If you're thinking about  changing careers, currently in college pursuing a degree, or just curious about what the best jobs will be in the near future, look no further than the World Economic Forum's Future of Jobs report. Released late last month but still making waves among those who follow these trends, the important research paints an interesting picture.

At the top of the list? 85% of those surveyed said the number one technology to be adopted by major companies by 2022 involves analytics. Specifically, the report talks about Big Data analytics, which is the process of analyzing reams and reams of data looking for insights that can help an organization grow and adapt. The obvious implication is that emerging jobs like Data Scientist and anything related to analytics will be in increasing demand.

According to the report: "By 2022, according to the stated investment intentions of companies surveyed for this report, 85% of respondents are likely or very likely to have expanded their adoption of user and entity big data analytics."

The technologies that ranked just below Big Data analytics includes app-related markets, the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, and cloud computing.

Of course, all of these technologies will lead to a widening job market.

Data is everywhere, and experts keep predicting a massive increase in how the data is stored and analyzed over the next four years. We'll be reading data from autonomous cars, from sensors on bridges and highways, from the phones we carry in our pockets, and from the smart sensors in your home. It makes perfect sense that any job related to analyzing and making sense of this massive data pool will be in high demand. The question you might ask is--what to do about it if you are a job seeker?

This is where some planning helps.

One of the best jobs to look for in marketing, for example, has to do with social media analytics. There is an ever-increasing footprint of data from social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, but it often feels like a wasteland of unrelated data points and disconnected archives. As I've been mentoring students in a college setting lately, I tend to mention on a weekly basis the fact that any job related to analytics will be worth pursuing, and analyzing social media is a good place to start.

Another good step in a career change that involves analytics involves using the tools that help the most. In my social media example, anyone can use the analytics available right from Twitter (click your profile, then analytics). Tools like Hootsuite and Buffer include analytics as well. I've been able to analyze months and months worth of social media data, finding the best day and time to post, and analyzing things like whether a longer post works better than a shorter one (the shorter posts always work better).

From a Big Data perspective, this is a burgeoning field and has been for several years. In fact, it is the most important burgeoning field. Companies like IBM can analyze traffic patterns over bridges, helping with the design process for new bridges. Sensors are already prevalent in your house (from coffee-makers to furnaces to faucets), on your car, and in your city--the writing is already on the wall. Anyone who is well-trained in analytics will find the market is ready for you to help with data discovery.

If this is a field you are considering, whether in high school or college or as a career change, drop me a note and we can discuss what's normally required.

Published on: Oct 15, 2018
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.