Top Tips: Finding the Booming Industries

After being bombarded with news story after new story about the economic drought and unemployment nightmare plaguing many industries, you may be wondering where the top jobs are hiding. Fortunately, they are not tucked away in seclusion but instead take just a little imagination and investigation to locate. US News and World Report has taken much of the guesswork out of the equation by releasing their list of the 50 Best Careers of 2010. Ranging from Science and Technology to Education and Civic categories, this list doesn’t discriminate across industry or education requirements and offers options for any major. Based on projected job growth rate and income level, the US News and World Report list provides students struggling with what to do after graduation a new take on some old favorites (i.e. engineering, nursing, and accounting) while highlighting emerging fields such as network architect and emergency management specialist.

So, how do you land a position in one of these “top careers”? Consider these tips:
  1. Do your homework: Research what level of education or major the career requires for advancement. Will you need to pursue a master’s or doctoral degree? Also, see what an average day is like for someone in the career. Do they sit at a computer all day or are they up and about, meeting with people? Find out where the best jobs in the industry are located. Are the tops jobs in big cities or can you find an opening in almost any size town? These factors will be very important in determining if the career field is a good fit for you.
  2. Be creative with your strengths: List your biggest strengths. These could range from your keen awareness of market trends to a natural ability for helping others in adverse circumstances. Brainstorm how these strengths can be used in your desired industries. Remember that many skills and abilities will transfer from career to career so your talent for say, maximizing productivity can be an asset in many industries. Thinking a little “out of the box” will yield a multitude of new options.
  3. Align careers and strengths: Tie your career exploration and self-assessment together by thinking about where the two overlap. What careers match well with your education and key skills? Where might you need to make up some classes or strengthen some skills in order to pursue a desired career? From this reflection, narrow down a short list of careers that fit your interests, strengths, and education.

Don’t despair; the jobs are out there! Keep your options open to new and interesting opportunities as emerging fields move to the forefront of their respective industries. You never know, you could be the Bill Gates of biomedical engineering!

Author: Meaghan Lee

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