While many students go to college with ideas of what they want to study and a sense of the career possibilities in those fields, that’s certainly not the case for everyone. If you are still exploring what you want to do with your life, a great place to start is by researching the answer to this question: What are some of the strongest industries that are hiring right now?
Top 10 Jobs in the Nation
Here are the top 10 jobs that were included in U.S. News & World Report’s 2014 Best Jobs ranking (taking into account jobs with a high projected number of openings as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as well as each job’s 10-year growth volume and percentage, median salary, job prospects, employment rate, stress level, and work-life balance):
- Software Developer
- Computer Systems Analyst
- Nurse Practitioner
- Registered Nurse
- Physical Therapist
- Web Developer
- Dental Hygienist
Hot Jobs in Colorado
In Colorado, hot fields include health care, computer technology, energy, financial services, and telecommunications. Overall, the Colorado economy is looking good—in fact, we were ranked among the top 10 states for 2013 employment growth. Here are a few of the “hottest” fields that are worth consideration as you plan your education and your future*:
Colorado’s population is aging faster than the rest of the nation. Combined with the Affordable Care Act, these demographic changes are sparking significant demand for nurses, health-care informatics professionals, and many others. The health and wellness industry employs more than 253,000 workers across the state. Employment growth between 2007 and 2012 was 22 percent (compared with 9.5 percent nationally).
Colorado is at the forefront of the new energy economy. The metro Denver/northern Colorado region ranked fourth for fossil-fuel energy employment and sixth among the nation’s 50 largest metropolitan areas for clean-tech employment in 2013. Statewide, Colorado employs more than 22,000 clean-tech workers and 45,230 fossil-fuel energy workers—including scientists, researchers, engineers, technicians, and many others.
Bioscience includes biotechnology, medical devices, agricultural-bioscience, diagnostic, pharmaceutical, health-care providers, and research institutions. This is unquestionably an industry in which the state is currently investing—with the recent development of the $5.3 billion Fitzsimons Life Science District and the $300 million BIO Frontiers Institute. The industry employs 15,090 bioscience workers at 600 companies, and we ranked 16th in 2013 for pharmaceuticals and biotechnology employment.
Dubbed the “Wall Street of the West,” the Denver metropolitan area and northern Colorado region have a healthy financial services industry, employing 90,000 people (at 13,700 companies) in banking, finance, investments, and insurance. In fact, 6.3 percent of the regional workforce is employed in financial services, as compared to the U.S. average of 4.7 percent.
Colorado ranks third in the nation (and has for five years running) for the number of high-tech workers per capita (according to the Cyberstates 2013 report by TechAmerica) with more than 45,000 workers employed at 4,170 companies.
Denver/northern Colorado is ranked sixth-highest in employment in telecommunications and broadcasting, with more than 40,000 workers (as of 2013). Companies like EchoStar, Comcast and DIRECTV are here, along with many other up-and-comers.
At FRCC, we have successful graduates in every one of these fields—from nurses to physicians, from web developers to IT managers. Students who start at FRCC often transfer to four-year schools where they further specialize their education. According to the Colorado Community College System, students who transfer perform as well or better than their counterparts who started their educations at four-year schools. Last year alone, Colorado community colleges transferred more than 12,000 students to four-year colleges.
As you make choices about your educational and career path, it’s helpful to know what the job post-graduation landscape looks like. Don’t forget to pay a visit to the FRCC career services office at your campus to explore opportunities and employers, prepare for interviews, and find your dream job.
* These figures came from the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, an affiliate of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, and the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.