They may not be sexy, and they may not sound all that glamorous, but the most important things about jobs for recent college grads is that they're available, they have a future, and most of all, they pay. A recent study shows that specialized health care positions are hot, as are those that involve a left-brain talent for number crunching and data processing.
The University of California San Diego Extension conducted a study based on enrollment figures, national employment statistics and interviews with San Diego business executives, to come up with some of the hottest career plan options for college graduates in this recovering economy. The researchers advise, "Knowing where to look and honing your skills just might be the right strategy for finding the career that is best for you."
Here's the Top 10 list they came up with:
1. Health care case management
Case managers are health care 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 health care delivery team. According to a January 2011 survey, the number of case managers working in hospital admissions offices doubled from 2010 to 2011.
2. Financial examination and internal auditing
Financial collapses and scandals in the past few years involving the banking and insurance industries mean 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 in this field. 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.
3. Mobile media
Today's 4 billion mobile phone users outnumber both Internet users and landline 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.
4. Health care information technology
As technology increases, so does the need for health information technicians to use and maintain patient data that is vital for quality health care and to keep all medical records organized and confidential. Technicians are needed for emerging jobs, such as health care integration engineer, health care systems analyst, clinical IT consultant and technology support specialist.
5. 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.
6. Geriatric health care
The growing population of seniors continues to have a major impact on careers in health care. As more Baby Boomers move into the older population, so does the demand for certain health care jobs and services, including nursing, personal care and home health care.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.