New year, new job. Maybe even a new career. If you’ve been making promises like this to yourself for years, 2020 may be the time to turn them into reality. After all, with the unemployment rate the lowest it’s been in half a century, job seekers have the upper hand. Not only do employers have to work harder to gain their attention, but in some jobs they have to craft more attractive offers, too.

“Increasing pay is the simplest and most powerful way to attract and retain workers,” says Nick Bunker, an economist at Indeed Hiring Lab. “Money speaks, and it speaks pretty loudly.”

But that’s not the only good news: Hiring managers can’t afford to be as picky either, says Guy Berger, principal economist at LinkedIn.

“Employers who used to demand people who went to top-tier schools are now more open-minded,” he says. Not only that, but “hiring managers are much more receptive to individuals who need to grow into a job or want to try something new.”

New Yorkers are especially lucky, adds Berger. “Fourteen of the 15 jobs with tremendous rates of growth highlighted in our emerging jobs report have a presence in New York City.”

Job seekers should note that employers, almost across the board, are looking at potential hires differently. “The world has changed; it used to be that you had to know X, Y and Z,” says Nurit Shiber, chief people officer at Sisense, an analytics software maker in Midtown. “While you still have to have the basics, what’s most important is that you are coachable, open to learning and able to work as part of a team.”

So as you prepare to update your resume, polish your LinkedIn profile and clear Facebook and Instagram of things you wouldn’t want your future employer to see, consider these fastest-growing occupations of 2020.

Artificial intelligence (AI) specialist

No, employers aren’t looking for extraterrestrial beings to solve business problems, but if they can find humans who know how to apply machine learning to catch bad financial transactions, prevent hospital readmissions or tell sales reps which lead is worth chasing, they’ll hire them. Since most universities don’t offer degrees in AI, companies look for backgrounds in engineering, computer science or math, and for people who have a keen interest in natural language processing, machine learning, chatbots and more. Universities like Columbia and MIT offer online courses for a fee, and Google and Microsoft provide them for free on the Web.

Cybersecurity pro

“There is zero unemployment in this field — the demand outstrips the supply,” says Joyce Brocaglia, founder of Alta Associates, a Flemington, NJ, executive search firm that specializes in cybersecurity. The disparity is especially high for chief information security officers because the role is elevated and still very new. And while these polished executives tend to be well-schooled and have deep corporate experience, the “threat hunters” they hire are often talented hackers who may not have gone to college at all. There’s also room in this field for lawyers, dev-ops professionals (who automate the processes between software development and IT) and former members of the military.

 Silicon Alley worker

Not only did Amazon just announce that it will be leasing 335,000 square feet near Hudson Yards and adding 1,500 new tech jobs to Manhattan, but Google is also expected to grow its headcount here by about 10,000, says Julie Samuels, executive director at Tech: NYC, an organization of companies and leaders that make up the city’s fast-growing, entrepreneurial high-tech industry. It also appears that Facebook may soon expand its footprint in Manhattan, enough to make it one of the area’s largest employers. Samuels also points out that the city is home to as many as 9,000 startups. Those companies hire both technical and nontechnical workers, ranging from developers to accountants to digital marketers and salespeople.

Robotics engineer

Someone is going to have to build the robots that are supposed to, eventually, steal our jobs, but first someone will have to create them. Data from LinkedIn show that there’s a 40 percent job-growth rate in robotics engineering. Robotics engineers have to be strong in three things — understanding the task the robot is being built to perform (make a pizza, conduct a surgery, paint a car), building the actual robot and writing software to program the robot, says Eric Litman, founder of aescape, a wellness and robotics startup in Flatiron. Robotics engineers typically have backgrounds in math or physics and degrees in mechanical or software engineering, though Litman says he’d consider a “tinkerer” who has built something impressive.

Customer success specialists

No, these aren’t the customer service representatives that gave you a hard time when you tried to return the onesie pajamas your grandmother bought you over the holidays. Customer success specialists typically get involved after a product or service has been sold to a company (or a big-ticket item to an individual) in order to ensure that the user experience is delightful, to educate clients, and to identify opportunities for add-on sales. Outstanding communication skills, a great attitude, an eagerness to listen and learn and being a team player are crucial to the role, says Sisense’s Shiber.

Computer, cloud and data engineers and coders

Developers write the apps you use, data scientists create algorithms to predict your music picks, cloud engineers make sure that you can access files stored on the Web. It takes a good deal of human talent to power digital lives, so it’s no surprise that jobs in technology are plentiful. “I don’t see it slowing down,” says Berger. Luckily, the city and the Internet are full of training opportunities, some of which are free.

Via NY Post