How to Chose a College Degree and Find a Fulfilling Career

Here we examine five careers and the required degrees potentially attractive to someone unemployed or seeking a change in their career. The list is a reasonable sample of choices you might be considering for yourself. These careers require different areas of study and levels of education. It is important to consider the data on careers before selecting a course of study for your college degree. Below we examine career data and the professional requirements to build a career in each of these five career fields.

Buzz Today Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. The report, Help Wanted: Projecting Jobs and Education Requirements Through 2018, by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, forecasts that by 2018, 63 percent of all jobs will require at least some post-secondary education. Employers will need 22 million new workers with post-secondary degrees – and the report shows that we will fall short by three million workers without a dramatic change in course. This translates into a deficit of 300,000 college graduates every year between now and 2018.

Registered Nurse
Employment (2010) 2,737,000
Projected growth (2010-2020) Faster than average (20% to 28%)
Projected job openings (2010-2020) 1,207,400
Median wages (2012) $65,470 annually

Education Most require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate degree
4% some college not degree
67% Associate’s degree
29% Bachelor’s degree

Market Research Analyst
Employment (2010) 283,000
Projected growth (2010-2020) Much Faster than average (29% or higher)
Projected job openings (2010-2020) 191,000
Median wages (2012) $60,300 annually

71% Bachelor’s degree
25% Master’s degree
4% Doctoral or Professional degree

Health & Medical Services Manager
Employment (2010) 303,000
Projected growth (2010-2020) Faster than average (20% to 28%)
Projected job openings (2010-2020) 141,000
Median wages (2012) $88,580 annually

Education Extensive experience needed
3% Associate’s degree
56% Bachelor’s degree
41% Master’s degree

Art Director
Employment (2010) 74,000
Projected growth (2010-2020) Slower than average (3% to 9%)
Projected job openings (2010-2020) 24,000
Median wages (2012) $80,880 annually

Education In addition to Bachelor’s degree, most require several years of on the job training.
9% Associate’s degree
74% Bachelor’s degree
17% Master’s degree

Executive Human Resources Manager
Employment (2010) 72,000
Projected growth (2010-2020) Average (10% – 19%%)
Projected job openings (2010-2020) 26,900
Median wages (2012) $99,720 annually

5% Associate’s degree
68% Bachelor’s degree
27% Master’s degree

Summary: All of these careers have a reasonably bright outlook. Wages are being determined by the combination of growth in the profession, education and experience requirements. The first step to entering any of these careers would be to get the formal education required by earning a degree from an accredited higher educational institution. The experience required presents a major hurdle for any unemployed person entering any of these careers. Internships are one avenue to secure required experience.

Of all of these careers, registered nurse clearly defines the most feasible entry for a currently unemployed person due to size, growth and the relatively manageable education requirements.

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