Thomas Blanchfield, managing director of investments for the private banking and investment group at Merrill Lynch, notes that the need for financial advisers has grown in part because employees are increasingly managing their own retirement savings these days, in 401(k) plans.
"I think that person is obligated to look after their own finances in a way that they perhaps weren't in a previous generation," he says. "For those people that don't feel they are prepared to do it themselves, they are seeking advice," he says.
While successful financial advisers are savvy money managers, they must also understand their clients. "The understanding of human emotions and how that affects people's desire, or lack of desire, to be an investor, is really an important part of the job," Blanchfield says.
5. HR Specialist. Depending on the size of a company, the responsibilities of a human resources (HR) specialist can include recruitment, hiring, training, employee benefits, compensation, job enrichment, relocation, performance, termination, and outplacement. Over the coming decade, the field is expected to grow by 20.5 percent, according to the BLS.
With a brighter economic picture, companies are seeking more HR specialists to help integrate new employees. "As we come out of the recession, companies are adding people, and you need HR people to take care of the people coming in," says Sharmyn Calhoun, president of the National Human Resources Association.
To achieve success in the field, Calhoun recommends a formal education and possibly a graduate degree in an area like human-resource management or labor relations. A law degree can also be a great asset if you work for a unionized company, she notes.
If the company you work for has a large staff and the area of your focus is singular, it's still important to be well-versed in all HR disciplines and know how they affect the company as a whole. "You have to be able to think strategically across all the disciplines to be successful in an HR specialist or generalist role," Calhoun says.