Best Careers List Spotlights 50 Hot Jobs

Lori Johnston | January 13, 2011

If you’re looking for a new career, or want to see if you made a good choice with the career field you’re in, a great place to look is U.S. News and World Report’s list of the 50 Best Careers. The annual report provides job outlook data and advice on landing a job in these career fields.

Just think, that’s a whopping 50 career fields where people are hiring, and where career education will prepare you to excel! Here are five of those fun and fast-growing jobs where career education is essential:

1. Film and video editor: Check into training from film schools to learn the skills and degrees to snag work as a film and video editor. The magazine reports that jobs are expected to grow by 3,000 between 2008 and 2018, but “only the most skilled, persistent, and adept at using technology will land salaried positions or attract enough work to freelance full time.” Many make more than $50,000, and there’s also some jobs in the six figures.

2. Commercial pilot: Soar into a successful career as a commercial pilot with training from a professional flight school. The magazine reports that a 19 percent growth is expected in commercial pilot jobs from 2008 to 2018. The duties can range from flying people and cargo from place to place, or dusting crops, or working in rescue situations, or test flying planes, the magazine says. It cites government data showing the median 2009 income for commercial pilots was $65,840.

2. Dental hygienist: One of the many health care-related jobs on U.S. News’ list of 50 best career is dental hygienist. It reports that there are an estimated 30 accredited dental hygiene programs, many of which grant associate’s degrees for dental hygienists. Graduating from an accredited dental hygienist school will help you earn your license to practice, too. There’s plenty of focus in career education on dental hygienists because of the demand for professionals. Job growth is expected to jump from 174,000 in 2008 to 237,000 jobs, the magazine reports, citing government data. Median annual earnings are about $67,000, the magazine says.

4. Radiologic technologist: Learn how to take X-rays, MRI scans, CT scans and important tests like a mammography from radiology technology schools, and you’ll be on the track to landing an in-demand career. The magazine reports that there will be a 17 percent increase in radiology technician and radiologic technician jobs from 2008 to 2018, and the median 2009 salary was $53,240 while top paid professionals earn more than $75,000. You’ll find programs offered by colleges and universities, and vocational and technical schools with associate degrees as well as the opportunity to earn your bachelor’s or master’s degrees for career advancement.

5. Biomedical engineer: The biomedical engineer job will have the most job growth of any jobs (wow!) over the next decade, the magazine reports. It cites government data projecting a 72 percent growth in jobs from 2008 to 2018. It’s no surprise, really, since there have been and people want more advances in the field of health care. So as a biomedical engineer, you can have a role in coming up with the technology, equipment and devices so we can live healthier and longer lives. The jobs pay well, with $78,860 in 2009 median annual wages, according to the magazine’s data. Accredited biomedical engineering colleges offer undergraduate degrees and also the opportunity for graduate degrees.

These and other careers on the list might have you thinking about new opportunities that could be professionally and financially rewarding!

LinkedIn for Grads

Dawn Papandrea | October 19, 2010

We all know that getting a job can be more about who you know than what you know, and in the digital world it’s becoming easier to get to know the people who are in-the-know. You know?

Back in the day, scoring a decent business contact meant climbing the phone tree, attending countless meet-and-greets, or dusting off career information books that (hopefully) listed the latest company contacts. Now, recent college grads can save themselves the hassle by making connections via LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, which boasts more than 80 million members representing 200 countries and executives from every Fortune 500 company.

LinkedIn is ramping up its offerings and collaborating with PwC, one of the largest employers of new college graduates in the United States, to provide students with data-driven insight to help them build their careers. Through Career Explorer, LinkedIn’s latest beta product, college students can explore a variety of career paths based on their skills and personality, school and major, level of education, and desired industry.

Specifically, students can use LinkedIn Career Explorer to:

Learn about potential professions. Check out relevant facts, stats, and industry trends (e.g., salary info, geographic distribution, age density) about a variety of professions, jobs, and targeted companies.

Map out career paths. Get tailored career path recommendations based on the real paths of professionals with similar profiles to yours. Create and save multiple paths to your Career Explorer dashboard.

