The world has drastically changed from the way it operates in the last couple of years. Global labor markets were severely disrupted in 2020. Millions were furloughed or let go, while several others moved to remote work.
Almost all sectors went through a rapid phase of digital transformation and automation, raising cybersecurity concerns. Pharmaceutical and biotechnology research received never-before-seen investor and public attention. With more people opting for personal transportation, renewable energy gained importance as a cheaper and sustainable option. All these pushed up the sectors to top slots of industries to look out for in 2022.
Cybersecurity, as an industry, covers a vast range of corrective and preventative operational functions, such as protecting, detecting, identifying, responding, and recovering through several mediums. It also involves securing data, applications, software, computing devices, networks, processes, users, and everything connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) from malicious attacks. The cybersecurity industry was once a part of the IT sector. However, the recent growth in cybercrimes and emphasis on securing everything cyber has made it a standalone industry.
Companies in this industry include the ones tackling traditional types of cyberattacks, such as phishing scams, ransomware, and Distributed Denial of Services (DDoS), or those addressing problems arising from recent technologies like the IoT or cloud. Due to the growing danger of cybercrime, government bodies, conglomerates, and individual users invest heavily in the cybersecurity industry.
Cybersecurity cases have spiked, increasing the demand for professional help. The FBI’s Cyber Division receives between 3,000 and 4,000 cybersecurity complaints each day, while this number was hardly 1,000 in the pre-COVID days, reported The Hill. In addition, about 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs are vacant globally in 2021, up from one million positions in 2014. According to the industry analysis by Cybersecurity Ventures, the job growth rate increased in this sector by 350% for the year 2021 across all levels of employment. Some top jobs in the sector are:
- Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), the topmost among cybersecurity executives in an organization, is responsible for the development and maintenance of the firm’s information security and risk management systems.
- Security Architect (SA) tests the vulnerability of the firm’s network and helps other security team members in maintaining and updating the IT security.
- Cybersecurity Engineer takes care of protecting the firm’s data and networks by putting security measures in place to avert errors or attacks.
- Malware Analyst’s main task is spotting and examining various malware such as worms, viruses, trojans, and bots and developing anti-malware tools.
- Penetration Tester, commonly known as pentester or ethical hacker, penetrates the firm’s IT security using unseen vulnerabilities.
- A Computer Forensics Analyst analyzes a crisis to understand what went wrong and determine ways to mitigate it.
The biotechnology industry focuses on the study of living organisms to make commercial and healthcare products. It is a fast-growing and scientific research-based industry. Everything from genetically modified foods and crops and agricultural products to drugs and medicines falls under this industry.
The most advanced use of biotech is commonly in DNA manipulations, genetic engineering like CRISPR, and cosmetic enhancement technologies. It has also integrated with artificial intelligence (AI) to help with bionic organ transplants and amputations. Biotechnology inadvertently became an intrinsic aspect of modern daily life in the 21st era.
Biotechnology, specifically pharmaceutical research, is in the spotlight, thanks to the pandemic. The drug industry witnessed more investments in startups and increased demand for personalized post-COVID care drugs. Thus, increasing hiring reported C&EN.
Fundraising in the biotechnology sector broke records in 2020, with venture financing hitting an all-time high of over $23 billion, reported Nature. Another sector report by Grand View Research stated that the global biotechnology market will grow to $2.44 trillion by 2028. The following are the current top jobs in the sector, according to the Northeastern University, Boston:
- Biochemists study the chemical activities and physical principles of biological processes. These processes include cell development, growth, heredity, and disease. Their work helps us understand and solve many biological problems.
- Biomedical Engineers use engineering skills to invent or assess equipment and tools ranging from computerized machines to artificial organs used in medical and biology production and research.
- Biotechnology Research Scientists conduct biotechnology experiments in controlled environments to either produce or propose products that can help solve problems in food safety, agriculture, or medical uses.
- Biomanufacturing Specialists manipulate biological systems to make products for industrial, medical, or food and beverage industries, such as vaccines.
- Medical Scientists test medical tools and devices to conduct studies on chronic diseases, oversee the trials of drugs or equipment, and assess and improve their effectiveness.
- Product Management Directors are professionals familiar with the standards and practices used in the development process of biotech products, directing the entire production cycle, from conception to conclusion.
Renewable energy focuses on new and sustainable energy technologies. Globally, investors have taken an interest in this emerging industry recently. This has translated to rapid commercialization and industry growth in recent decades. The solar photovoltaics and wind industries are great examples of the same. In 2020, the global renewable energy market was valued at $881.7 billion, and the consumption grew by 2.9 (exajoule) EJ. China, the largest contributor to renewable growth, is followed by the US, Japan, the UK, India, and Germany.
COVID-19 hit the automotive industry hard, but the sale of electric vehicles (EV) bucked the trend. EV sales in Germany from January to June period went up from 47,584 in 2019 to 93,848 in 2020, reported The Conversation. Another report by the International Energy Agency revealed that global electric car sales went up to over 3 million in 2020, and emission policies favored the growth in Europe. Along with the EVs, the market for solar charging devices for domestic use also grew. With more nations deciding to cut down emissions, more job opportunities are coming up in the renewable energy sector, such as:
- Wind Turbine Technicians set up, maintain, and repair wind turbines.
- Energy Analysts conduct audits and on-site feasibility assessments, diagnostics, and data analysis of renewable energy systems.
- Energy Transition Technical Specialists help in the development and delivery of clean energy alternatives and solutions to replace existing conventional energy units.
- Solar Energy Advisors consult with homeowners looking for energy reduction opportunities and setting up domestic use units like car charging points.
- Grid Integration Engineers oversee the overlapping of solar grids and existing power lines, particularly in houses that use solar panels.
- Renewables Estimators make the utility-scale solar and battery storage system estimates according to the needs of the client, both households and industries.
With the rising awareness and changing working landscapes, these industries have garnered a lot of investor attention. Countries like the US, Canada, the UK, and the European Union contribute to the maximum growth of the said industries. Moreover, these industries are labor-intensive and therefore provide huge options for employability, raking them up as the top industries of 2022.