If you’re a millennial, you make up a significant part of the workforce today. Indeed, according to a new analysis of Census data, Pew Research Center concludes that millennials (adults ages 18 through 34) make up over one third of the U.S. workforce today.
In 2015, a millennial milestone occurred with over 53 million millennials in the workforce — and this figure continues to rise. Millennials are even surpassing Boomers as they retire.
Because you reached adulthood in the early 21st century, you may benefit from knowing what are considered the best careers for millennials based on growth potential, pay scale, and other factors. While it’s no easy task to navigate the job market, there are some career paths that will provide you with much more opportunity than others.
We’ve rounded up research from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Young Invincibles and others to help you choose the best careers for millennials, whether you’re looking for the occupations with the highest forecasted new jobs, top jobs for those with an associate’s degree, or the highest-paying occupations for the Generation Y demographic.
We’ve also highlighted the best opportunities in the healthcare field for those in the 18 to 34 age group, the top science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers for millennials, and more. For your convenience, we’ve categorized the best careers for millennials according to these groups:
- Fastest-Growing Careers for Millennials
- Highest-Paying Occupations for Millennials
- Highest-Forecasted Number of New Jobs
- Top Healthcare Jobs for 18- to 34-Year-Olds
- Best STEM Careers for Millennials
- Top Jobs for Millennials With an Associate’s Degree
- Top Occupations for Millennials With a Bachelor’s Degree
- Top IT Careers for Millennials
Let’s take a look. You may just be inspired to consider majoring in a career you hadn’t considered before.
Fastest-Growing Careers for Millennials
As a millennial in the beginning of your career search or in the decision-making process of choosing an area of study, you no doubt want to know which careers are considered the fastest-growing.
According to national research from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare industries and occupations are anticipated to experience the quickest employment growth and contribute to the most careers between the years 2014 and 2024.
You’ll find that the growth in healthcare career opportunities is no surprise for a number of reasons, including the subsidizing of the industry by the U.S. government, the increase in healthcare recipients that are eligible, and the aging population who are in greater need of healthcare.
This is increasing the demand and forecast for healthcare-related jobs as more people seek treatment. What this means is that once you get your healthcare Diploma, Certificate, or AAS Degree, you’ll be prepared to work in one of the fastest-growing careers for your demographic.
Some of the fastest-growing career choices for millennials listed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Young Invincibles include:
- Occupational Therapy Assistants
- Home Health Aides
- Physician Assistants
- Biomedical Engineer
- Physical Therapist Assistants
- Physical Therapist Aides
Besides the above healthcare occupations, BLS.gov places Wind Turbine Service Technicians at the top of the fastest-growing jobs list for millennials, reporting a growth rate of 108 percent.
Highest-Paying Occupations for Millennials
Healthcare careers dominate the top of this category. Nationally, surgeons and physicians, according to BLS.gov, make the top of the highest-paying occupation list with a median annual salary of $187,200. This is followed by psychiatrists, dentists, and general and family physicians, all ranging in an annual median salary of between about $150,000 to $185,000. With annual median salaries of $157,000 to $187,000, other high-paying healthcare occupations reported by the BLS include:
- Obstetricians and Gynecologists
- General Internists
- Nurse Anesthetists
With median annual salaries hovering around $130,000, the next group in the highest-paying careers category falls within STEM classification. These include:
- Computer and Information System Managers
- Architectural and Engineering Managers
- Petroleum Engineers
Highest Forecasted Number of New Jobs
Personal Care Aide ranks as the top career choice with the greatest number of potential opportunities. Currently, the estimate stands at 458,000 projected new jobs. Also on the most-new-jobs list are:
- Registered Nurses
- Retail Salespeople
- Customer Service Reps
- Medical Assistants
- Software Developers
- Computer Systems Analysts
- Food Preparation and Service Workers
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has a complete list of the highest forecasted number of new jobs in its publication entitled “Occupational Outlook Handbook: Most New Jobs.”
Top Healthcare Jobs for 18- to 34-Year-Olds
The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released its 2014 to 2024 Employment Projections summary and reported that healthcare occupations and industries are expected to have the fastest employment growth nationally and to add the most jobs between 2014 and 2024.
This is important news for millennials interested in positions like Physician’s Assistant, which Young Invincibles reports as the number one top job for Millennials. Young Invincibles also lists Dental Assistants and Therapists at 10 and 11, respectively, while a career as a Pharmacist ranks as number 15. Other top healthcare careers for Millennials are dietitian and medical scientists, which are tied for 20th place, according to Young Invincibles.
The employment outlook future for Nutritionists and Dietitians looks bright, as well as for therapists, with huge job growth potential ranging from 21 to 27 percent.
As a millennial, this may be wonderful news if you’re considering getting a career in the healthcare industry and also since most of these fast-growing healthcare careers are entry-level. In addition to this, the promise of higher pay later on this field’s job opportunities has been validated by all the healthcare jobs being at the top of BLS’s highest-paying job list. Whether you look at the highest-paying jobs, fastest-growing jobs or the newest jobs, healthcare is dominating.
Top healthcare jobs on the Young Invincibles list include:
Physician Assistants. The best job Young Invincibles found for millennials that had expected growth potential is Physician’s Assistant. Growth potential by 2022 is around 38 percent and you’ll be able to enjoy a median annual salary of almost $91,000. Not to mention, 45 percent of these positions are expected to be filled by millennials.
