With recent college graduates facing an unemployment rate of 6.7 percent and substantially lower starting salaries, we have to ask: What path should students take in order to flourish professionally after graduation? While there isn't one direct route that translates into success, the recent “Hot Careers for College Grads and Returning Students 2013” report by UC San Diego Extension revealed a list of in-demand careers based on job growth, salary and work environment:
- Software Developers, Applications and Systems Software: According to the report, the integration of technology into our daily lives “has created an ongoing critical shortage of qualified software developers to design, develop, test, document and maintain the complex programs that run on these hardware platforms.”
- Market Research Analyst: Market research analyst jobs have exploded in every sector of the economy. This has created a high demand for those who can access, analyze and extract meaningful, actionable and tactical implications from a sea of data.
- Accountant and Auditor: Accountants and auditors earned their spot on the hot careers list because of the sheer demand for accounting jobs. In 2010, more than 1 million people were employed as accountants and auditors and that number is expected to grow at a healthy rate of 16 percent by 2020.
- Elementary School Teacher: Elementary school teachers outnumber any other single occupation nationally and a teaching career tends to offer a form of stability that is relatively rare in other fields of pursuit.
- Computer Systems Analyst: From growth to salary, computer systems analysts scored strongly in every category of hot careers evaluation. This career is projected to grow in demand by 22 percent by 2020 and with a mean annual salary of $83,800, it is one of the most lucrative jobs on the list.
Did a career you’re considering make the list? If not, would you considering switching majors based on the likelihood of gaining employment after graduation? Let us know in the comments section.