Target The Right Industries

Target High Growth Industries

Your goal is to identify industries where you can market your personal brand and be compensated. Choose industries that support your passion and where you can highlight your strengths! If you are unsure which industry to select, you should research the industry and conduct an analysis to ensure that the industry is aligned with your strengths.

The Top 10

The top 10 fastest growing industries are numbered with the remainder in alphabetical order.

Advertising & Marketing (7)
Business Products & Services (4)
Computer Hardware, Construction
Consumer Products & Services (3)
Energy (5)
Environmental Services
Financial Services (4)
Food & Beverage
Government Services (8)
Health Care (2)
Human Resources
Information Technology Services (1)
Logistics & Transportation
Real Estate
Retail (10)
Software/Apps (6)
Telecommunications (9)

Transitioning, Job Hunting, Starting a Business

If you are transitioning from one industry to another, look for industries where the skill requirements are similar or complement your current skill set.

For example, If you worked in printing for a local newspaper, you may consider an online printing company or an online sign maker. Or, if you worked in IT sales, you may consider Apple (most profitable retailer) or Wal-Mart (everywhere). Basic skills, regardless of the industry, are transferable.

Skills Sought

There are five basic skills that every industry requires:

  1. Communications (listen, speak, write)
  2. Analytical/Research
  3. Technical/Computer
  4. Multi-tasking
  5. People

How-to-Conduct an Industry Analysis

To conduct an industry analysis you should first determine what you are interested in so that you do not waste a lot of time. Once you have selected your industry ask yourself what fundamental need or problem does this industry solve?
Then you can begin your analysis.

The following is a brief outline to get you headed in the right direction.

Step 1. Identify the Industry that interests you.

Step 2. Determine what need or problem your industry will solve.

Step 3. Assess how the industry is growing, innovating, and solving the need or problem that you have identified.

Step 4. Identify the industry players, who is already working on the problem, and where your solution can fit.

Step 5. Identify who will benefit most from your industries solution because they will be your top tier customers.

The following how-to-guide is intended to assist you with the different levels of research that you can conduct as you perform an analysis of your industry.

  • Use bullets, checks, tables and other visual dividers to help manage and organize your research.
  • Otherwise, you will end up with a lot of notes that you cannot make heads or tails form.

Here are the sections that you would use to organize the information that you gather.

Organize Your Research

Here are the key factors to consider as you analyze your industry. Google the factors to get a snapshot of what is going on in your industry.

  • Industry - How big is the industry, what are the trends, what is the outlook
  • Geographic Area - Will it be local, regional, statewide, national, international
  • Product or Service
  • Buyers - Customers
  • Regulatory Environment
  • Company Information - identify and research the most successful players in the industry


The information that you seek can be obtained from a number of resources. Where possible, we have provided you with the free resources that can assist you with your efforts. You should note that the level of information required for your initial research is free and can be found on the internet or at your local library.

To aid your research, we have grouped the recommended resources with the section that you are researching by source. For example, Industry Resources are listed under the Industry Section.

  • Library Resources
  • Internet Resources
  • Other Resources

You will also find information from other sources. For example, interviews, your own experiences, and other situations that may or may not be listed here.

Lastly, do not enter into analysis/paralysis. Your research efforts should give you a high level view of your industry. Once you understand the overall trend of the industry, you can then look for specific information related to the job that you are seeking or the entrepreneurial endeavor you are undertaking.

Industry Analysis

  • Identify the Industry
    • Determine the NAICS Code and/or SIC Code for the industry
  • Industry Overview
    • Factors that affect growth
    • Government regulations
    • Leading businesses in the industry
    • Estimated Size of the industry by Dollar and by Products/Services sold
    • Sales Trends for the last 3 - to - 5 years
    • Determine current operational/management trends within the industry
    • Identify marketing strategies that are prevalent within the industry
      • Online, Social Media, Blogs, Promotions, Campaigns
    • Is the industry seasonal
    • Is the industry sensitive to economic fluctuations
    • Is it a need economy industry

  • Resources
    • Library Resources
      • Standard & Poor's Industry Surveys
      • US Industry and Trade Outlook
      • Encyclopedia of American Industries
      • Encyclopedia of Emerging Industries
    • Internet Resources
      • Encyclopedia of Trade Associations
      • Google Industry Name with and without other Keywords
    • Other Resources
      • Business Magazines i.e., Inc., Forbes, Newsweek, Wired, Black Enterprise
      • Autobiographies give insight and how-I-did-it insight
      • Academic Institutions are a breeding ground for innovation
      • Online databases i.e., NCLive, Dow Jones Interactive, InfoTrac
      • Trade associations and industry magazines
      • Better Business Bureau
      • Library of Congress’s Legislative Information
  • Consumer Market Data
    • Demographics - Population, Household size, Median Income, Age, Sex, Race, Ethnicity, Family Status
    • Psychograhics - Lifestyle preferences, tastes and buying habits
  • Competitive Analysis
    • Who are the major players/businesses in the industry
    • Where are they located
    • How long have they been in business
    • What is their market share
  • Resources
    • Library Resources
      • Trade Associations
      • Business and Investing Reference Databases (Handbook, ABI, Value Line, Galileo)
  • Other Sources of Information
    • Search Engines
      • Google
      • Yahoo
      • Ask
      • (supports keyword search for consumer behavior, news coverage)
    • Government Agencies
      • SBA (U.S. Small Business Administration)
      • State DOT (Department of Transportation)
      • FedBizOpps (Federal Business Opportunities)
      • Statewide Bids & Contracts
      • Local County Purchasing & Contracting Offices