Information Security is the Fastest-Growing Field for Young Professionals; Purchasing and Marketing in the Top 10

KENNESAW, Ga. | Nov 11, 2020

Three of the fastest-growing jobs for young Americans – including the top spot – are in fields available to graduates of the Michael J. Coles College of Business, based on a recent report from financial resource 

According to the report Fastest-Growing Jobs for Young Professionals in America, the fastest-growing job for professionals aged 22 to 34 is information security analyst. Meanwhile, the top ten also includes other business-related fields such as purchasing manager at No. 7, and marketing research analyst/marketing specialist at No. 8.

Fastest-Growing Jobs for Young Professionals includes three degrees from the Michael J. Coles College of Business

Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, smartasset compared the number of young people working in different professions in 2015 to the number working in those same professions in 2019 to determine the percentage change. For information security analyst, smartasset saw an increase of 171 percent.

“This increase in employment is mostly attributed to firms understanding the importance of information security to their ongoing operations,” said Dr. Andy Green, a professor in the information security and assurance degree program. “Even though this percentage growth is impressive on its face, it’s a drop in the bucket when compared to the projected shortfall of 3.5 million security jobs globally in 2021.”

The Coles College information security and assurance program combines the technical skills needed to defend an organization’s critical data with the business acumen needed to understand that data’s value to the organization. In addition to classes in technology and network security, students also study business topics like management and accounting. 

“Our graduates are able to straddle the line between security concerns and business operations,” Green said, “helping firm leadership better understand the information security risks they face and how to address them.”

The Coles College also offers an undergraduate degree in cybersecurity administered by the Institute for Cybersecurity Workforce Development alongside the College of Computing and Software Engineering and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

While information security analyst is the fastest-growing job among young professionals, purchasing manager saw a 57 percent increase between 2015 and 2019, while marketing research analyst/marketing specialist jobs increased by 54 percent.

Dr. Aniruddha Bagchi, interim chair of the Department of Economics, Finance, and Quantitative Analysis, attributes the rise in purchasing manager jobs to the sustained growth in U.S. manufacturing output. As manufacturing output increases, so does the need for purchasing managers to source raw materials.

“Some of the skills that a purchasing manager requires are a good understanding of how markets work, data analysis skills, the ability to forecast demand, the ability to understand and manage risk, and the appreciation of strategic considerations,” he said. “These skills are taught in several courses in the economics and finance programs.”

According to Dr. Leila Borders, assistant chair for the Department of Marketing and Professional Sales, the 54 percent growth in marketing jobs is based on an increasingly tech savvy consumer base.

“This volume increase is highly dependent on a great deal of mobile traffic and the adoption of computing technologies, which are prevalent among millennials and Gen Z,” Borders said. “Every click, swipe, share, search, stream, or other footprint creates a vast array of global data. Market research analysts are needed to read and interpret that soaring amount of data.”

Borders added that the Coles College’s marketing degree program places a heavy emphasis on analyzing purchasing data to better understand who consumers are, what products they want, and how much people are willing to pay for those products.

While the ISA, finance, economics, and marketing degree programs all provide students with industry-specific knowledge to succeed in the fastest-growing fields for young professionals, graduates from those programs also benefit from completing required Coles College core classes that key business fundamentals.

“Critical thinking, communications, and innovative decision making are all part of Coles’ well-structured essential learning outcomes and detailed curriculum mapping,” Borders said, “and provide solid technological and professional foundations for our students to succeed.”

-Patrick Harbin

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

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