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The beginning of a new year presents a great opportunity to assess the jobs landscape, and a veritable who’s who of analysts, experts, and thought leaders are already weighing in with projections on what’s hot and what’s not for the coming year.

As an education provider with an explicit focus on employment we of course keep a close eye on these analyses, and are always deeply gratified when our endeavors align with industry trends.

Over the course of January we’ll be looking at some of the hottest jobs of 2016, and discussing ways you can successfully position yourself to land a great new position, or accelerate your advancement towards a new career objective.

Software Developer, Applications

The first job we’re going to look at is App Developer. Or, more properly (as defined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics): Software Developer, Applications.

The incredible number of publications highlighting the rapidly growing need for candidates with these skills makes it prohibitive to list them all, but what’s clear is that anyone successfully prepared to assume an App Developer role can look forward to a great year in 2016, and a great future after that!

As but one example, a recent article in InformationWeek projected salary increases of nearly 9% for Mobile App Developers in 2016! And, Business Insider included the position in its 19 hottest jobs for 2016 list, and a recent article in Inc. noted a rather astonishing 83,649 more App Developer jobs posted than people hired, thus qualifying App Developer as #2 on their “10 Hottest Jobs in 2016” list. And finally, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics continues to project incredible growth for the App Developer job market, with estimates running above 20% over the next five years.

Why Become An App Developer?

Why is there so much buzz around App Developers? A 2015 article in Kiplinger provides a wonderful answer:

Why become an app developer? Check the palm of your hand (or possibly your back pocket or the couch cushions) for the answer. The proliferation of mobile technology is driving demand for development of new applications. According to Robert Half Technology, more than 70% of organizations are implementing some kind of mobile strategy, and they all need the tech professionals who can get the job done.

All of which makes us all the more excited to be offering developer Nanodegree programs for both Android and iOS. These outcome-based and project-oriented programs feature curricula expressly designed to prepare students for exactly these App Developer roles, and we couldn’t be more excited about the massively growing demand. Plus, with industry partners like Google and AT&T, student are assured the skills they master will directly translate to employment opportunities. Google even recently hosted a group of Android Developer Nanodegree program students for a Career Summit at their campus!

Your Year, Your Career!

Estimates vary, but it’s a virtual certainty that somewhere between 80 and 90% of the world’s adult population will own an activated smartphone by the year 2020. Given that every one of those phones will be loaded up with apps, it’s safe to say that App Developer is a career with a great deal of long-term potential. And, given that our Android and iOS Developer Nanodegree programs can be successfully completed in less than a year, there is truly no time like the present to start mastering the skills that will secure you a dream job.

So if you’re an aspiring App Developer, this is your year! And if you’re NOT an aspiring App Developer? Maybe it’s time to become one!

Christopher Watkins
Christopher Watkins
Christopher Watkins is Senior Writer and Chief Words Officer at Udacity. He types on a MacBook or iPad by day, and either an Underwood, Remington, or Royal by night. He carries a Moleskine everywhere.