Also referred to as PAs, Physician Assistants practice medicine under a supervised team of surgeons and physicians. Physician Assistants are educated and skilled in examining patients, diagnosing illnesses and injuries and providing treatment.
Biomedical Engineers. With a median income of $86,960, these people design and analyze solutions to problems in medicine and biology with the objective of enhancing the effectiveness and quality of patient care.
Therapists. Therapists rank high on the Young Invincibles list for best healthcare jobs for millennials. Therapists make around $70,000 annually. These professionals treat ill, disabled, or injured patients through therapeutic techniques incorporated into daily activities. Therapists help people recover, improve and develop the skills they need to live and work.
Best STEM Careers for Millennials
STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) careers make up the majority of the Young Invincibles list. Out of the 25 jobs listed, STEM jobs make up 13 of them, including careers like:
- Software Developers
- Nuclear Engineers
- Computer and Information Research Scientists
Young Invincibles also revealed the best STEM careers for millennials:
Petroleum Engineers. These individuals develop and design techniques to extract gas and oil from deposits located below the surface of the earth, and have a median income $130,280. They also identify steps to extract gas and oil from older wells.
Actuaries. With a median income of $93,680, actuaries analyze the financial expenses of uncertainty and risk. They use statistics, math, and financial theory for assessing the risk of an event occurring and helping clients and businesses develop policies that will reduce the expense of that risk. The insurance industry relies on the work of actuaries.
Computer and Information Research Scientists. Designing and inventing new computing technology, as well as finding creative uses for technology that already exists, are the main functions of this group. They’re in charge of studying and solving complicated problems in computing for medicine, business, science, and other industries. Computer and information research scientists enjoy a median income $102,190.
Nuclear Engineers. As a nuclear engineer, you’re in charge of researching and developing the tools, processes, and systems used for deriving benefits from radiation and nuclear energy. Many find medical and industrial uses for radioactive materials, such as equipment that is used in diagnosis and treatment in the medical field, for example. Nuclear Engineers typically receive a median income level of $104,270.
Top Jobs for Those With an Associate’s Degree
Approximately 4% of careers nationally are in occupations that require you to have an associate’s degree. In May of 2013, the annual median wage for these careers was over $58,000. There are 49 designated careers by BLS with this level of education.
It may be worth noting that the healthcare and STEM fields hold the most jobs in the Young Invincibles’ Top 25 list that require either an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree. The three top jobs for millennials with Associate Degrees, according to Young Invincibles, are:
- Dental Hygienists
- Petroleum and Geological Technicians
- Registered Nurses
Each offers a median annual income in the range of $52,000 to $71,000.
Top Occupations for Those With a Bachelor’s Degree
Around 18 percent of all U.S. jobs in May 2013 were in occupations that required you to have a bachelor’s degree. There were 166 designated careers by the BLS with this education level, with an annual median wage of over $68,000. Some those occupations include:
- Petroleum Engineers
- Biomedical Engineers
Each of these careers offers median incomes ranging from $93,000 to $130,000 or more.
Top IT Careers for Millennials
Information technology (IT) managers are in charge of planning, coordinating and directing computer-related tasks in a company. They help figure out the IT objectives of the company and are in charge of implementing computer systems in order to meet these objectives. According to BLS, the top IT Careers for Millennials include:
- Computer Systems Design and Related Services
- Scientific Research and Development Services
- Software Publishers
Young Invincibles reports the top IT Careers for adults in the 18- to 34-year-old group include:
- Computer and information research scientists
- Software Developers and Programmers
What’s Next for You?
Now that you know more about the best careers for millennials, you can choose to align your higher education choice with this knowledge. Here at Vista College, we’ve been assisting students for over 25 years in choosing their path to success and we can help you, too, as a 21st century millennial.
We offer accredited programs with a number of options to ensure students receive the quality education they need in order to secure a successful career. We have degree programs in:
For instance, healthcare occupations denominated many of the best careers for millennials categories. Vista College offers a Medical Assisting Diploma, Medical Assisting Associate of Applied Science, and a Vocational/Practical Nurse Diploma, just to name a few of our healthcare program offerings.
The Medical Assistant Diploma course, for example, provides you with the latest skills in pharmacology, laboratory skills, human anatomy and physiology, clinical procedures and more to get you on course for a great job.
Furthermore, the Computer and Information Research Scientist career was also ranked highly for millennials, and our Information Technology Associate of Applied Science program would be perfect for providing you with the skills needed to do that job.
Questions to Ask Yourself
Here are some important questions to ask yourself before deciding whether or not a career in any field is right for you:
- Is your chosen career a match for your personality?
- Does your chosen career meet your financial goals?
- Does your chosen career have enough available jobs?
- Is your chosen career a growing one?
The first question is a personal one and the second question depends on your financial goals. However, the third and fourth questions can already be substantiated by the data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you take the healthcare industry as an example, this field is projected to see a 19 percent growth rate between 2014 and 2024.
Even if you do pick a high-growth industry, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re guaranteed fast promotions. That’s up to you and your hard work, your collaboration and your continued education. These three things play a huge role in your career success.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have the knowledge of what are considered to be the best jobs for millennials before choosing your major area of study, and we hope this guide has helped. Now that you’re armed with this information, be sure to check out related programs offered by Vista College and to continue reading our blog.