Silicon Valley VC: 7 things to study if you want a high-paying job in the future

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Josh Elman of Silicon Valley venture capital firm Greylock Partners knows about keeping an eye out for the next hot industry.

In the early 2000s Elman was so intrigued by social networking, then a fledgling industry, that he dropped out of business school to pursue a job at LinkedIn. He went on to help Facebook and Twitter grow their massive audiences before taking his talents to Greylock, where he focuses on helping portfolio companies do the same.

Elman says that around this time of year, he gets a flood of inquiries from soon-to-be graduates of college and business school, wondering what industries he thinks they should pursue.

That's what kicked off a flurry of Tweets on the topic from Elman Friday morning.


The VC says the savvy job seeker will set their sights on these industries-on-the-rise: Artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), drones, robotics, genomics and brain-machine interface (BMI).

"I had a career where I stumbled around into lucky things that kept working," Elman says. "One of these is going to become huge, and people should become excited about it."


"You want to think of your career as building compounding skills and leveraging that to make you better at what you do," he says. "Then, when you go into the next company, you're more valuable to them."

It's important for job seekers to focus on the unique value they can bring to an employer. For that reason, Elman says he's hesitant to hire job seekers who say they want to join a company to have a learning experience.

"If I'm trying to hire you, I want you to say, 'Because I believe with my skills I can contribute this, this and this, and we'll see rapid growth, and I'll learn a lot being part of that."

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