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Dec 19, 2017
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.

Looking to launch a new job board or searching for a recruiting gig with real potential? If so, the University of California San Diego Extension Center for Research on the Regional Economy has just released its annual list of the top 10 emerging careers for college grads in the U.S. Interpreters and translators topped the list.

“This year’s Emerging Careers Report once again reaffirms that there is a wide range of opportunities for college graduates with a broad liberal arts education,” said Mary L. Walshok, Ph.D., associate vice chancellor, public programs; Dean, University of California-San Diego Extension in a release. “However, today’s college grads also benefit from acquiring specific competencies, which enhance employability and work readiness, either through a certificate program or other forms of post-baccalaureate preparation.”

Their list aimed to identify the top 10 occupations by combining the highest projected growth rates and the most online job postings, using information from labor-market data firm Emsi. Researchers focused on jobs that required a bachelor’s degree with less than five years of work experience.

Here’s the list:

  1. Interpreters and translators — In our increasingly globalized world, the demand for interpreters and translators will only grow. Median hourly earnings for interpreters and translators were $21.90, according to the report. California and Texas were the states with the most significant opportunity.
  2. Operations research analysts — Companies are hiring operations research analysts who use advanced mathematical and analytical methods to help organizations make better decisions and cut costs in higher numbers. If you have data science and cyber security experience, you are a unicorn. Median national salary is $78,630 annually.
  3. Personal financial advisors — As the population ages, so does the demand for financial advisors, with more people turning to them to help manage finances and plan for retirement. National median salary is $89,160 per year.
  4. Computer systems analysts — Cloud computing, cybersecurity, and mobile networks will drive the already high demand for systems analysts. Candidates will need at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science. Annual median salary is $85,800.
  5. Software developers, applications — The guys and gals who make the digital world run will continue to be in high demand. The so-called “Internet of things” will drive a lot new opportunity. The most successful software developers will also need excellent people skills, as they often work in teams and solve real-world problems affecting real people. Average median salary is $98,260.
  6. Market research analysts and marketing specialists — With a deep learning of market conditions, marketing specialists help companies understand what products people want, who will buy them and at what price. People with strong math and critical-thinking skills will likely thrive in this fast-changing field. Median salary: $62,150 annually.
  7. Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors – The folks who help people who suffer from alcoholism, drug addiction, eating disorders and other behavioral problems. In recent years, this work has become increasingly important as communities across the country combat a stunning rise in opioid addiction. Median national salary is $39,980-per-year.
  8. Information security analysts — Information security analysts develop plans and write programs to protect everything in our digital world, from email servers to bank accounts to medical records, from cyber attacks. Demand for these workers has exploded in recent years as hackers have become more sophisticated. Employees can expect a national median salary of $90,120.
  9. Meeting, convention, and event planners — In this age of globalization, the demand for professionally planned meetings and events continue to grow. Projected growth through 2026 is 13 percent, and median national salary is $46,840 annually.
  10. Management analysts – People in this eld work with organizational leaders to scrutinize every aspect of a company’s operations. The ultimate goal is to maximize efficiency, cut costs, and improve the bottom line. Most are independent consultants. Employees can expect an annual median salary of $81,320. “It’s important to have statistical skills, but emotional intelligence is crucial,” said Tracy O’Rourke, managing partner and executive advisor at GoLeanSixSigma. “If they don’t have the people piece, they won’t be as successful.”

Most of the growth in these professions can be attributed to a changing world. “As our world becomes more interconnected and the United States becomes increasingly diverse, there also is growing demand for employees who are proficient in multiple languages and culturally astute, generating a need for translators and interpreters,” added Walshok. “The growth in events and conferences that seek to bring people together through memorable experiences, in turn, has created a strong market for professional meeting and event planners.

“And an aging population is giving rise to the need for financial analysts who can help people plan and manage their retirement. Health trends, such as the nation’s current opioid epidemic, are creating more demand for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors.”

The full report can be accessed here (PDF).

This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.