Want to make a career decision? Our guide to types of career fields is a must-read for anyone who wants to know which career path would be right for them.
Career choice is such an important decision of our lives, and it’s surprising how less research we do before making this decision. Before you decide to be a doctor, engineer or management executive, it is important to understand the type of work environments and sectors that exist. Often we ignore exploring this aspect of career pathways, and get focused only on degree acquisition and skill development.
Types of Career Fields (Career Clusters Based on Sectors)
So let’s look at the types of career fields based on different sectors or work environments (career clusters) that exist, which may help you choose the sector of your liking, where you can truly put a lot of hard work and feel happy and satisfied.
- Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
- Architecture & Construction
- Arts, Audio/Video Technology and Communication
- Business Management and Administration
- Education and Training
- Government and Public Administration
- Health Science
- Hospitality and Tourism
- Information Technology
- Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security
- Manufacturing, Engineering & Mining
- Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
- Transportation, Distribution and Logistics
Now let’s go over these one by one. Of course, remember that some types of career fields are more glamourized than others in media, because they’re shown as cool in movies or TV, but that doesn’t mean the jobs the other sectors are any less fulfilling. So it’s important to know what really appeals to you, no matter what others think about it.
Also known as “Agri”, this sector deals with nature. Starting from farming to food processing, it includes all aspects related to how food is produced to how it reaches your fork. This would be one of the most fulfilling types of career fields for those who love nature.
Popular areas that can be explored in these field are genetically modified (GM) seed development and research, fertilizer & pesticides, farming and animal husbandry, irrigation technologies to name a few. Some of the jobs here include animal scientists, environmental engineer, food science technician, forester, etc.
Some of the major changes that have happened in this sector are operation flood (or white revolution) and green revolution. We are moving toward developing sustainable ways of producing food, which require less resources. The agri industry has some big challenges in front of it, so this sector won’t run out of jobs in the years to come.
Popular companies and organizations that have made an impact in this field are:
Movies & TV
The construction industry deals with creation of buildings and infrastructure for our modern civilization. In today’s times, we are building road, houses, ports, power transmission projects, metro rails, offices at a very fast pace.
The construction industry deals with engineering know-how and involves big projects. It’s an exciting field to be in. Like most industries, the construction sectors is also finding sustainable or eco-friendly ways of construction so that it doesn’t harm our environment. Every sectors requires some sort of construction services and projects which may be broadly classified as:
- Residential constructions like houses, apartment complexes, etc.
- Commercial constructions like office complexes, malls, shops, hotels, etc.
- Public Infrastructure constructions like roads, railway lines, flyovers, airports, bridges, etc.
- Heavy engineering constructions like dams, factory complexes, etc.
These types of careers include architects, construction engineer, project manager, mason, building systems manager, estimator, field supervisor, etc.
Some of the popular companies in this field of architecture and construction are:
Movies & TV
Arts, Audio/Video Technology and Communications Careers
Communication is one of the most basic skills and need of every human. The world of art is full of extremely creative people. During the 14th to 17th century, the economy of the European kingdoms or cities was such that the major banks used to sponsor and fund artists of all kinds like painters, sculptors, musicians, which led to the emergence of Renaissance period.
Sometimes undervalued, arts is a very important discipline for mankind. It is through great arts that we our civilization progresses to a higher level. Arts are a representation of our culture and society.
In today’s times, art involves movies, music, animation, gaming, advertising, etc. Any form of communication requires artists to compose, perform to the composition, use technology to create or edit it in the right medium, and deliver it to the intended audience. For example, a movie or an advertisement is an art form. These types of careers consist of jobs like digital artists, animators, graphic designers, ad media creative heads, music composers, movie directors, actors, pop stars, etc.
While anyone can create art, professional artists create things that please or affect their intended audience. There are unique creative methods to create these things, that’s why robots can’t make movies and advertisements.
So those who pursue these types of careers need to have an artistic bent of mind, so that they create something interesting for their customer. A great example would be Apple products. They work well, but they are also aesthetically pleasing and are considered artistic in nature.
Prominent organizations in field of art education include:
- National Institute of Design (NID)
- National School of Drama, (NSD)
- The Faculty of Fine Arts, Maharaja Sayajirao University (MSU) of Baroda
- New York Film Academy, New York
- Naseeruddin Shah is an Indian Actor, from National School of Drama
- Martin Scorsese is an American film director
- MF Husain, founding members of Bombay Progressive Artists Group
- Piyush Pandey, an advertising professional and the Chief Creative Officer Worldwide at Ogilvy
Prominent organizations in field of creating art communications:
After the boom in engineering jobs during the early 90s, 2000 saw the boom in business management careers. A lot of companies became very large and a lot of MNCs entered the Indian market, hiring management professionals.
