Deciding what you want to do for the rest of your life can be a nerve-racking decision especially in your twenties. Here's a list that might help you.
Many factors come to weigh in on which career path you would like to follow. In the post-recession economy, and yes I’m equally nauseated at the frequency of use of the term, but this is the job market’s current reality, employability and financial reward are huge components. Although you should undoubtedly pursue something you will be passionate about, being able to make a living while doing so is also important. This list will include professions that are highly sought after and well compensated; some of these professions are extremely well compensated.
Of course, we cannot negate shifts or completely change careers which have become quite an observable trend in recent years. This is likely due to the gelded job market forcing candidates and jobseekers to be more fluid and dynamic, with both their credentials and job choices. Compounding this effect is possibly stifled vertical movement within jobs, making horizontal career moves much more likely than upwards one. This, in turn, makes leaving a career behind to move into another one much less costly. Whatever category you find yourself in here are some of the most employable jobs to help you make a decision.
All the jobs on the list are based on the employability of people with bachelor’s degrees. It changes massively if you add a Masters degree or Doctorate.
According to data gathered by The National Association of Colleges and Employers, the most sought after profession by employers is accounting. This should come as no shock to anyone that knows anything about the job market and the economy in general since everyone needs accountants from the colossal multi-national to the tiny privately owned donut shop. Accountants are in high demand and the more certifications you have, the better your chances of receiving a competitive salary.
If corporate accounting sounds boring to you, there are other much more exciting career paths including Forensic Accounting. This won’t involve visiting murder scenes and calculating how much the bullets expended at the scene cost, but auditing nefarious business dealings to find inconsistencies and illegal activity. Here’s is a much more inclusive, but much less comical list of accounting professions. You can expect, or demand a starting salary of around 47.000 USD, which is the national median.
This is also a logical trend in the job market, since yet again everyone from the colossal multi-national to the tiny privately owned donut shop use, no actually need computers. Just like accounting the breath of possible careers is immense; from software to network security and even hardware.
The vast disparity in starting salaries also reflects this, ranging from 40.000-70.000 USD. The great thing about Computer Science is that it can be an extremely gratifying and creative job, or you can deal with individuals that have no idea what they are doing and telling them to make sure that their PC is plugged in before they start calling you offensive names.
Slightly part and parcel with accounting; finance traverses similar themes but has the distinction of making more money. Finance graduates also have a very wide variety of professions they can be employed in, most popular amongst them: corporate finance. You are probably wondering at this point what finance is. This is where finance becomes difficult to define because you have people that analyse financial data, people that manage the finances of companies and corporations and yet other people that try to bring money into the company and regulate its money so they are viable.
Yes, it’s immensely complex, but at the same time offers you a very wide range of positions and roles in an even longer list of industries. The median starting salary is around 30.000 to 50.000 USD and here’s a small list of potential roles for a finance graduate.
You might have noticed a pattern developing here, most of the professions on this list can be employed in multiple roles and multiple industries thus increasing their employability immensely. The same holds true for individuals that choose to study or start a career in Business Management. Generally, a business management position that has an emphasis on sales will pay much better than a job with a more administrative nature, but non-the-less all positions are well compensated compared to many other specialities and majors. Some jobs that you can choose as a business management major are:
Chief Investment Officer – this job does require at least 5 years’ experience in a related field but pays a median salary of $151.000. A chief investment officer is tasked with raising investment funds and managing portfolios to maximize profit margins. They also author financial strategies to maximize profit for their company.
Partner – Accounting Firm – Yet again a job that has both feet solidly planted on sales ground. This also happens to be a commissioned based position which means the more you put into the work, the more financial gains you will see. It is also a job that might require some experience because you usually won’t be hired as a Partner you will have to work up to it, proving good client relations, leadership and teamwork abilities which should be worth it since the median salary is $163.000.
Of course, you have a variable cornucopia of career choices with a business management/administration degree as this list shows.
No list of the most employable professions/majors would be complete without at least one type of engineering. Considering that mechanical engineering is one the most encompassing of the engineering disciplines it makes sense that it would show up first on this list. Mechanical engineers generally deal with thermal and mechanical devices, either correcting them, designing and redesigning or solving functionality problems.
They frequently use computer aided design programs to design or conceptualise these systems which can include everything from a small battery to an entire hadron collider, granted you might need a Ph.D. to design that. The median salary for the profession is a respectable $144.000.
Information Science and Systems
Similar to Computer Science, information science and systems primary difference is that it is multidisciplinary often encompassing interactive systems, both web and software based, human cognition and psychology and a range of social sciences. As multidisciplinary as the studies are so are the job prospects. An information science and systems graduate can work in a diverse set of industries including human-interface research, business information technology consultancy and even software development.
I know this might seem quite undefined and slightly ambiguous, but that is actually the beauty of this subject as it can be employed in a multitude of industries because fundamentally it deals with: how humans and computers interact. There is no word yet how information science and systems studies will factor into artificial intelligence; we’ll just have to wait and see.
Do you know of any other subjects or specialties that are in high demand in today’s job market? Let us know in the comment section below.