If you have a teenager who is about to enter college or you're considering going back to school yourself, you may want to crunch the numbers. In an economy where companies are doing a lot of belt tightening, students need to consider not only what career is going to pay enough but also who's hiring.
Cleveland State University's Paul Klein heads up the Career Services Department, a place with which students should get familiar.
"We can advise and we can connect them up with professionals in the field," said Klein. Forbes reports the most potentially lucrative college major today is computer engineering. And Klein agrees.
"Computer engineering is a fantastic combination of understanding the software that goes behind what makes the machinery work," he said.
Consider this, computer engineers with less than five years' experience are making around $60,000 while those with 10 to 20 years' experience are bringing in six figures. In fact, three of the top 5 fields on Forbes' list are engineering related.
Klein said civil engineering is also going to be huge in the coming years. "All you have to do is drive over the Innerbelt Bridge. This is an area like the entire state of Ohio will be needing civil engineers," commented Klein.
Civil engineers are retiring at a rapid rate. This comes as older cities like Cleveland have mounting problems with aging infrastructure that requires highly skilled engineers to solve. This means the demand for technology is also great. That means mechanical engineering and electrical engineering are also fields to consider.
Of course, Cleveland's largest employer is the healthcare industry, and the need for specialists in the field of medicine continues to be strong. Physical therapy, occupational therapy and nursing are some of the best fields because of the demand.
Number five on our list is accounting. As the economy moves forward, all companies will need experts to plan growth and profitability. Klein said, "Don't think of an accountant as someone sitting by a computer screen looking at numbers. It's a wide range of fields."
Klein also advises students to choose a minor wisely and take advantage of internships. It'll set you apart from the hundreds of applicants vying for the same position after graduation.
There are fields that are inundated with students, like elementary education and psychology. If you decide to pursue a career path that is highly populated, Klein said make sure you get a Masters or choose a specialty within the field to make yourself more marketable.
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