Types of careers in management mostly relate to working in a big organization in roles like marketing, sales, human resources and financial planning. The famous post graduate course MBA (Master’s in Business Administration) is the foundation of most business management careers.
All experienced professionals after 10-15 years of experience are expected to take up a managerial role in their organization, as they need to manage younger staff and handle departments. Management studies equip professionals with managerial skills, which can help them make organizational decisions in leadership positions.
Almost all sizable companies have managers, and management has been one of the most sought after career paths in the last two decades. Some of the famous schools that offer management programs are:
- Indian Institute of Management (IIM)
- Harvard Business School (HBS)
- Stanford Graduate School of Business
Prominent Management Professionals
- Mike Bloomberg from HBS, founder of Bloomberg enterprises
- Vinod Khosla from Stanford Graduate School of Business, he is a co-founder of Sun Microsystems and the founder of Khosla Ventures
- Falguni Nayar from IIM-A, founder of Nykaa
Education and training, as the name suggests, deals with schooling people with knowledge and skills so that they can create value for themselves and their country. Good education is the foundation of any individual, so that they can achieve big things in their lives.
The education sector caters to all strata of our society; and governments spend a lot of money to eradicate illiteracy. Teachers are the most basic popular job role in this sector, which cater toward the education of primary school students to Ph.D candidates. Other jobs in these types of careers include tutor, education analyst, professor and dean.
Training refers to skilling up people with talents that are required by the industry and employment. For example, institutes where people can learn jobs like plumbing, management, coding & programming, etc. Training institutes are very important for creating strong and prosperous society.
Leading Educational Institutes
- Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan
- Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) – Bombay, Madras
- National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC)
- National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT)
Some the prominent educationalists are:
- Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, his birthday is celebrated as Teacher’s Day in India
- Dr. Mithu Alur, founder of The Spastic Society of India
- Sanjit “Bunker” Roy, founder of Barefoot College, Tilonia
- Chanakya, he is known as first famous Indian scholar who born in 375 BC. He was a professor of political science and economics at the Takshila University. He authored the book Arthashastra “The Science of Material Gain”, one of the most important books on the art of politics.
- Swami Dayanand Saraswati, founder of Arya Samaj
The world of finance is all about money and how it moves around. Finance is like the blood stream that fuels all kinds of economic activities from manufacturing to movie making to shopping. In the last few years, the finance sector has started making great use of information technology, and thus the finance industry is also sometimes referred to as fin-tech industry.
These career types include jobs like CA, tax associate, financial analyst, stock broker, etc. Anyone aspiring for a career in finance needs to be good with numbers. In order to excel, they need to understand accounting and economics. Among the different types of career fields, finance may be the most lucrative, as one can make big money only in the business of money. Every business organization needs to maintain its books, and needs to manage its finances to be successful commercially.
Prominent financial organizations in the financial world are:
Prominent personalities in the field of finance are:
- Dr. Manmohan Singh, an Indian economist, 22nd Finance Minister of India and 13th Prime Minister of India from 2004 to 2014
- Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs
- Janet Yellen, Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve
- Indra Nooyi, became CFO of PepsiCo in 2001, and later CEO in 2006
These types of careers relate to jobs in the government organizations. People who aspire to do public services and want to contribute to the society, this may be a very good choice. Government job has reputation of being a very safe career choice among all types of career fields, as it’s very unlikely some may get fired for non-performance.
Government jobs have always been in demand, and very well respected. This is because one becomes a part of the government system and commands a sort of legal and soft power. These jobs could range from top central government positions like IAS (Indian Administration Services), state government services, jobs in government public sector enterprises like Indian Railways, Indian Oil Corporation, Forest Department Services, etc.
A lot of government & public administration careers may overlap with other discussed career paths here. For example, government hospital doctor would fall in category of government jobs as well as health science careers. However, the key message is that government jobs career choice leads to distinct type of lifestyle which involves serving the public as whole and even making decisions that may affect the country. This can be extremely rewarding to a person in the social sense.
Prominent organizations in this sector would be:
When parents talk to their kids about what types of career fields interest them, medical professions usually top the list. Health science career paths relate to physical and mental wellbeing of the society.
Professions like medical docto orr physician, surgeons, medical researchers, nurses, therapists, epidemiologists, veterinarians, dentists, nutritionists, pharmacists, etc. are popular career options in the field of health sciences.
Prominent organization in the field of health sciences are:
- All India Institute Of Medical Science
- The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
- National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences
- International Vaccine Institute
- World Health Organization
- CIPLA, a leading pharmaceutical company
Hospitality and tourism belong to the service sector, and relate to career paths in hotel management, travel services, tourism bookings, tourist guides, food and beverage. They are extremely important for a country as they generate a lot of employment for the masses and bring in foreign exchange.
