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11 hottest careers for college grads

By KSL Jobs  |  Posted Jun 3rd, 2015 @ 10:55am


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With college graduation comes the nose-to-the-grindstone search for a job. The task can seem like insanity as a graduate tries to choose a career based on skill set, job availability, goals and necessity.

Education level, degree, knowledge and training should be considered in the search as well. If a person wonders if he has the education or skill set necessary to complete a job, he may want to check out the Occupational Outlook Handbook as one resource.

Before a graduate starts handing out resumes or checking out KSL Jobs for available positions, it may help to research career trends and stats in the current market place.

The following are 11 of the hottest career choices for today's college graduates. Each career was chosen for the list based on one or more of the following qualities: market growth, high salary, employer preference and workplace trends.

1. Computer science

Engineering, programming, coding and data analysis are just a few of the computer science careers that are hot right now. Especially for those with the right propensity and training in computer science.

According to Stan Inman, director of University Career Services at the University of Utah, "Anything in the information systems, information technology is certainly going to be in high demand. Career paths that are going to be in demand are going to be aligned with interpreting, analyzing and forecasting large data sets. Information systems, information technology and also protecting that information. The cybersecurity related outcomes are going to be in high demand as well."

A publication on the Bureau of Labor Statistics Web Site cites the reason for such high growth in information technology being that it touches "nearly every aspect of modern life." That as capabilities and the user base for digital and online services grow, so will the demand for jobs that can maintain those services. See available computer science jobs in Utah.

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2. Petroleum engineering

In an article on naceweb.org titled "Engineering Majors Expected to Be Top Earners for the Class of 2015," petroleum engineers led the list with a projected median starting salary of $93,750.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Employment of petroleum engineers is projected to grow 26 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Oil prices will be a major determinant of employment growth, as higher prices lead to increasing complexity of oil companies’ operations, which requires more engineers for each drilling operation."

With oil and gas being such an important part of multiple industries, including transportation, it isn't surprising that the demand is growing for engineers who design and maintain different methods for extracting that oil and gas from beneath the earth's surface. See general engineering jobs in Utah.

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3. Dentistry

Usnews.com's list of 100 best jobs of 2015 is topped with dentist.

According to the list, "A comfortable median salary of $146,340 and good work-life balance have helped this intrinsic health care job secure the top spot on (usnews.com's) best jobs list once again, and the BLS expects 23,300 new dentist jobs through the year 2022."

An article on medicaljobs.org discusses how the dentistry field is the only truly flexible profession in the medical industry. The reasons being that dental offices are generally open only four days a week and that dentists can often choose their own hours because they own their own practices.

Like any other medical career, dentists will always be in demand. It is a profession based on the care and healing of the human body, offering a satisfying career without the grueling hours required of other medical professions. Search Utah jobs related to dentistry and healthcare.

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4. Psychology

The fastest-growing occupation between 2012 and 2022 is that of industrial-organizational psychologists, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Psychologists study cognitive, emotional, and social processes and human behavior by observing, interpreting and recording how people relate to one another and their environments."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "published studies report that about 25% of all U.S. adults have a mental illness and that nearly 50% of U.S. adults will develop at least one mental illness during their lifetime."

Having a quarter to half of the U.S. adult population as potential clients is definitely a factor in the growth of this career. There are also many other demands for psychologists, such as couples counseling, grief counseling, counseling for divorced couples and families in turmoil, etc. Search Utah jobs related to psychology.

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5. Accounting and finance

"Accounting and finance are degrees that generally have great outcomes as well." says Inman.

In an article on forbes.com about the top degrees to get hired in 2015, bachelor's degrees in finance and accounting top the list of in-demand bachelor's degrees when it comes to the workplace.

The universal job, every field needs accountants and tax professionals to help them navigate the economic and financial world that we live in, as well as to help individuals and companies prevent fraud within their taxes and accounts.

If you enjoy working with numbers, balancing accounts, and can meet multiple deadlines then this may be a good job for you. Search Utah jobs related to finance.

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6. Market research analyst

Usnews.com has market research analyst as its No. 1 Best Business Job for 2015. "Market research analysts study our habits as consumers, then use those observations to counsel companies on packaging, branding and selling products."

