1.    Data Scientist

Data science is not only a lucrative job with a national average salary of $118,000 and the minimum being $76,000 but also a broad one. Since data science, which is a relatively new function and title, can be divided up further into several different roles (data visualization, data research, data engineering, etc.) chances are high that your background relates to the field in some way.

Whether you are a former graphic designer, an engineering major, or somebody in business that has taken an interest in analytics, if you are knowledgeable of the kind of the position you should be looking for within this industry that’s experiencing significant growth, you can rest assured that you are a step ahead of the competition.

Furthermore, since it is an opportunity with huge potential for growth, if you get in now, you will be more likely to succeed. If you know what you can do for the company even if the company itself is not exactly sure of what it needs or wants, you will have the edge you need. 

All you have to do is have the background to support your ideas, and if you aren’t too sure you have that, you can always look into part-time classes, bootcamps, or even workshops from companies such as Byte Academy.

All these will outfit you with the necessary skills and can give you access to career guidance and a strong network. The most enticing part is perhaps the fact that you don’t even need to either drain your savings or quit your job to attend graduate school.

2.    Social Media Manager

Do you love to tell compelling stories using innovative mediums such as Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter, and Facebook? Are you committed to building your personal brand and cultivating a strong following and perhaps an even stronger community? Do you love writing the perfect clickable sentence and witty remarks? Would you like to get paid for it?

If any of the above sounds like you, this could be the position you didn’t actually know you were looking for. While social media managers don’t always start out earning a lot of money, salaries in the major markets can easily reach 6 figures.

The need for influential leaders in this area keeps increasing and the average salary is likely to follow suit. In many industry circles, you are nothing without a good social media strategy and companies both big and small have already started realizing this. 

The first step in breaking into the field is ensuring that your personal social accounts are up to par. Obviously, being a good social media manager is about much more than getting likes on your vacation photos. It involves paying attention to other companies’ social media strategies and identifying what’s working for them and what needs some improvement.

Better still, you can look for opportunities to volunteer to manage the social accounts of small businesses or nonprofits for several months. Many organizations could genuinely use the help and it will give you experience beyond your own profiles to talk about. Use your findings and analysis to show companies why you are the right person for the job.

3.    Fundraiser

Educational institutions, nonprofits, hospitals, etc. all require money to survive and are always willing to pay well for someone with the skills to secure funding. The middle ground salary for such a job may range anywhere from $65,000 to $75,000, but this range says nothing of top-tier fundraisers that can clock in at $500,000 if not more. 

Convincing people to give generous donations is obviously a huge part of the job, so having a background in either marketing or sales can be impactful while you attempt to transition in this field. That said, fundraisers are also required to be capable of building relationships to recruit donors and volunteers, managing donor accounts, making financial projections, managing multi-layered projects that range from donor events to large campaigns, and ultimately communicating the organization’s core message and inspiring people to help.

It might sound like a lot, but chances are high that you already have these skills from your previous volunteer work, jobs, or even extracurriculars. For instance, the leadership role you had back in your graduate role managing volunteers for the clothing drives you ran on a quarterly basis can speak to your experience in recruitment and carrying out a mission.

You should also ensure that you not only believe in but also show your passion for the mission of the organization that you are applying to. If you are unable to convey this to the interviewers, you will probably be unable to convince donors too.

4.    Software Engineer

It wouldn’t actually be an exaggeration to say that everyone today is looking for a good engineer. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, software engineers are some of the occupations whose projected job growth for the year is the highest. With the rise in sustainable software development this is forecast to increase further. However, this is something that you probably already knew about.

One thing you might not have known is just how common it is for people lacking a traditional background in the field of software engineering to successfully make the shift. A 2015 survey of developers by Stack Overflow showed that a whopping 48 percent of respondents actually never received a degree in computer science.

So, how can you make the switch? It is definitely a field where you require highly specialized skills that you probably have not picked up in your current role. Still, the skills are very learnable as is clear in the Stack Overflow survey where 41.8 percent of respondents reported being self-taught while 27.4 percent attended an online class, a bootcamp such as Byte Academy, or an industry certification program.

All the above are avenues capable of providing built-in structure, mentorship, as well as connections with the companies that are hiring. Many respondents also reported learning via on-the-job training. So, consider seeing whether there is an opportunity to start learning some of the skills as part of your current job. 

Whatever the route you end up taking, ensure that you practice a lot with projects that you can show off to the hiring managers when it comes to engineering jobs.

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