Graduating? Career trends job-seeking students should know

Students graduating from college this year should expect better job opportunities and salaries than graduates from recent history, but that doesn’t mean new graduates will have an easy time finding employment. Competition will still be fierce with hundreds of applications submitted for jobs in many industries, both from new graduates and former graduates still looking for work.

If you’re planning on graduating soon and seeking career opportunities, here are some employment trends to be aware of to stay on top of the career market:

* First, expect to change jobs numerous times in your career. In today’s career world, job stability does not always equal job security. Employees change jobs about every five years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Reasons differ for many people, but could be due to changes in the industry, restructuring in the company or because of lack of job growth within one company.

“The U.S. economy is fundamentally changing, and employees can no longer expect to work their way up the company ladder,” says Brad Kuchenreuther, campus president at Everest College-Vancouver.

* Second, know where the jobs are. “Our nation is experiencing huge demographic and economic changes, which are creating major shifts in the types of jobs available today,” says Mary Durall-Dupree, academic dean Everest College-Vancouver. “Students should prepare themselves for a changing job market.”

Current careers in need of employees include information technology, engineers and accounting and finance, according to Fortune 500 magazine.

“One of the fastest growing sectors in the coming decade will be the health care sector,” says Kuchenreuther. The health care industry is anticipated to see fast growth due to the baby boomer generation getting older and retiring from these positions, as well as needing more health care services themselves as they age. “This is one of the reasons that we specifically target many of our degree programs to the field of health care training,” adds Kuchenreuther.

* Third, consider going back to school for additional career training. Today’s job market requires that employees keep their skills current, and as a result, more and more adults are going back to school. “Students come to us to keep their skills up-to-date or get the credentials they need to advance in their careers,” says Durall-Dupree. “They find that it is increasingly necessary in today’s changing job market.”

Careers that require education higher than a bachelor’s degree are expected to have the fastest employment growth by 2020, according to the BLS. But several occupations in the medical field and the marketing industry which require associate or bachelor’s degrees are also projected to grow rapidly through 2020. Going back to school for additional training, or earning a degree while already in the job are options for employees.

“Employers understand that a one- or two-year program can give new employees exactly the mix of academic learning and hands-on experience they need to excel in today’s changing job market,” says Kuchenreuther.