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Five fast growing careers to consider

5 Hot STEM Careers You Should Know

By DeVry University

If you’re in the process of pinning down your career path, many factors may help influence your decision. Besides your natural aptitude for certain subjects and interests, consider fields and careers that are projected to grow in the near future.

The U.S. Department of Commerce predicts science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) career opportunities will increase 17% between 2008 and 2018, compared with 9.8% growth in other fields.[1]  Despite the high demand, many employers say these positions are among the most difficult to fill. Globally, experts predict a shortage of 85 million high- and medium-skilled STEM workers by 2020.[2] While it can take diligent preparation to qualify, STEM professionals in the U.S. can earn 26% more than those in non-STEM careers.[3]

Check out our list of five hot career paths to consider in the STEM career fields:

1. SYSTEM ANALYST

About this career: When a company needs to find efficiencies within its computer systems and procedures, it turns to a systems analyst to source smart, cost-effective solutions.

Systems analysts tackle tasks like designing or installing and testing new computer systems, training co-workers on how to use a computer system and writing technology manuals.[1]

What it pays: Salaries vary by industry, with a median annual wage of $79,680 reported in 2012.[6]

How to get started: Systems analysts usually have a bachelor's degree in computer information systems complemented by business courses.[1]

  

Growth in demand: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics counted 520,600 systems analyst jobs in 2012, but projects by 2022 there will be 127,700 more jobs – a 25% increase.[6]

What’s next: Systems analysts who advance generally become project managers, supervising others. Some go on to become IT directors or chief technology officers.

 

2. NETWORK SYSTEMS ADMINISTRATOR

About this career:
These professionals keep computer networks and systems at universities, banks, companies and other organizations running. They install, set up and support local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), intranets and other systems.[7] They also identify the appropriate network needed, install, maintain, upgrade and repair it to ensure ongoing performance.[8]

What it pays: The median annual wage of network and computer systems administrators was $72,560 in 2012.[9]

How to get started: Typically, network systems administrators need a bachelor’s degree to enter the workforce. However, some professionals get started with an associate degree or post-secondary certificate in a computer-related field.[10]

Many add to their marketability by getting a certificate from companies such as Cisco, Microsoft or Red Hat, to underscore their ability to manage systems.[11] Learn more about Cisco Certifications here.

Growth in demand: In 2012, there were 366,400 jobs in this field, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting a 12% increase (42,900 more jobs) by 2022.[12] Fueling the demand is greater use of new technologies and mobile networks and employers’ concerns about network security.[13]

What’s next: Talented network systems administrators often advance to senior positions, while some become software engineers and work on designing new systems.[14]

3. MEDICAL AND HEALTH SERVICES MANAGER

About this career: Also known as healthcare executives or administrators, these professionals help manage facilities, like hospitals and nursing homes, or  the departments within them. They may also manage physicians’ medical practices.[15] They are charged with staying abreast of changing regulations to ensure compliance, managing a facility’s finances, tracking records and creating schedules.[16]

What it pays: Median pay for medical and health services managers was $88,580 per year in 2012.[17]

How to get started: A bachelor’s degree is a good start, but a master’s degree in healthcare, business or public administration provides a competitive advantage.[18]

 

Growth in demand: As of 2012, there were 315,500 jobs in this field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the number of openings will be up 23% by 2022, creating up to 73,300 new positions. The new healthcare reform act is also likely to contribute to expansion of the field, given the steep regulatory requirements involved.

What’s next: A promising junior level administrator can move up the ladder and eventually become a facility’s top administrator. Some seasoned administrators work as consultants or pursue teaching healthcare administration at a university.[19]

 

4. ACCOUNTANT

About this career:
Accountants prepare financial records and taxes. They may help companies examine financial statements for accuracy, inspect records to check procedures and suggest ways to improve profitability.

What it pays: The median pay in 2012 for accountants and auditors is $63,550 annually, with some experienced professionals bringing in six-figure incomes.[20]

How to get started: A bachelor’s degree in accounting is the minimum requirement. Those who want to file reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission must become certified public accountants (CPAs) by passing a national exam and meeting state requirements.


