Updated: Oct 5, 2022
When you're changing careers, the ease of your transition all depends on your new industry. Sometimes you can seamlessly shift to a new role with your current experience, and sometimes you need to learn a whole new set of skills, whether it's through a formal degree program or online education.
As experienced coaching professionals, many Forbes Coaches Council members have helped their clients change careers across various sectors. If you’re thinking of switching fields, here are 10 fast-changing industries where you’ll need to go back to school before you make the leap.
1. The Energy Industry
You will definitely need to go back to school if you're wanting to jump into some of the highest-percent growth jobs in the energy industry. With a variety of education requirements, all levels require skills in science, math and the latest technology in computers and IoT. These include solar photovoltaic installers, wind turbine service technicians and derrick operators for oil and gas. - Elizabeth Ruiz, EAR Enterprises
Medicine is one field that would require someone to return to school if they are thinking of making a career change. This is an industry that requires approximately 10 years of training. It's not an area where someone can learn on the fly. On top of that, a patient's life depends on the person's expertise, and no one wants to leave their health in the hands of someone who is not properly trained. - Daisy Wright, The Wright Career Solution
3. Executive Coaching
Many people who go into coaching are exiting corporate America. The switch can be daunting! You're going from having all the answers to learning how to ask the right questions—both of your clients and yourself. It's about curiosity versus knowledge, feeling versus thinking, asking versus telling, influencing versus convincing. Skills, tools and techniques are critical. - Kimberly Roush, All-Star Executive Coaching
4. Technical Engineering And Robotics
Planning makes changing careers easier, especially if they are not related. You might need to get a higher degree or a specialized certification. Hone in on your long-term goal and think strategically. For example, coding and certain types of technical engineering fields will be the "wave of the future" in a few years, as will robotics. So, plan to learn and grow to make that transition easier. - Sandra Hill, New Horizen Coaching & Professional Growth Advancement
As technology evolves, STEM roles and opportunities are on the rise. Tech will never go away. Transitioning to the tech industry is always a good idea. Gaining the appropriate knowledge and skills needed through certification or degree programs will be essential to your success. Formalizing your education will also give you the necessary credibility to be a viable candidate for your next position. - Janette Braverman, Leaders Leaving Legacies, LLC
7. Artificial Intelligence
IDC predicts corporate spending on AI systems will reach $97.9B in 2023, assuring job growth. AI jobs are technical and require college-level training. U.S. colleges continue to rank at the top globally for their AI programs. Top programs combine a technical focus with business capabilities growth. The degree can provide a direct line to the C-suite as the Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer. - Tracy Levine, Advantage Talent, Inc.
Every industry is facing a takeover by AI or software in some way. To reinvent and build your career in tech, there will probably be a program or software you will need to either master or be familiar with right now. It may be as easy as taking a class on- or offline but don't pretend that software companies want to invest too much in training you. Find the fastest, most direct way to get the training. - John M. O'Connor, Career Pro Inc.
9. Information Systems
The key to success and changing careers will always be how prepared you are. Change is inevitable, and the notion that school ends when you get your degree is nonsense. The industry everyone must go back to school for is information systems. Everyone must reinvent themselves as we approach this new AI era. It's not life as usual any longer. We must learn faster and be fluid to change now. - Adriana Rosales, Adriana & Company™ LLC
10. Any New Career Field
Continuing education is an essential practice in any career. Whether joining the National Association of Landscape Professionals, the technology industry or the healthcare industry, developing a hunger to know more can strengthen our intellectual curiosity. Because we live in a fast-paced and competitive world, every industry requires some level of continuing education and self-development. - J. Ibeh Agbanyim, Focused Vision Consulting, LLC