How do broad trends filter down to your career decisions? Here’s a breakdown for specific occupational growth.

Share story

Past isn’t always prologue, but pay attention to this trend to see why some jobs are hiring.

CareerBuilder and its Emsi labor market analysts looked at data from more than 100 national and local employment resources from 2012 to 2016. They found that lifestyle, technology and globalization changes were the three major forces affecting the U.S. labor market.

“Whether we’re talking about the rise of the sharing economy, the power of smart technology or companies communicating in multiple languages and time zones, these trends are moving the needle on job growth,” said Matt Ferguson, CareerBuilder CEO.

How do broad trends filter down to your career decisions? Here’s a breakdown for specific occupational growth:

Jobs for cooks and restaurant workers took a big leap — more than 1.2 million jobs, or a 16 percent growth rate in that occupational field. An improved economy cooked part of that boom, but it was served up by a major lifestyle shift. People are eating out more often.

Another lifestyle evolution, millennials’ preference for urban living and use of Uber and Lyft ride services, fueled a 15 percent growth rate for drivers or chauffeurs.

The wise rise in Americans’ health consciousness muscled up a 12 percent bulge in the number of fitness and aerobic instructors.

Families hit financially by the Great Recession became savvier about managing their money. That may or may not qualify as a lifestyle change, but CareerBuilder credits a 12 percent rise in personal financial advisers to that trend.

Straddling the line between lifestyle and technology changes is an increase in information security analysts. The 12 percent job growth is attributed to more people banking and shopping online. It’s a far bigger task to keep identities safe and financial information in the pockets where it belongs.

That segues into software development jobs. In a “there’s an app for that” world, surges in smart technology powered a 17 percent growth in that field.

Technology is woven into clothing, household gadgets, tools that track consumer behavior, health diagnostics and communication. Voila: job growth in the neighborhood of 10 percent for online marketing managers, computer support specialists, medical records and health information technicians, database administrators and technical writers.

Globalization, which stretches workdays across time zones, is spinning job growth for international business analysts, language interpreters and translators, customer service representatives (needed 24/7 ), cartographers and photogrammetrists (for mobile phone apps and navigation devices).

Perhaps the top spin on job growth was found in the alternative energy sector: a 37 percent increase in wind turbine service technicians. Now there’s a way to climb in your career.

Diane Stafford is the workplace and careers columnist at The Kansas City Star. Email her at dstafford@kcstar.com.