Preparing for High-Growth Careers

April 20, 2010 by Emsi Burning Glass

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What steps need to be taken to land a job in a fast-growing industry? That question always garners much interest in workforce training circles — and it’s one U.S. News & World Report tackles in this recent article.

If you already have a bachelor’s degree and you’re trying to find a stable job that will let you help people on a personal level, don’t rule out a field just because its entry requirements might seem beneath you. “Community colleges see a lot of students with bachelor’s degrees coming back to get a degree in an area where they can actually get a job,” says Kay McClenney, director of the Center for Community College Student Engagement at the University of Texas–Austin. And chances are that you would have already completed many of the general education courses that make up a good chunk of the associate’s degree. LaGuardia’s Mellow says that can sometimes shave up to a year off the program.

The magazine delves into the specifics of what students or workers looking for retraining can expect in fields such as nursing and biomedical engineering. They are two of the hottest careers when earnings and job growth are factored in.

In fact, here are a few basic data points on both health-care careers from EMSI’s Analyst:

Biomedical engineers is an occupation that’s grown more than 37% in the last five years nationwide, and it’s projected to see 7% growth through next year. Median hourly earnings are $37 per hour (more than $75,000 annually). The top industries that staff biomedical engineers are physical, engineering, and biological research; pharmaceutical preparation manufacturing; and surgical/medical instrument manufacturing.

Registered  nurses have seen nearly 13% growth since 2005 with 2.7% growth expected through 2011. Median wages stand at $30 per hour ($61,000 annually). As the article points out, the standard education level is an associate’s degree.

Interested in this data for your city, county or customized region? Contact Josh Wright at or call 208.883.3500.