Make connections. Find potential mentors in your network who can help you advance in your recommended career paths.

Find job openings. Learn about relevant job openings and discover ways to use your network to secure or get more info about open positions.

Follow potential employers. Review profiles of top companies so you can follow them and get updates about them in your news feed.

LinkedIn and PwC are rolling out the free job-finding feature to students at 60 universities across the U.S., starting with a launch event at New York University in October. When students sign in to LinkedIn, they will see a “Career Explorer” link under the “Jobs” menu at the top of the screen. If you’re not one of the lucky ones with an immediate in, your turn is coming – Career Explorer access will be expanded to the broader LinkedIn membership in the coming months.

I’m interested to find out how this virtual tool will impact students’ and recent grads’ career and job search success. Stay tuned, and let us know what you think of the new feature.

-Robyn Tellefsen

While checking out at the grocery store the other day, I couldn’t resist eavesdropping on the conversation happening in the line next to me. You know how those grocery shopping conversations typically go – the cashier remarks on something you’re buying or informing you about a charitable cause that is accepting donations while you try to keep the kids away from the candy rack.

But this time, the mom checking out was so enthusiastic about her decision to go to college. She was explaining to the cashier that it meant so much for her to show her elementary school-age daughter that college was an important step in life.

She asked the cashier if she was in college (I live in an university town, so that question often is asked), and the cashier responded yes. The mom said that was so great and explained that her plan was to go back to school now so that when her daughter gets a little older, she can be prepared to re-enter the workforce.

This mom’s mindset could be helpful if you or any your friends express frustration with not finding a job. As children have entered kindergarten or other grades and they have more time during the day, some of my stay-at-home mom friends are looking for employment but are getting discouraged.

Like them, do you feel as if all of a sudden you’re expected to work – or realize you have the time to bring in money for the family and don’t want to waste it – but don’t know what to do? They’re finding that often the industry they previously worked in has changed so much that their old positions are outdated or they can’t find jobs match their qualifications.

Being prepared now by taking college courses while your children are still young may seem like an impossible feat because of the time involved, but that step could help you avoid from frustration that my mom friends are experiencing. And don’t forgot that pursuing a degree online can provide the flexibility you need to be the best mom you can be and a college student.

Maybe you dropped out to have a family and are trying to figure out how to go back to school. A career school could be one route if you’re interested in fields such as health care.

If you make the choice to go back to school, be proud of it. Your excitement – whether at the grocery store or on a playdate or at your child’s next school function – could encourage other parents to take a step toward being a student again, too.

-Lori Johnston

If you’re looking for slick job-hunting advice that doesn’t make you feel bad about yourself (you’re not doing enough, your resume is from 1998, no one is hiring, aaaahhhh!!!), I’m going to let you in on a little secret: There’s not much out there.

That’s why it was so refreshing to pick up Vicki Salemi’s “Big Career in the Big City: Land a Job and Get a Live in New York” (Jist Works, 2010). The author offers practical advice you haven’t read 1,000 times before; real tales of survival from the layoff trenches; and a ton of resources to get your job search in gear. The best part? She does all of this in an upbeat, encouraging tone, which helps motivate you rather than fuel your out-of-work funk.

Full disclosure: I’ve known Salemi since she wrote for our former print publication, CollegeBound Teen magazine. But because I know her, I can also tell you that she writes from experience and from the heart. After spending many years as a corporate recruiter for a huge firm, she herself became a layoff survivor, and had to reinvent and brand herself. All of her tips are those that she and other successful people profiled in the book have actually used. In other words, it works!

Among the gold nuggets of advice you’ll glean from her book include how to dress to standout (in a good way) for professional networking events, using Facebook and Twitter to increase job prospects, and there’s even sample thank-you notes for after the interview. If you’re looking for New York-specific tips, well, that’s your bonus material. Salemi touches on how to leverage the high cost of Manhattan living, dealing with big city culture shock, plus a fun quiz: “What’s Your NYC-ability?”

If you’re not on the hunt yourself, the book definitely makes a great graduation gift. Check it out.

-Dawn Papandrea