Hyper-stackable Emerging Careers

"Multi-Track Cybersecurity Pathways" & "Second Careers in Aging Services"

Topics: Academic Affairs, Academic Planning, Online Education, Marketing and Branding

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The second set of white papers from our four-part Industry Futures series, these resources explore professions that are in very high demand, but for which current educational offerings aren’t adequately targeting the right students, or enough students.

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Supply and Demand: Too Few Professionals for Growing Fields

Many professional fields are growing at a rapid rate due to demographic and sociological changes, but the supply of qualified candidates to fill those jobs is lacking.

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is one field where the demand is far outpacing the number of skilled professionals available. As we continue to integrate technology into daily life and companies become reliant on the cloud, growth in demand for IT professionals is expected.

While IT roles are predictably growing at a fast clip, the growth of cybersecurity positions is staggering, with a 73 percent increase from 2007 to 2012.

Yet despite high salaries and employer demand across industries, employers struggle to find qualified candidates for cybersecurity positions, stemming from two root causes: curriculum missalignment and an unclear career value proposition.

Aging services

The senior citizen population in the United States is set to reach 90 million by 2050, driving demand in fields such as health care, marketing, financial planning, and interior design.

Although 10,000 baby boomers celebrate their 65th birthday each day, more than 80 gerontology programs have shuttered in the last 10 years. These programs weren’t enrolling enough students and weren’t making enough money, and when budget cuts came around they were often rolled into larger health care or social work departments.

Struggling aging studies programs all position gerontology and aging as an educational foundation, rather than a specialization that someone can elect to pursue later in their career. The Forum identified four programs that appeal to mid or late-career professionals with some background in one of these fields:

  • Patient Advocacy and Health Coaching
  • Motivational Wellness
  • Aging in Place
  • Financial Planning

At institutions with gerontology or aging services programs, COE leaders can supplement core gerontology courses with existing courses in related fields. At institutions without formal gerontology programs, administrators can begin with specializations (e.g., nursing, interior design) and reverse-engineer programs by adding coursework in aging services.

  • More from this series

    "Design Thinking Business Programs" and "Second Bachelor's Degrees for Career Starters" explore programs that equip professionals with the skills that will make them well-rounded candidates for high-demand jobs. Continue reading.