Inc. has an interesting package of articles on the best industries for starting a business. The industries that made their list are quite eclectic, everything from cupcakes to ferryboats to environmental consulting.
I found self-storage leasingto be an interesting industry. According to article, 90% of the facilities are owned by small businesses. It is also an easy industry to enter and a good way to invest long term in real estate.
I have a friend who bought a number of Drive-In Movie sites around the Washington DC area many years ago. At one point I mentioned that Drive-In's seemed like a lousy business to be investing in. He told me it was, but he said it was also a cheap way to buy and hold real estate. He retired after selling off the land a decade or so later.
I found it interesting that few of the industries were tech related. Mobile applications development made the list, but that is it except for several categories of online retailing.
Is Your Industry Hot or Not discusses how to pick an industry. A growing industry is the best bet, and as the article points out, industry experience is clearly a plus.
I think this article is also an excellent resource for those starting their careers. Being part of a growth industry is a real career plus.