An article on money.cnn.com describes the position of a Market Research Analyst: "You know what you like. It's the job of market research analysts to find out why. From direct surveys to dissecting buckets of data, they track what consumers want -- and what it would take to change their minds."

A market analyst is in many ways like a detective. The article goes on to say that this could apply to any industry that deals in research. Whether the research is internal or external, for marketing purposes, etc., an industry is going to need someone to help them interpret the data. Search Utah jobs related to market research.

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7. Florists and gardeners

In an article in The Sydney Morning Herald, research by Professor Paul Dolan, UK economist and behavioral scientist, shows that florists and gardeners are the happiest workers. Accordingly, 87 percent in this profession report being happy. At the bottom of the list? Bankers, with only 44 percent reporting they are happy.

Surprised this made the list? The point is to find a way to earn a living while doing something that you love. It will be easier for an employee to put in the effort needed to be successful at their job if they enjoy what they do.

Check forbes.com for their list of the "Ten Happiest Jobs." What job do they say tops the list? "Clergy." Search Utah jobs related to floristry and gardening.

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8. Actuary

According to another article on Forbes.com, the No. 1 best job for 2015 is an actuary, coming in at $94,200.

According to the Society of Actuaries, "With a deep understanding of mathematics, actuaries forecast possibilities and develop plans to manage financial risks. Applying a blend of math, statistics and business knowledge, they serve as trusted financial and business advisors. Actuaries inform and make decisions that lead to profits, savings, stability and success."

These are things that every business is aspiring to achieve.

If "mathematics, statistics and financial theory" interest you, you may want to consider a career as an actuary. According to SOA.org, "The actuarial field is exclusive. In the U.S., 25,000 people work as actuaries (compared with nearly 1.3 million accountants). The pool of actuaries is small, demand is great, and job security is generally high." Search Utah jobs related to finance.

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9. Face to face professional services

Inman said, "Sales and customer facing careers are really in high demand as well." He goes on to say that degrees in English, marketing and communications are some great steps for getting into these professional services careers.

According to mindtools.com, "They include lawyers, advertising professionals, architects, accountants, financial advisers, engineers, and consultants, among others. Basically, they can be any organization or profession that offers customized, knowledge-based services to clients."

Positive people skills are an important factor in the success of any career dealing directly with clients. The ability to communicate clearly and effectively can be the catalyst to what might be an otherwise stagnant career.

In this technology focused word, having the skills to actually deal face-to-face with real people is a hot commodity. Search Utah jobs in this industry.

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10. Interpreters and translators

"Interpreters and translators" comes in fourth on the Bureau of Labor Statistics list of fastest growing occupations. Converting one language into another is a needed skill in multiple environments. Schools, medical facilities and courtrooms constitute just a few of the opportunities for interpreters.

The Center for Immigration Studies reports that "The number of foreign-language speakers increased 2.2 million between 2010 and 2013. It has grown by nearly 15 million (32 percent) since 2000 and by almost 30 million since 1990 (94 percent)."

Reportedly, 2010 to 2013 saw the largest increase for those who spoke Spanish, Chinese and Arabic. Interpreters may also specialize in sign language and helping those who are deaf. It should also be noted that knowing a second language could increase your salary in many careers.

An article on USNews.com states, "Those entering the workforce in 2014 with second language fluency can expect an additional 10 to 15 percent pay increase, according to Ryan McMunn, language expert and CEO of BRIC Language Systems."

If you speak another language fluently and want a career with immense variety, unpredictabily, and the opportunity to help someone in need, this may be the job for you. Search Utah jobs related to a second language.

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11. Best Choice: The career that interests you

Inman cautions, "No single decision about major or career should be made on one factor, like what's going to be in the most demand or what's going to be the highest paying." He suggests considering a future career based on your education, skill sets and interest.

As graduates are looking at possible careers and searching through the job postings, they should remember to pursue a career based not only on their ability to succeed in that career, but in their ability to enjoy succeeding as well.

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Enjoying your career will not only help you achieve personal happiness, but enjoying work also makes it easier to succeed with it.

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