If you’re thinking of relocating abroad to boost your career, figuring out which destinations offer the best opportunities can require a lot of research.
To help you on your way, we’ve put together our take on some of the fastest growing industries of 2018 and where they’re taking off – if your skills are in demand it could really open up your options!
One of the industries currently enjoying rapid expansion is the drone sector.
These miniature flying machines were something of a novelty a few years ago, but now they’ve been catapulted into the mainstream, with governments around the world taking notice and putting together rules and regulations on their use.
According to Goldman Sachs, drones haven’t even begun to reach their zenith in terms of potential:
“Between now and 2020, we forecast a $100 billion market opportunity for drones – helped by growing demand from the commercial and civil government.”
In fact, drones are being deployed in all sorts of different sectors today, including construction, farming and emergency response.
The main benefit of these machines is their convenience – compared to a helicopter, for example, a drone can be much quicker and cheaper.
As well as being easy to manoeuvre, drones can also be equipped with high resolution cameras that allow operators to identify structural faults or wildfire sources, to name but a few applications.
There are still legal teething problems to resolve with drone regulation, but these devices are certainly here to stay and the race is on to find new and exciting uses across the world.
Goldman Sachs estimates that countries like the US, China and Australia will be spending billions on drones in the coming years, so these might be the best countries to head for if you’re looking to get stuck into the drone business.
Virtual reality, or VR, used to be contained to videogames, but the technology is now being used for a wide range of other applications.
Some of the biggest future applications of VR include education and training, as well as in medical and therapy fields.
Although VR games and videos are commonplace, the technology hasn’t fully transitioned to other areas yet due to associated costs and complexity.
But there are high hopes for VR in the future, with research firm Greenlight Insights predicting the VR film industry will be worth around $1.2bn by 2021.
More broadly, analysts forecast that the VR sector will be worth $75bn worldwide by the same year.
China is seen as a major player in the emerging VR industry, but if it’s a sector you’re keen to get involved in you might also want to consider North America. Specifically, this includes the west coast tech hub of Silicon Valley in the US as well as the bustling Canadian city of Vancouver.
Closer to home, VR companies are popping up in Europe as well, with Switzerland, Ireland and the Netherlands all getting in on the virtual action.
In the wake of concern about climate change and a heightened focus on resource conservation, the green energy sector remains big business.
Alongside dedicated renewable energy producers, former ‘dirty’ energy companies are also transitioning to clean alternatives.
There’s still a lot of room for improvement in the field of green energy, which means there are plenty of opportunities out there for budding engineers.
For example, despite advances in the field, some domestic solar panels only have an efficiency of around 15%. And while electric cars are seen as the vehicles of the future, charging points and affordable models have been slow to roll out.
There were reportedly over 10 million jobs in the renewable energy industry in 2017, with the biggest employers being found in nations including China, Brazil, India, Japan and the US.
US government policy has recently focused on increased fossil fuel production, but the nation still has a lot to offer for those seeking green energy careers.
Green energy aficionados can also look to EU leaders in the field like Denmark and Germany, which both have well-established renewable energy industries.
Looking beyond 2018, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Director-General Adnan Amin remains optimistic about green energy careers, saying:
‘Renewable energy has become a pillar of low-carbon economic growth for governments all over the world, a fact reflected by the growing number of jobs created in the sector.
‘Fundamentally … our analysis [is] that decarbonisation of the global energy system can grow the global economy and create up to 28 million jobs in the sector by 2050.’
When high-tech automation first emerged in earnest, there were concerns that the time-saving robots and Artificial Intelligence (AI) would end up decimating jobs.
So far, these fears have not come to pass to the extent that people feared, with automation generating new and exciting roles across the world for savvy inventors, designers and engineers.
The real push for automation in 2018 is in improving warehouse operations and customer service, which translates to picking and packing robots and ‘smart’ chatbots.
In the former case, companies like Ocado are fully on board with automation and have invested in a small army of robot sorters to arrange grocery orders. In the latter, an increasing number of websites now feature an automated helper to assist visitors and answer queries.
There will always be customers who want to speak to a human instead of a machine, but as chatbots become smarter they will be able to handle more difficult situations and ensure a minimum of time wasted for consumers and staff in customer service.
Svetlana Sicular, Research Vice President of advisory company Gartner, believes that the only way is up for AI and robot automation:
‘Many significant innovations in the past have been associated with a transition period of temporary job loss, followed by recovery, then business transformation – and AI is likely to follow this route.’
Another researcher at Gartner, Robert Hetu, has stressed that computerised automation is not designed to cut out the human role:
‘Retailers will come to view AI as a way to augment customer experiences rather than just removing humans from every process.’
According to the findings of University World News’ Yojana Sharma, aspiring automation engineers and designers should consider countries like South Korea, Japan, Germany, Singapore or Canada if they want to get in on the action.
For as long as the internet has existed, there have been roles for digital marketers looking to promote services and products, but the field is ever-changing.
There are businesses across the globe looking for experienced digital marketers, but the countries offering the highest pay packets for online marketing specialists include Australia, the Netherlands, Ireland, the US and Canada.
If you’re looking to advance your career overseas, these are some of the industries to keep an eye on in the year ahead. However, if you’re an entrepreneurial sort and want to set up your own company overseas, you might want to take a look at our article on the best countries to start a business for inspiration!
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