These careers are also a gateway to the local culture, showcasing the culinary and cultural history of an area. Some of the jobs in these types of career fields include hotel managers, chefs, bakers, bartenders, tourist guides, booking agents, museum exhibit curators, tasting experts, etc.
Prominent organizations in hospitality & tourism include:
Information Technology or IT career paths relate to computers and telecommunications. Professionals in I.T. work with storing data, creating software to send or exchange information. The most common job role in this field is IT Consultants. They are responsible for IT software packages, like designing, building, testing and releasing into the market.
This is one of those types of career fields that require a lot of technical knowledge, so you need a degree or experience in IT to get these jobs. Ever since computers became commonplace in offices and all information got digitized, jobs in the IT sector became common and also coveted.
The benefits of being an IT professional is that you get to work in a safe and comfortable office environment while earning a good salary and even foreign travel. However, the downside is that working hours can sometimes be long and there is too much screen time.
Careers in law and public safety relate to the security of the citizens, their rights and protection of the country’s laws. These career paths include lawyers, advocates, policemen, traffic police, security guards, police intelligence officers, bodyguards, etc.
People in these professions are very important for our society as they are responsible for creating and upholding law and safety. This is among the most coveted types of career fields because of the respect and soft power these professionals command. There is a definite requirement of physical fitness in these career paths and you may also require training for some of these professions.
Careers in manufacturing relate to the production of tangible goods using machinery. Manufacturing is a type of engineering operations, which involves engineering know how like mechanical, quality & testing systems, repair and maintenance, factory shop floor operations like machine operations, material handling, etc.
Manufacturing is among the most common types of career fields for those who don’t have a college degree. Those jobs include repairers, mechanics, operators, carpenters, installers, etc. However there are certainly many jobs in manufacturing that require professional training, such as robotics technician, fiberglass fabricator, tool programmer, jeweler, etc.
Manufacturing enterprises can be broadly categorized as:
- Heavy engineering Industry e.g. mining, metal forming (casting, welding, forging, etc.), automotive.
- Electronics & Consumer Goods Manufacturing e.g. TV, mobile phones, computers microprocessors, optical systems, etc.
- Chemical Manufacturing e.g. plastics, petroleum refining.
- Heavy electrical manufacturing, e.g. transformer, trains, etc.
- Mining e.g. extraction of metal ores like iron ore, bauxite, etc.
Also known as the STEM careers, these are the career paths for the intellectual minds of the world who love to study science and maths. Research about the universe, computers and robotics, analysis of data, creation of new materials, doing lab experiments for new technology, thinking of new ways to build everyday items – these are all the things that professionals in STEM fields do.
STEM used to be thought of as the field for nerds and geeks, but now it has emerged as a trendy option for curious individuals and thinkers. Many STEM professionals become scientists, professors, lead research experiments and even have their own startups.
Jobs in this career path include mathematician, researcher, scientist, astronomer, applied physicist, astronaut, computer engineer, artificial intelligence expert, etc. Surely, due to the popularity of these careers, this is one of the most competitive among all types of career fields. Also, jobs are limited, so if you’d like to go for STEM careers, it’s important to start preparing early on, and be academically strong.
- ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation)
- SETI (Search for extraterrestrial intelligence) Institute
- Department of Physics – Oxford University
- Robotics @MIT
Logistics and distribution industry relates to movement of raw material, commodities, finished goods and courier services. Transportation industry is the backbone of a country. It utilizes infrastructure like roads, rails, sea and aviation to move material from one end (raw material producer) of the value chain to the end consumer (finished goods user).
Companies in these types of career fields need professionals who manage the supply chain. These supply chain professionals are responsible to identify a source to procure goods, use transportation service provider for moving the goods from one place to other, stock or store the goods to be utilized for manufacturing or re-distribution.
A career in logistics requires of lot of planning and forecasting, as its key objective is to move goods seamlessly from raw material to manufacturing operations to end user, utilizing the transportation infrastructure and service.
- Transport Corporation of India
- Shipping Corporation of India
- GATI Ltd
- India Post
- Air India Express Cargo Services
Abhishek Sareen is a marketing professional with over 16 years of experience. He started his career as a management consultant and currently works in international business. He has set up businesses like Track & Trail, BrooksBicycles.com and created consumer brands like Montra, Machcity and Roadeo. He’s is a passionate cyclist and participated in several endurance competitive events like MTB Himalaya. His interests are in behavioral psychology, economics and chess. He is a graduate in Computer Science and an MBA in Marketing. He completed his executive education from IIM-A in 2016 focusing on business strategy.