By Susan Ricker, CareerBuilder.com
Staying up-to-date on economic trends is essential in a job search. An occupation you may be interested in could be declining in growth, while a similar role might be popping up at companies everywhere.
Pulling data from national employment resources, CareerBuilder's Supply & Demand Portal has compiled a sample of occupations for which job listings have grown by more than 30 percent since this time last year. "The world's dependency on technology, the pervasiveness of social media and the need to drive sales and expand into new markets are all driving double-digit growth across a variety of fields," says Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder.
Here are 10 occupations that have experienced more than 30 percent growth in job listings since last year:
1. Software engineer*
Software engineers and developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or other device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or control networks. With the proliferation of smart devices and the Internet, and the race to get innovations to market first, tech-savvy workers are in high demand.
Percent increase in year-over-year job listings: 74 percent.
2. Customer-service representative
Customer-service representatives interact with customers on behalf of an organization. They provide information about products and services and respond to customer complaints. Some also take orders and process returns. Companies continue to invest in strengthening customer loyalty and extending sales opportunities across industries.
Percent increase in year-over-year job listings: 50 percent.
3. Social-media manager
A position that didn't exist in many companies five years ago, social-media managers are being added to employee rosters as companies tap into the power of Facebook, Twitter and other venues to increase visibility, market their products and manage brand perceptions.
Percent increase in year-over-year job listings: 48 percent.
4. Truck driver
Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers transport goods from one location to another. Most tractor-trailer drivers are long-haul drivers and operate with a capacity of at least 26,001 pounds per gross vehicle weight. They deliver goods over intercity routes, sometimes spanning several states. An uptick in manufacturing activity and the demand for goods and services are keeping the roads busy.
Percent increase in year-over-year job listings: 45 percent.
5. Pharmacy technician
Pharmacy technicians help licensed pharmacists dispense prescription medication. An aging population and a sharp increase in the number of Americans with access to medical care are driving demand across health-related professions.
Percent increase in year-over-year job listings: 43 percent.
6. Training and development manager
Training and development managers plan, direct and coordinate programs to enhance the knowledge and skills of an organization's employees. They also oversee a staff of training and development specialists. Despite a tough job market, one-third of employers currently have positions for which they can't find qualified candidates, and half of all employers reported they have plans to hire and train workers who have no experience in their industries. They need training managers to help fill the gaps for high-skill positions and get employees up-to-speed.
Percent increase in year-over-year job listings: 41 percent.
7. Financial analyst
Financial analysts provide guidance to businesses and individuals making investment decisions. They assess the performance of stocks, bonds and other types of investments. Still recovering from one of the deepest recessions felt across the globe, companies need individuals who can provide guidance on market trends and investment decisions.
Percent increase in year-over-year job listings: 39 percent.
8. Video editor
Film and video editors and camera operators record images that entertain or inform an audience. Editors construct the final productions from many different images that camera operators capture. 48 hours of video are uploaded on YouTube every minute. Companies continue to invest in ways to take their messages and initiatives viral. Video has become integral in the way that organizations share news about their organizations externally and internally.
Percent increase in year-over-year job listings: 36 percent.
9. Sales representative
Sales representatives sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers to businesses, government agencies and other organizations. They contact customers, explain product features, answer any questions that their customers may have and negotiate prices. Companies need individuals who can deepen market penetration and drive topline growth for their organizations.
Percent increase in year-over-year job listings: 35 percent.
Chefs and cooks oversee the daily food preparation at restaurants or other places where food is served. They direct kitchen staff and handle any food-related concerns. Restaurant and food-service jobs are increasing as the economy improves and households have more flexibility in spending.
Percent increase in year-over-year job listings: 34 percent.
*All job descriptions are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook.
Read more from Aol Jobs:
Several larger corporations such as Starbucks, Target and Land's End are able to offer even their part-time employees benefits such as health coverage and paid vacation time (head over to ABC for a <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Business/companies-offering-health-care-benefits-perks-part-time/story?id=14805107#2" target="_hplink">full list</a>).
