Changing Times Reveal Growing Fields
What do you want to be when you grow up? It's the age-old question that still befuddles students today. When your student was young, the answer might have been the president, a movie star or a professional athlete. Now, those answers may have shifted to accountant, social worker, doctor and lawyer. Some students still remain lost in the maze of career choices and have yet to decide upon their path. However, in these ever-changing times, some choices might be more fruitful than others when students seek full-time employment after college.
Technology holds first place as one of the fastest growing and most in-demand fields. When the World Wide Web first made its appearance on the technological world, today's college seniors were about two years old. Now, those students are graduating from college with inherent familiarity working with technology such as computers, smart phones and the Internet.
According to a study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) in April 2011, engineering topped the list as the most in-demand degree by employers.
Associate Director of Career Services Kevin Nall said, "We've hit the technology ball. It's come back and reemerged. We're seeing our students who are graduating right now take some really good job opportunities in technology."
Business also stands out as a prominent field on the forefront of today's economy. Part of the growth in this area can be attributed to the baby boomers of the 1940s, '50s and '60s.
"As the boomers begin retiring, they're going to have transactions and financial planning that needs to take place. And so, financial services will be a good area to go into," Nall said. Also, in the same study by NACE, general business was the second most in-demand degree with accounting specifically being third.
Healthcare offers a myriad of career opportunities to students as well. As the baby boomer generation grows older, healthcare will have more patients than in the past. More help will be needed to account for this increase in patients.
"I would say that healthcare is growing as well. That could be anything from physicians to dentists to physical therapists to speech therapists. Therapy related fields will keep growing as the baby boomers continue to age," Nall said.
However, healthcare differs slightly from technology and business in that it usually requires more advanced degrees.
While these fields are the fastest growing, parents shouldn't fret if their student has chosen a different path. According to the NACE study, employers plan to hire 19.3 percent more graduates this year than last. Finding a job in other fields certainly is achievable.
If students do not have a defined career path or if they simply want to know more information about a career, they can visit the Baylor Career Services office for more information and guidance. Career Services also has material specific to parents, which could be useful in facilitating conversations about your student's future career.