Study: 10 Best Career Options for College Grads



Naturally, it’s a tough job market for everyone, including fresh college graduates. The edge most likely goes to the graduates who managed to intern or work part-time in their chosen vocations en route to their degrees.

With the possible exception of software engineers for which the job market exploded in 2014, my sense is a study will hold up for some time to come. The 2011 study by University of California San Diego Extension detailed the best career options for grads.

Young CoupleAccording to the school, here are the top 10:

Healthcare case management. Case managers are healthcare advocates who – through a collaborative process of assessment, planning, facilitation, and advocacy – help patients understand their current health status, what they can do about it and why those treatments are important.

In this way, case managers guide patients and provide cohesion to other professionals in the healthcare delivery team, enabling their clients to achieve goals more effectively and efficiently.

According to a January 2011 survey, the number of case managers working in hospital admissions offices doubled from 2010 to 2011.

Financial examination and internal auditing. Financial collapses and scandals in the last few years involving the banking and insurance industries means more companies are having the books scrutinized. Enter the financial examiners, the forensic accountants of the business world. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is predicting 41 percent growth.

Aspiring financial examiners and internal auditors can expect continued job growth as a result of changes in financial laws, regulations, and requirements. In addition, jobs in this field will become available as financial examiners retire, move into other positions, or leave the field completely.

The edge most likely goes to the graduates who managed to intern or work part-time in their chosen vocations en route to their degrees.

Mobile media. Today’s four billion mobile phone users outnumber both Internet users and land-line owners. Cell phones and other mobile devices are now multifunction devices that enable users to surf the Web, listen to music, download podcasts, use maps, access global positioning satellites, shoot and send photos and videos, and send text messages. With the countless new software applications, the number of ways to use smart phones is exploding.

Healthcare information technology. As technology increases, so does the need for health information technicians to use and maintain patient data that is vital for quality healthcare and to keep all medical records organized and confidential. Technicians are needed for emerging jobs, such as healthcare integration engineer, healthcare systems analyst, clinical IT consultant, and technology support specialist.

Note: Otherwise, my sense is that information technology is not a good college major. But computer science is.

Data mining. Looking for a needle in a haystack is a good analogy for data mining jobs. Data mining is the technique of extracting specific types of information or patterns from large databases, such as data warehouses. Advanced statistical methods sift through large volumes of data, providing answers to questions that were once too time-consuming.

Geriatric healthcare. The growing population of seniors continues to have a major impact on careers in health care. As the numbers of aging baby boomers increase, so does the demand for certain healthcare jobs and services, including nursing, personal care and home healthcare.

Occupational health and safety. Many employees are adding safety expertise as a “value added” skill to make them more likely to be hired or retained in a tight job market. Specialists are needed to cope with technological advances in safety equipment and threats, changing regulations, and increasing public expectations. Employment growth reflects overall business growth and continuing self-enforcement of government and company regulations.

Spanish/English translation and interpretation. For those completely bilingual in Spanish and English, these highly marketable language skills open doors to new careers. The key is to gain experience through practical internships in specialized fields such as law, medicine and business.

Sustainable business practices and the greening of all jobs. By the mid-21st century, all jobs will be green jobs. Organizations today must address potential regulation changes and look for business growth opportunities in the new era of sustainable environmental economics.

Teaching English as a foreign language. Interest in English teaching positions abroad continues to mushroom. College graduates can find teaching jobs abroad, with travel as an added perk.

My sense about career options:

Since graduating from college, I’ve experienced the challenges of six recessions. So I understand the difficulties. It was challenging for me even though I was one of the relatively few college students who obtained employment while in school – my occupation was on-air in radio. But periodically, I had to work in sales and worked my way up to management in different professions with profit and loss responsibilities. On the outside, I smiled confidently. But candidly inside, I felt uncomfortable because I knew of others who didn’t have to work in sales to earn an income.

But while working as a newscaster in Salt Lake City, I had an epiphany. It came, thankfully, after making a news-programming proposal in Los Angeles to a distinguished, iconic CBS vice president, George Nickolaw, who commented: “My, what a rich background.” He seemed impressed by a resume with experience in multiple fields, and recommended me to the network.

A few days later when I was back at my job on-the-air anchoring hourly newscasts, I realized I was bored with it – like the Peggy Lee song, “Is that all there is?”  Making sense of business developments and strategic planning was more interesting and was what really floated my boat. I grew proud of my experiences. I had been thinking that I might want something more, but it took comments by an icon to help me really feel it deep inside. I’ll always be grateful for the seeds planted by Mr. Nickolaw’s insights.

The moral: Whatever happens is a learning experience. Build on it.

Otherwise, jobs – in accounting or finance, or healthcare providing – are my two suggestions. They’re harder to outsource. Whatever you choose, be open to your planted seeds and enjoy your adventure.

Here’s the link to the career path study.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are proven tips on landing a good job:

“Happiness is an inside job.”

– William Arthur Ward


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.






Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.