For those with an entrepreneurial spirit and computer know-how, the Internet offers opportunities to bring in some cash from home -- at any hour of the day or night. Take Jose and Jill Ferrer, a retired couple <a href="http://www.aarp.org/work/working-after-retirement/info-03-2011/more-great-part-time-jobs-for-retirees.1.html" target="_hplink">profiled by AARP</a> for supplementing a freewheeling retirement with their website, Your RV Lifestyle. By highlighting certain products related to RV living, the pair earns $700 a month, AARP reports. "And we know the potential is there to grow our website business further," Jill Ferrer says. Other ideas: <a href="http://www.etsy.com/" target="_hplink">Etsy.com</a> allows the crafty to turn a profit from their hobbies.
Personal care and home health aid topped the Bureau of Labor Statistics' list of the fastest growing occupations in America. The time commitment may vary (between 10 and 30 hours per week, according to <a href="http://www.smartmoney.com/retirement/planning/the-new-best-jobs-for-retirees-1295567405980/" target="_hplink">SmartMoney</a>), but the median annual wage is around $20,000 for both occupations, according to the BLS.
Bartending is not just for twentysomethings -- and for social butterflies, this part-time gig offers opportunity to rake in extra cash, not to mention tips, with a minimal initial financial investment (a 40-hour certification course at the <a href="http://www.newyorkbartendingschool.com/courses.html" target="_hplink">New York City Bartending School costs a little less than $600</a>, for example).
Age discrimination is less of a problem in government agencies, <a href="http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2012/01/30/10-Best-Part-Time-Jobs-for-Retirees.aspx#page1" target="_hplink">reports The Fiscal Times</a>. In fact, agencies such as the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Transportation Security Administration actively seek older workers. Visit <a href="http://www.usajobs.gov/" target="_hplink">USAJobs.gov</a> to search for available positions.
If you've got an artistic flair or an interest in theater, makeup artists can make up to $40 an hour, and only work 20 hours a week on average, <a href="http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2012/06/08/7-part-time-jobs-that-pay-about-22-an-hour/#photo-2" target="_hplink">AOL Jobs reports</a>. <em>Disclaimer: qualifications may include formal training in cosmetology or theater, and a license is required to practice in several states.</em>
What better way to scratch that globetrotting itch? If you're up for an on-the-go lifestyle, flight attendants also earn up <a href="http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2012/06/08/7-part-time-jobs-that-pay-about-22-an-hour/#photo-6" target="_hplink">to $40 an hour</a>, making it a very well-paid part-time job.
The nonprofit sector can offer more than volunteer opportunities for retirees, and may be particularly appealing to those who "thought they wanted to change the world ... [but] put that on the back burner for 20 or 30 years while they climbed the corporate ladder," as Tamara Erickson, author of "Retire Retirement: Career Strategies for the Boomer Generation," <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120767069301298203.html" target="_hplink">told <em>The Wall Street Journal</em></a>. To get started, <a href="http://www.idealist.org/" target="_hplink">Idealist.org</a> offers listings for available paid positions in addition to volunteer opportunities: applicants with years of experience under their belts are sure to be met with open arms. Even cooler, <a href="http://www.encore.org/learn/fellowships" target="_hplink">Encore.org</a> offers paid Encore Fellowships to "match skilled, experienced professionals at the end of their midlife careers with social-purpose organizations" -- while earning a small stipend for part- or full-time work, midlifers can get their foot in the door to a fulfilling retirement job.
Usher Or Tour Guide
The pay may not be great, but if you're an arts lover, a history buff or a sports enthusiast, the perks certainly are!
Go Back To School
<em>"I studied hypnotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy 3 years ago and now I have my own business, couldn't be happier" -- Huff/Post50 reader Lee Adley </em> It's certainly a challenge, but as our amazing readers -- and the<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/29/going-back-to-college-teresa-pitts_n_1626068.html?utm_hp_ref=fifty&ir=Fifty" target="_hplink"> many men and women featured on our page</a> -- can attest, going back to school and pursuing something totally different can be well worth the investment of time, money and energy.