Hot Careers in 2014: Take Your Pick, But Be Prepared

As Economic Outlook Improves for 2014, UCLA Extension Advises Professionals That Continuing Education Enhances Opportunities For “New Era” of Jobs, Career Advancement

Business Wire


Some of America’s best jobs for growth, advancement and salary increases in 2014 are in business and management, technology, database management, engineering, health care, finance, and human resources, according to recent government and private industry reports.

The key to success in 2014 and beyond, according to UCLA Extension, is a sound career strategy that focuses on the exact job skills needed in a “new” economy.

“We’ve gone from economic survival mode to ‘proper positioning.’ Now that the recession is essentially behind us, the focus for many is making sure they have the skills required to compete – and advance – in a 21st century economy,” said UCLA Extension Dean Wayne Smutz. “There have been fundamental changes in our economy; the key is to recognize which jobs are falling by the wayside and which ones are taking off. In most situations, continuing education will give professionals the opportunity for better pay and a strengthened position for promotion.”

In California, for example, a recent forecast by the UCLA Anderson School of Management concluded that when viewed through “the prism of skills,” the state continues to add jobs but only in sectors that are taking off – such as trade, investment and technology.

In reviewing various government and private industry reports, UCLA Extension highlights professions with current or projected strong hiring trends, payroll growth and potential for advancement:

  • Business, Management, Accounting: UCLA Extension continues to experience some of its strongest enrollments in these areas. Why? The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts an overall 11 percent job growth – or 1.7 million added jobs – by 2020 in general management jobs and another 4 million job opportunities due to replacement needs. Increased financial regulations, such as complying with various aspects of the Frank-Dodd Act, are forcing companies to hire contract managers and supply chain managers. Increased domestic competition is prompting an expected 36 percent growth for cost estimators. Global competition requires better-trained managers to improve efficiencies and manage projects. (Check out the next Technical Management Program in March).
  • Paralegal: BLS estimates the growth rate from 2010-2020 at 18 percent, or 46,900 added jobs. Paralegals are in demand as law firms shift some responsibilities away from attorneys.
  • Financial Analyst and Auditing: Predicted to grow by 18 percent by 2020 – fueled by recent changes in financial laws and accounting regulations, greater scrutiny of company finances, and a new focus on ethical accounting practices.
  • Education. Federal and state funding for pre-school education is expected to rise in the coming year, which is one reason why BLS expects 140,000 new jobs added by 2020. UCLA Extension offers a range of education certificates and training.
  • Financial Planning. With more robust economic times in 2014 and beyond, younger adults will be looking for ways to plan for their children’s college and older adults for their eventual retirement. A 32 percent job growth is projected. For more about Extension financial planning certificates (rated among the 30 best in the country), click here.
  • Health Educators. Implementation of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) has created a significant need for patient advocates – health professionals who are trained to navigate on behalf of individuals the complexities of insurance and pharmaceutical rules. BLS predicts a 36 percent growth in jobs by 2020.
  • Information Technology: The phrase for 2013 was “big data” – companies compiling a wealth of electronic information about consumers and themselves. In 2014, companies will focus on analyzing this data and look to further handle the sustained large influx of information. This means long-term growth for database managers. Job growth is estimated at 53 percent by 2020, according to BLS.
  • Market Research. Every company wants to boost sales. This requires specialists adept at analyzing consumer data to spot what’s in demand, how much customers will pay and who wants your product. BLS predicts a 41 percent increase by 2020.
  • Engineers. A resilient career, with strong growth and higher salaries in specific fields. In Southern California, for instance, biotechnology and biomedical engineering jobs are in high demand. BLS forecasts a 62 percent growth in biomedical engineering jobs.
  • Architects. By percentage (10), it may look small, but BLS expects this sector to add more than 200,000 jobs by 2020, including those in landscape architecture.
  • Human Resources. Companies are facing unprecedented competitive environments – requiring hiring and employee management functions to be even more closely aligned with rapidly changing business objectives and environments. BLS predicts more than 90,000 “HR” jobs to be added in the next seven years. UCLA Extension offers certificates and several up-to-date classes to help professionals “brush up” on their skills.
  • Manufacturing/Construction. With homebuilding regaining strength and new starts growing for commercial development (combined 9 percent growth forecast for 2014), construction management jobs are expected to go beyond the forecasted 16 percent by 2020. UCLA Extension offers a construction management certificate, along with other programs for plumbing and heating and leadership in energy and environmental design (LEED).

Registration is open for the winter quarter, which begins Jan. 6, 2014.

About UCLA Extension

UCLA Extension is the continuing education division of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). We offer courses evenings and weekends in Westwood and downtown Los Angeles, plus online classes available around the globe. Courses include business, arts, engineering, information technology, entertainment studies, public policy, public health, the humanities and more. Explore UCLA Extension:

Fraser Communications
Denis Wolcott, 213-200-1563
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