 

Many accountants specialize in a particular niche. For instance, forensic accountants – who are in high demand – help determine the extent to which financial fraud has taken place so perpetrators can be prosecuted. The American Institute of CPAs Forensic and Valuation Services (FVS) Section conducted a survey of CPA forensic and business valuation professionals in which 47% of respondents reported spending more time on forensic accounting, highlighting the increased demand.[21]

Growth in demand: There are many opportunities to put an accounting degree to good use: the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the number of accounting jobs in the U.S. will grow to more than 1.4 million by 2022, a 13% increase from 2012.[22] Roughly a quarter of accountants focus on accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and the like. Others work in finance and insurance, state and local government, manufacturing and management.[23]

What’s next: Accountants typically advance to the position of supervisor, manager or partner and often open their own firms. Some use their background as a springboard to becoming corporate executives.

5. SOFTWARE DEVELOPER

About this career: Highly sought by tech firms from Silicon Valley to New York City, software developers create programs that power everything from video games to accounting software.[24],[25] They may recommend upgrades to a company’s software, while actively testing and improving the software.[26] Systems software developers help keep computers running smoothly by designing operating systems and user interfaces.[27]

What it pays: The median pay in the industry was $93,350 in 2012, with many salaries rising into six figures.[28]

How to get started: It’s hard to get footing in this field without a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering technology. There are plenty of jobs for developers with the right education.

 

Growth in demand:  In 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics counted more than 1 million workers, with expected growth of 22% by 2022, effectively creating 222,600 new jobs. Rising demand for computer software, the need for mobile applications, and new software to accommodate healthcare changes all contribute to the trend, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.[29]

What’s next: Software developers can advance initially to lead software development engineer and later to supervisory positions such as project manager and senior project manager.[30],[31],[32] Some developers with a talent for management will advance to the executive suite.

Interested in learning more about one of these fast growing fields? DeVry University offers programs for each of these hot STEM careers. Contact us to find out more about DeVry University’s programs and graduate success stories.

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[1] http://www.esa.doc.gov/sites/default/files/reports/documents/stemfinaljuly14.pdf
[2] http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/mgi/research/labor_markets/the_world_at_work
[3] http://www.esa.doc.gov/sites/default/files/reports/documents/stemfinaljuly14.pdf
[4] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-systems-analysts.htm#tab-2
[5] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-systems-analysts.htm#tab-4
[6] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-systems-analysts.htm
[7] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Computer-and-Information-Technology/Network-and-computer-systems-administrators.htm#tab-2
[8] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Computer-and-Information-Technology/Network-and-computer-systems-administrators.htm#tab-2
[9] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/network-and-computer-systems-administrators.htm
[10] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Computer-and-Information-Technology/Network-and-computer-systems-administrators.htm#tab-4
[11] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Computer-and-Information-Technology/Network-and-computer-systems-administrators.htm#tab-4
[12] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/network-and-computer-systems-administrators.htm
[13] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Computer-and-Information-Technology/Network-and-computer-systems-administrators.htm#tab-6
[14] http://www.glassdoor.com/Job/network-and-computer-systems-administrators-level-jobs-SRCH_KO0,49.htm
[15] http://www.glassdoor.com/Job/network-and-computer-systems-administrators-level-jobs-SRCH_KO0,49.htm
[16] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Management/Medical-and-health-services-managers.htm/#tab-2
[17] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm
[18] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Management/Medical-and-health-services-managers.htm/#tab-4
[19] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Management/Medical-and-health-services-managers.htm/#tab-4
[20] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm
[21] www.aicpa.org/InterestAreas/ForensicAndValuation/Resources/PractAidsGuidance/DownloadableDocuments/2011%20FVS%20Trend%20Survey.pdf
[22] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm
[23] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Business-and-Financial/Accountants-and-auditors.htm#tab-3
[24] http://recruitingtoolbox.com/2012/01/06/contact-me-i-dare-you-notes-on-the-war-for-talent/
[25] http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20120627/SMALLBIZ/120629906
[26] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/software-developers.htm#tab-2
[27] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/software-developers.htm#tab-2
[28] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/software-developers.htm
[29] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/software-developers.htm#tab-6
[30] http://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/software-developer-salary-SRCH_KO0,18.htm
[31] http://programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/117179/what-is-the-job-title-hierarchy-amongst-software-engineers
[32] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/software-developers.htm#tab-2