San Diego, CA–As people across the globe continue to find their way back to normality post the unprecedented impacts left by the COVID-19 pandemic, the world of work has changed.
To help early-career professionals and career changers navigate this shifting landscape, the Center for Research and Evaluation (CR+E) at UC San Diego’s Division of Extended Studies analyzed labor market data to identify the most promising jobs in the country and begins to look beyond the pandemic.
With a shift in demand for certain types of occupations within our local and national labor force, it’s no surprise the pandemic has left ever-changing residuals that continue to impact decision-making choices and practices, especially among young career professionals. It is critical to understand the skills needed to pursue a job in a field that offers promising growth.
Using data from the labor market information firm Emsi Burning Glass, researchers identified some of the fastest-growing, highest-paying occupations in both the San Diego region and across the country.
“Some occupations have been resilient in the face of the pandemic, like healthcare and computer-based jobs, while others, like those related to education, sports, and media are still recovering,” said Georgia Kovacs, director, Center for Research and Evaluation, UC San Diego Division of Extended Studies.
According to CR + E, the top 10 careers in San Diego are estimated to grow between 11% and 30% over the next ten years, median hourly wages for these occupations currently range from $23 an hour to $58 an hour. San Diego’s top occupation lies in the healthcare field with an expected potential workforce growth of 30% between now and 2031, with the largest hiring amongst medical and health services managers.
Software development and quality assurance jobs are also predicted to grow at a fast rate, these jobs share the highest pay rate of $58 per hour with medical and health services managers.
The following are the top 10 occupations for the San Diego region and the percentages by which they are expected to grow within the labor force over the next 10 years:
1. Medical and Health Services Managers – 30%
2. Software Developers and Software Quality
Assurance Analysts – 23%
3. Logistics (Logisticians) – 21%
4. Child, Family, and School Social Workers – 19%
5. Industrial Engineer – 14%
6. Teachers, Tutors and Instructors – 14%
7. Market Research and Marketing Specialists – 13%
8. Clinical Lab Technologists and Technicians – 11%
9. Civil Engineers – 11%
10. Management Analysts – 11%
Nationally, these occupations are predicted to grow in a similar fashion with current median hourly wages varying between $17 and $53. However, there’s a difference in occupations that are expected to be the fastest-growing at a national level versus locally. These include careers in data and mathematical sciences and information security analysis. Others that make the top 10 occupations nationally, but not regionally within San Diego, are coaches and scouts; interpreters and translators; and substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors.
“Understanding how the pandemic has altered the employment landscape locally and nationally is critical to the development of skill-building programs that provide equitable access to knowledge and create new opportunities for individuals and for community economic development” explained Hugo Villar, dean of the Division of Extended Studies, UC San Diego.
UC San Diego’s Division of Extended Studies offers courses and programs carefully aligned with workforce demand, including a wide range of healthcare programs like Medical Coding, Clinical Trials Administration, and Healthcare Finance, all providing key foundations for medical and health services manager occupations. The Supply Management program equips students to become leaders in logistics, distribution, sales, and management. UC San Diego’s Division of Extended Studies also offers a wide range of data analytics and programming courses including Java, Python, and Data Mining. For more information, visit https://extendedstudies.ucsd.edu.