For recent college graduates, the summer months aren’t what they used to be. Once filled with beaches and barbecues, many graduates are now spending their days looking for their first job. While some are lucky enough to have their first gig already lined up before graduation, many are not, and those grads are now on the hunt.
The hunt, though, will be easier for some than it is for others, and as a college planner, I tell my clients this often. An article by USA Today profiled “Six Jobs with Good Pay and Great Prospects.” Of course, the catch is that you have to have the correlating degree.
In a blog post in March, I wrote about things students should consider when choosing a college major. My hope when writing that article was to help college students (or soon-to-be college students) choose a major that would increase their chances of being one of the lucky ones who has a job lined up before graduation.
In the March post, I wrote that as a college consultant, I am a big proponent of job shadowing, internships and summer jobs (in a field of interest). That is the first thing I recommend to clients because there’s nothing better than gaining first-hand experience to rule-in or rule-out a career path. If students have absolutely no clue what career they’d like to pursue, I will give them two assessments, a Personality test and a Career Cluster test, and then combine the results of both to give students an idea of what careers best suit their abilities, interests and strengths.
It also helps to know what careers are popular right now and why.
The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and healthcare fields are the fastest growing according to data from College Factual. Students who have STEM majors tend to go on to well-paying careers that closely align with the skills they learned in college. They are less likely to be underemployed and more likely to be earning a competitive wage.
The blog from March outlined the following college majors for being fast-growing and in-demand: Behavior Science, Health and Medical Prep Programs, Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, Physical Sciences, and Engineering-related fields.
I’m using this blog as an opportunity to add to that information from March. The USA Today article that I recently read listed the fastest-growing high-paying jobs for college grads. It confirmed the info in my March post that STEM fields figure into many of the jobs with the best prospects in the near future. According to the article, the occupations listed are those that “have projected growth of at least 20%, with an additional 50,000 or more jobs added by 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’Occupational Outlook Handbook. In addition, these positions have higher average salaries than others, usually $55,000 and up. They also require at least a bachelor’s degree.”
Check out the careers:
- Software developer
Salary and growth projection: Software developers have an average salary of $93,350. By 2022, an estimated 222,600 new jobs (22% growth over 2012 levels) are projected in this field.
What they do: Software developers create computer and mobile applications. They also design systems and networks that enable applications and other software to function.
Degrees wanted: Successful candidates have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or information technology, as well as the ability to demonstrate their skills.
- Computer systems analyst
Salary and growth projection: Computer systems analysts make an average of $79,680 per year. An estimated 127,700 new jobs are forecast by 2022, a projected increase of 25%.
What they do: As the job title suggests, these workers assess a company’s computer systems to identify any functionality problems, such as with speed or data processing. They then devise solutions to ensure smoother operation. Essentially, they provide a link between the business side of a company and information technology.
Degrees wanted: The most common bachelor’s degrees in this field are in computer science or information science. However, some companies are open to hiring alternative degree holders with proven skills in IT, computer programming or analysis.
- Medical and health services manager
Salary and growth projection: Medical and health services managers have an average salary of $88,580. About 73,300 new positions are expected between 2012 and 2022, a 23% increase.
What they do: Medical and health services managers are essentially executives or administrators in healthcare. Their job is to manage a facility, medical practice or clinical department. Job functions include planning, directing and coordinating all health-related services in accordance with laws and regulations.
Degrees wanted: Bachelor’s degrees are required, often in a specific health field or in areas related to health care administration. To attain higher positions down the road in this field, it’s common to get a master’s degree.
- Market research analyst
Salary and growth projection: The average salary for these jobs is $60,300. The number of positions for marketing research analysts is expected to grow 32% from 2012 to 2022 — that’s about 131,500 jobs.
What they do: Market research analysts are charged with examining potential sales of products or services in a particular market and communicating their findings to company stakeholders.
Degrees wanted: Market research analysts typically hold bachelor’s degrees in areas such as statistics, math, computer science, psychology, market research or business administration. Successful candidates must demonstrate strong math and analytical skills. Higher positions may require a master’s degree.
- Personal financial advisor
Salary and growth projection: The average salary for personal financial advisors is $67,520, and demand is increasing: About 60,300 new jobs are expected by 2022, or 27% growth.
What they do: Personal financial advisors give clients advice on managing money, including investments, insurance, tax planning, retirement planning, saving for college and more.
Degrees wanted: Advisors typically have a bachelor’s degree in business administration, accounting, economics, mathematics or finance. Advanced certification may be needed down the line, and licenses may be required for financial advisors with more specialized functions — those who buy or sell stocks, for example.
- Civil engineer
Salary and growth projection: Civil engineers see average salaries of $79,340. By 2022, about 53,700 new jobs are expected, representing 20% growth for the field.
What they do: Civil engineers design and oversee construction projects and systems from roads and buildings to bridges, water supply systems and airports.
Degrees wanted: Degrees in civil engineering or civil engineering technology are typical. Civil engineers must also be licensed. Graduate degrees may be needed down the line for higher positions.
My hope for my clients is that their summer after college graduation is spent enjoying beaches, barbecues… and a brand-new job.