There’s never been a better time in the past six or so years to be looking for a job, especially if you have certain skill sets. The unemployment rate continued to drop for much of the past year, holding steady at around 5%. Roughly 1.1 million people moved from the unemployment line to having a job over the course of the past 12 months, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and industries continue to add positions to their employment rosters.
There’s no doubt some industries have more openings than others. We’ve covered how there are thousands of openings for people without college degrees, but there are equally abundant options for people who have just graduated from college, or for those who hold a degree but were laid off or are looking for a new position.
Joint research from CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. (EMSI) lays out the jobs with the most positions available. The organizations analyzed 700 occupations, and selected the ones with plenty of job listings, but not many people chosen to fill those spots. In other words, there’s an employment disparity, and companies are still looking to fill those gaps. The data was collected from January 2015 to September 2015, which means the gaps are likely to persist heading into the new year.
If you hold a degree in one of these fields, the timing is perfect if you’re looking for a new job. If you’re looking to switch careers or go back to school for a degree, try choosing a field of study with these positions in mind. In many cases, themes like health care and technology suggest people with those skill sets will continue to be in demand for several years to come. Even though college degrees are taken somewhat for granted today, the hiring gaps show there’s still a need for specific training. Take a look at what’s in demand, and think about how you might fit into one of those roles.
10. Financial managers
Hiring gap: 39,906
Median wage: $55.44/hour
Financial managers could go by many names, but chief financial officers and those working under them would be included in this group. Among the top 10 in-demand jobs for 2016, this role offers one of the best wages, just behind marketing managers. This person would likely be in charge of accounting procedures and other money management tasks for a firm, or working as part of a larger team, depending on the size of the company.
According to the BLS, financial managers will often work five or more years as an accountant, auditor, or analyst before becoming a manger. If you’re in one of those roles now and looking to increase your paycheck, keep an eye out for listings.
9. Web developers
Hiring gap: 45,790
Median wage: $30.52/hour
Many jobs with the most openings for 2016 are technology-related, partially because of the specific skill sets required but also because almost every company that’s founded needs at least a website, and more likely an IT department. The BLS lists it as a job that’s continuing to grow faster than average, and it’s a position that can have flexible or work-from-home options.
8. Computer systems analysts
Hiring gap: 46,852
Median wage: $39.76/hour
Like web developers, computer systems analysts are also in a job field that continues to grow. This position is also found on U.S. News and World Report’s list of “Best Jobs”. If you enjoy research and have a degree in information technology, consider looking for open positions in this field.
7. Industrial engineers
Hiring gap: 47, 279
Median wage: $39.18/hour
The BLS data from 2012 suggests the sector was slow moving in 2012, but has picked up over the past few years. Of the 55,264 listed positions, 47,279 were left open – leaving the door wide open for new applicants in 2016.
6. Network and computer systems administrators
Hiring gap: 51,068
Median wage: $36.44
Information Technology jobs overall are expected to increase 22% through 2020, which explains why we’re seeing so many jobs in the tech sector. If nothing else, this should be reassuring to those who were wise enough to study IT in college, and be encouraging to those who are planning to begin in that field of study now.
5. Medical and health services managers
Hiring gap: 51,833
Median wage: $44.62/hour
Also called healthcare administrators, people in this profession plan, direct, and coordinate health services. The healthcare industry in general continues to grow as baby boomers grow older and require more care, meaning the industry will need more people to make sure that care is administered efficiently.
4. Sales managers
Hiring gap: 52,808
Median wage: $53.20/hour
Provided you’re a better boss than Michael Scott, you’ll be able to handle this job with ease. You’ll be responsible for setting and meeting sales goals on behalf of the company at large, but your individual duties will likely depend on the size of the company. One of the reasons this job might not be filled so quickly, according to the BLS, is because hours can be long and can involve a decent amount of travel.
3. Marketing managers
Hiring gap: 83,183
Median wage: $61.12
Marketing managers, often linked to advertising professionals, are responsible for organizing the campaigns that convince you to buy your next car, gadget, or toy for your kids. Many work for advertising agencies, but they can be hired as in-house employees, too. Marketing Degree Today provides a list of different options you might have within the marketing field, if you’re interested in a management position but don’t yet have the experience to get your foot in the door. If you’re a naturally persuasive person you might want to consider a job as a marketing manager – they also happen to be the highest paid positions on our list.
2. Software developers
Hiring gap: 83,649
Median wage: $45.92
With favorable compensation and a high demand, it’s no wonder that software developers landed on the list of best jobs for both CNN Money and U.S. News and World Report. Whether you’re writing code for a new app or designing the internal framework for your company, software developers will continue to be in demand as long as new online and technological systems need to be created. Our demand for more games like Game of War and Candy Crush should keep at least a few people busy, not to mention the more business-minded systems that need to be written and revised. What’s more, there are plenty of resources about how to ramp up your skill set so you can apply to positions with confidence.
1. Registered nurses
Hiring gap: 199,082
Median wage: $32.04
Of all the job openings in the United States, the need for registered nurses is astounding. Nurses rank at the top of the in-demand jobs list just to cover the sheer needs in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and other various forms of care. Part of this is because more than half of nurses in the field already are over the age of 50, Fast Company reports, and 62% of them are considering retiring in the next three years.
Even though there’s a huge demand, don’t think about purchasing your own stethoscope if you’re not also hoping to genuinely care for patients. “Gone are the days when managers will settle for warm bodies to fill a shift,” explains RN Kristin Baird, CEO of Baird Group. “Today, the patient experience has direct financial ramifications for hospitals. Dissatisfied patients cost the hospital in lost reimbursement.” If you do think you’d make a good fit and have a bachelor’s degree, there’s never been a better time to enter the job field.