13 Dec 2017 16:31 IST

Winning with hot jobs in 2018

While picking a career, it is essential to choose sectors that are growing or are likely to grow

It's raining jobs on B-school campuses. Welcome back to the good times! The outlook for management graduates this year is quite bright. However, it is important to focus on the hot sectors of the economy to make the most of the opportunity.

On the one hand, there are disheartening reports of what automation is likely to do to lower-skilled jobs. On the other, we see opportunities opening up in large numbers. Therefore, it is essential to be careful while choosing the sectors that are growing, or are likely to grow, in the foreseeable future.

A recent McKinsey report considers urbanisation, a rising middle-class and increased consumer spending, as the driving forces of economic growth. It also predicts that India will be the third-largest incremental growth engine for the planet by 2030.

According to a Forbes report, five sectors will drive significant growth for the economy. Therefore, job opportunities in the following seem very promising.

~ Infrastructure: With a multi-pillar development push, the ‘Make in India’ initiative is likely to witness significant growth in the infrastructure sector. The Government’s ambitious plans of developing industrial corridors and Smart Cities require a new-found investment thrust to build airports, schools, hospitals and highways. By 2025, India is expected to have more than 69 cities, each with a population of one million or more.

~ Financial services: India’s mobile payment system is regarded among the world’s most advanced, according to Forbes. Setting up banks in underbanked rural areas is very expensive. Therefore, there is an urgent need to speed up the mobile payment system — which is what we are witnessing.

McKinsey Global Institute has estimated that mobile payments could soon give more than 300 million people in India access to banking services, including credit, which could stimulate the economy even more.

~ Technology: Perhaps a lesser known fact is that India has the second-largest online population in the world, with more than 462 million users. This is expected to radically alter sectors such as education and healthcare, according to McKinsey. Mobile internet, cloud tech and digital payments could add between $550 billion and $1 trillion a year in economic value by 2025, the survey says.

~ Automotive: Most of the world’s largest automakers seem to be ramping up production in India as more prosperous citizens trade in two-wheelers for four. The Make in India plan in this sector could potentially take the Indian car industry from $74 billion to more than $260 billion, making it one of the world’s top three automotive industries.

~ Healthcare: The share of India’s population aged 60 and older is projected to climb from 8 per cent today to 19 per cent in the next three decades, according to United Nations Populations Division. This could be a boon for the healthcare industry. It has already become a high growth sector, and by 2020, the market is likely to increase to $280 billion, up from $74 billion a few years ago.

A study by Morgan Stanley too confirms the above projection as growth sectors in its report published in May 2017.

~ Pharma: A report from PwC estimates that pharma sales in India will rise to $50 billion by 2020. Indian pharma companies are already among the leaders in the production of generic drugs and vaccines.

~ Logistics: An April 2017 report by Deloitte says the logistics sector in India is set to grow from $115 billion to $360 billion by 2032. Dedicated freight corridors, logistics parks, free trade warehousing, multi-modal logistics parks and multi-modal transport services are among the drivers that are expected to push development in this sector.

~ Retail and e-commerce: Retail market is expected to reach $1trillion by 2020. E-commerce sales may touch $120 billion in 2020 from $30 billion in 2016.

~ Management consulting: The management consulting services market in the country will touch $5.4 billion by 2018. This represents a huge opportunity for management graduates who are keen on pursuing a rewarding career in consulting.

The sectors mentioned above appear promising with plenty of opportunities for learning, growing and building a robust career. B-school graduates would do well to keep in mind these sectors while choosing a job.

I remember a professor of mine emphasising a point. He said: Happiness and money are like butterflies. If you chase them, they go further away. If you ignore them, they come back and sit gently on your shoulders. Hence, management graduates should look beyond money and towards potential growth opportunities as criteria for choosing and then flourishing in their careers.