become a better communicator.”
— Eiki Satake, 66, professor of statistics at Emerson College in Boston
3. Information Security Analyst
> Projected job growth through 2030: 33%
> Projected number of new jobs: 47,100
> Mean annual wage: $113,270
As more sensitive information goes online, hacking, fraud, and cybercrime are on the rise. Nearly 50 million Americans saw their health data exposed in 2021, according to a Politico analysis, and hackers were to blame in close to 75 percent of cases, a 35 percent increase from 2016. That’s keeping information security analysts plenty busy. A bachelor’s degree in computer and information technology or a related field, such as engineering or math, is often required.
“Like a door on a home, my work in information security is to apply security controls to protect my company’s information from data breaches and unauthorized access from hackers. I have a zeal for technology engineering, and my career in information security means I’m the gatekeeper of our sensitive data and provide all stakeholders with peace of mind.”
— Komal Maliekal, 39, director of engineering at athenahealth in Watertown
4. Film and Video Editors
> Projected job growth through 2030: 33%
> Projected number of new jobs: 18,300
> Mean annual wage: $76,000
Like others in growing fields, film and video editors have to be versatile and adapt quickly to the latest advances in technology, Rieley says. They help websites, social media channels, and streaming digital video sites stay competitive with their content. While some content creators edit their own work, many decide to turn to specially trained professionals to handle animation and audio, motion graphics, digital effects, and more. A bachelor’s degree in a fine/performing arts or communications field can also apply.
“Videography, especially of weddings and parties, is beautiful and career fulfilling. I love it when I ask people to smile, when I capture special moments full of emotions. I love it when I’m able to give people a gift of memories and love it most when this passion is now my career. It is a profession that I enjoy doing and would encourage more young people to consider.”
— Herbert Jensen Smith, 32, video editor at hkphotographerz in Woburn
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Yasin Kakande is pursuing his MFA in creative writing at Emerson College. This story was produced in collaboration with an Emerson writing and publishing course. Interviews have been edited and condensed. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.