What are the hot jobs for a college graduate? The team at the University of California San Diego Extension, as part of its ongoing research on trends in the workplace and economy, examined that question. says Mary Walshok, associate vice chancellor of public programs and dean of UC San Diego Extension in a press release. Unsurprisingly, most were related to computers and data.
Here are the top ten hot careers for 2012 in rank order:
- Software Developers, Systems Software
- Physical Therapists and Assistants
- Software Developers, Applications
- Market Research Analysts/Data Miners
- Cost Estimators
- Database Administrators
- Information Security Analysts
- Web Developers
- Computer Network Architects
- Network and Computer Systems Administrator
The 2012 study used wage and employment information gathered by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics and awarded points in these four categories:
The "work environment" label wraps together such factors as whether the job is indoors in an environmentally controlled setting, stress tolerance, time pressure, the amount of time spent dealing with unpleasant or angry people, the frequency of conflict situations, responsibility for others' health and safety, and the consequences of mistakes.Finally, a bridging parameter was used to account for the dilemma faced by so many college graduates struggling to find the right job in today's economy: Can entry requirements for this field be met in two years or less by someone with a degree in a different area?
- The number of jobs in the field now,
- The 10-year projected growth from 2010 to 2020,
- The median wage, and
- The work environment.
"In a changing and highly competitive job market, young graduates are often discouraged by their career horizons while working in low-paid jobs," says Walshok. "What we have learned through our work at UC San Diego Extension is that college grads increasingly need bridges to high-quality employment. Those bridges help them understand where the job opportunities are, what the skill requirements are and how they can augment their Liberal Arts education with additional training and education to achieve their desired end==an interesting and challenging job with good compensation."
After processing all the data, totaling the points and adding the bridging factor, 18 job categories emerge. There's a clear pattern as to what directions our national workforce is taking: Ten of the in-demand listings are in computer-related fields, five are in medical, and three--cost estimators, personal financial advisors and management analysts - in a sense are occupations that process or adapt information generated by computers.
"UC San Diego Extension has put together an in-house research team under my direction which is doing more and more sophisticated assessments of employment trends and opportunities," says Walshok. To this end, this fourth special report on "Hot Careers for College Graduates" has taken a different tact.
"We have used an algorithm to draw up a list of 18 hot job categories that are typically within the reach of current and recent college graduates. Many of these jobs require some additional training beyond the college degree, but the ones we examined do not typically require Masters or PhD degrees."
Veterinarians, registered nurses or advanced engineers are not on this list even though they are almost always in short supply. "They are not included because they represent careers for which competitive admissions into long-term academic degree programs are typical," says Walshok.
The occupations the report focuses on are careers for which an individual with a college degree and some additional education or training can qualify.
For the full 2012 report, go to http://extension.ucsd.edu/specialreports.