Many young professionals are anxious to step foot in the c-suite, but not many industries are welcoming to rapid career development. Industries that are established and slow to change are more likely to have fewer opportunities for advancement into upper-level leadership positions, which can cause workers to become mired in lower levels of management for precious years of their careers.

Thus, ambitious professionals might consider pivoting into fields that are growing at a much faster pace and thus are more eager for new leaders. Those looking for excellent executive opportunities should consider the following fast-growing industries:

Healthcare

The healthcare industry is beginning to strain under the massive weight of the aging baby boomer generation. Worse, an employment exodus during and after the COVID pandemic has left many markets underserved in healthcare providers. Traditionally, healthcare organizations have been interested only in executives with experience in healthcare administration, but as experts anticipate millions of jobs to be added to the healthcare industry over the coming years, more companies are considering executives with diverse leadership experience. Still, business leaders looking to pivot into healthcare administration should devote time to education and training to prepare themselves for this specialized career.

Financial Technology

An industry growing exceedingly quickly — and bolstered by the widespread trend of digital transformation — financial technology is expected to have a value over $330 billion by 2028. Not only are fintech-savvy executives in demand by startups and tech companies, but traditional financial services firms are interested in acquiring leaders who understand how to build and leverage digital financial tools. Leaders can enroll in fintech courses to better understand different aspects of the industry and how to point their careers into this growing field.

Cannabis

Though cannabis continues to be somewhat controversial — not least because U.S. Federal law continues to prohibit its sale and use — it is undeniable that the cannabis industry is growing. Starting from zero just a decade ago, the industry is now generating over $33 billion in annual sales, and as more states and countries permit the legal sale of recreational weed, the industry will continue to expand. Fortunately, because cannabis is such a young industry, experienced business leaders have an edge in securing executive positions, even if they are new to this sticky, green space.

Waste Management

Despite widespread awareness of the importance of sustainability, the amount of waste humans create is increasing every year. Thus, the waste management industry is expected to grow, and executive positions in organizations pertaining to the collection, processing, disposal and prevention of waste will increase in number. This industry provides excellent executive career opportunities for those with backgrounds in sustainability or interests in delivering sustainable solutions to their communities.

Elder Care

Again, the aging baby boomer generation is having an impact on economic activity — this time in the growth of the elder care industry. The need for nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, assistive technologies as well as home health and personal care aides is projected to grow 41 percent between 2016 and 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Business leaders eager to capitalize on the expansion of the healthcare industry but disinterested in pursuing experience in healthcare administration might find success in elder care, instead.

Construction

Population and business growth are driving an increasing need for new construction, as are a rapidly aging infrastructure of roads, bridges, sewers and more. Construction firms are desperate for leaders with experience in any field, as rampant growth is driving hiring across departments, from IT and human resources to tradesmen and manual labor. Many major construction firms expect their executives to feel comfortable working with project budgets in the multi-millions, so developing greater financial competency might be key for pivoting into this industry.

Travel

Though the hospitality industry as a whole took a significant hit during the COVID pandemic, the leisure industry is back with a vengeance — especially when it comes to travel. Consumers want to get out of their homes, which is driving growth in all organizations associated with travel: transportation, lodging, entertainment and more. Of particular interest to consumers are unconventional and tailored travel experiences, so business leaders with fresh, innovative ideas might have the best opportunities for career success.

By taking a career turn into a growth industry, business leaders may be able to access the roles of their dreams. However, succeeding in growing fields requires some preparation and some risk, and the more would-be executives understand about their potential for success or failure, the better.