Tech, Healthcare Lead Fastest-Growing Jobs

As a new year and a new decade begin, the U.S. jobs market continues to surge, with unemployment at its lowest rate in 50 years. But when it comes to the fastest-growing, highest-paying jobs, two sectors dominate---technology and healthcare. A new report looks at the fastest-growing jobs in each state and projects where the strongest growth will be over the next decade. Based on the results, the three jobs with the highest average pay combined with the strongest projected growth rate are software developer, physical therapist, and physician assistant.

It's no surprise to see software developer on the list, as the technology boom in recent years has greatly increased the demand for IT professionals. But heading into the 2020s, it appears healthcare is poised to equal or surpass technology as the nation's hottest job sector. "Healthcare is an area of the economy that's really expected to boom, as Baby Boomers need more of it," says Andy Challenger, with the job placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Challenger tells KTRH the growing demand in healthcare cuts across various areas of the industry. "It's in administrative work in hospitals, actually delivering care as a physician assistant, but also in home healthcare," he says. That trend holds true in Texas, where the fastest-growing job is nurse practitioner, with a projected growth rate of 24% by 2023.

Of course, jobs like software developer, physician assistant and nurse practitioner require advanced education and training. But Challenger believes it's worth it. "There is going to be a decade of growth, easily, in all of those areas," he says. "And if you gain the skills now, it will really pay dividends over the next decade or so."

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