The Economic Rebound: Green And Online

Wired asked LinkedIn to analyze the profiles of its 7 million US members who have changed industries in the past five years, and the results look a lot different than the official reports of what the economy is doing*.

According to LinkedIn’s data, the fastest-growing industry is renewables and the environment, trailed by Internet, online publishing and wireless-related jobs.

These are all part of a new class of jobs, Wired argues, that you could call “smart jobs.” “They’re specialized, but that doesn’t mean you need a PhD or even (in some cases) a college degree to get them or to do them well—though they do require some serious training, whether on the job or in a vocational program…Smart jobs tend to scramble the line between blue-collar and white-collar…[they] are cropping up all over the country, in regions where you’d never expect to find them.”

So for example, Richmond, Va. is becoming an IT hub, and Dayton, Ohio, is a center for manufacturing RFID technology. Kansas City has added thousands of IT jobs while Milwaukee is a center for medical devices. And Denver is quickly becoming the plastics capital of the country.

Okay. So this doesn’t help media people (though it should point you toward which companies to cover or sign on as clients). But two of the fastest growing industries are graphic design and e-learning, both of which should present ripe opportunities for career changers anywhere in the country.

*Adding healthcare jobs and not much else.