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Career Outlooks: A Pulse on the Current Job Market

In a recent article, CNBC celebrated that the job market is the strongest it has been since the 2008 financial crisis. This is especially true for graduates with certain in-demand majors, like accounting for example. Earning an online Bachelor of Science degree can help set students up for success when entering the job market. Check out the job prospects for these seven career paths:

Information systems majors can help businesses work in the cloud

1. A pulse check for marketing careers

The marketing world has seen a major shift to content marketing over the past few years. Instead of being advertising-focused, content marketing strives to add educational content to the marketplace to build a relationship with potential clients. According to a report from The Content Marketing Institute, more than two-thirds of businesses reported using content marketing to reach consumers. Marketing Land, a digital marketing and technology news site, noted that the number of content marketing jobs has increased by 350 percent since 2011. More businesses are financing content-centric strategies, with 32 percent of marketing budgets allocated for content. For marketing majors enrolled in an online marketing program, that means they may need to have an understanding of what makes strong content for each of the customer segments. In addition, understanding where users consume content across social media is vital to a campaign’s success. By enrolling in classes focused on the role of social media in marketing, you can feel more prepared for the changing environment.

The marketing job market may be a buyer’s market for individuals with a creative background looking to break into marketing and advertising. In a survey for The Creative Group in 2015, 55 percent of hiring managers at larger agencies found it was difficult to find creative talent – typically including copywriters and graphic designers.

2. A pulse check for human resources careers

The Society for Human Resource Management noted that more companies were seeking out HR generalists compared to those specialized in one field, like recruitment. A 2015 survey from SHRM found that nearly 90 percent of senior-level HR professionals felt confident in their ability to switch to a different job. As with many positions, this high confidence about landing a new role reveals the strong job market for HR professionals. U.S. News and World Report rated human resources as one of the top 15 jobs in business, a distinction based on its healthy work life balance as well as salary, unemployment rate and projected job growth. The technology publication Fast Company predicted that the human resources profession is changing rapidly due to other industries, like app and software development. As a result, recent online HR program graduates who adapt quickly to learning about different technologies may thrive. A study by Deloitte suggested that talent acquisition needs to keep up with social media, as more recruits and thought leaders can now be found through sites like LinkedIn and Twitter. This is an opportunity for leaders in HR: They may see a change for the better with a combination of individuals with concrete skills and new technology.

3. A pulse check for industrial distribution careers

A rise in online shopping is changing the landscape for industrial distribution. Thought leader Internet Retailer found that e-commerce saw a 14 percent jump from 2014 to 2015. Individuals pursuing jobs with an online industrial distribution degree are likely to see this change firsthand as large companies like Amazon continue to expand into e-commerce. The online retailer purchased its own delivery fleets, turning companies like UPS into competitors. According to a report published by Alibaba, the global e-commerce business is expected to balloon to $1 trillion, reaching 900 million customers by 2020. This is an initiative that has never been tried before at such a large scale, the article reported. This suggested that it would require individuals with technical expertise as well as supply chain experience to thrive in this role.

Many consumers are still planning to complete purchases in store: According to a TimeTrade report, 72 percent of consumers surveyed planned to do as much shopping in-store as they did in 2015. That means companies are still pitching their products for store shelves, from the latest food item to a new piece of clothing. Industrial Distribution graduates can apply their skills to help place these products by overseeing a team of salespeople as a sales manager. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that this role will grow by 5 percent from 2014-2024.

4. A pulse check for finance careers

Individuals graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Finance have several job prospects to choose from. Of those, Financial Advisors have a strong job market. Since the 2009 “Educate to Innovate” initiative that increased funding for STEM programs in colleges across the U.S., the job prospects in finance have grown. USA Today noted that pursuing a Personal Financial Advisor as a career offers the combination of strong pay and healthy growth prospects: graduates with a finance degree can make up to $67,000 annually. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that the job growth for Personal Financial Advisors will skyrocket at 30 percent from 2014-2024. The Insured Retirement Institute noted in their 2016 report that approximately 10,000 baby boomers retire daily, which translates to 4 million per year. The report noted that only 24 percent of baby boomers feel confident that their savings can support them. As more individuals reach retirement age, they will have to budget their savings, thereby increasing the need for a financial advisor.

Financial Advisors can work in a number of different environments, from accounting firms to opening their own practices. The market is strong for online finance program graduates looking to become Financial Advisors. Individuals interested in focusing on a more specific part of finance – like buying and selling stocks – may need to consider earning a master’s degree or pursuing additional licenses.

5. A pulse check for accounting careers

According to U.S. News and World Report, accountants are rated as one of the top 10 best business jobs. In addition, a career in accounting ranked number 14 for the list of top STEM careers. Accountants enjoy a low overall unemployment rate at 2.5 percent. This rate is expected to decrease further, as accounting staffing agency Robert Half predicted more job opportunities in this space in 2017. It also noted that the demand is high for accountants who can keep up with technological changes like cloud computing. Students enrolling in an online Bachelor of Science in Accounting program can take the opportunity to learn about information systems to assist them in a changing workplace. With more baby boomers reaching retirement age, that will create an opening in the market for younger accountants to fill. The New York Times noted that individuals graduating with a specific major like accounting, versus a general degree like business, tend to do better in the job market. This may be because employers feel more confident in the technical skills graduates bring to the position.

6. A pulse check for management-level careers

Individuals interested in Management Consulting, also known as Management Analysis, are looking at a healthy job market, too. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this sector is expected to grow by 14 percent from 2014-2024. U.S. News and World Report also noted that Management Consultants enjoy a 3.2 percent unemployment rate. The publication rated Management Consultants as the number 10 career in best business jobs. Graduates with an online management degree can apply their problem-solving skills in a range of different sectors, including automotive, consumer goods and healthcare. The competition is especially fierce for consumer goods. Food companies are looking to invest in profitable new products. Management Consultants can assist these companies with strategy to avoid the dreaded failed product launch.

7. A pulse check for information systems careers

Businesses rely more on technology to stay relevant in today’s workplace. As a result, there are a growing number of roles for graduates with an online degree in information systems. CareerCast named Information Security Analyst as the number 3 job of 2016. The Bureau of Labor Statistics supported this: it predicted that this career would have 18 percent growth from 2014-2024. The BLS suggested that the rise of certain technological advances, like cloud computing and mobile networks, are creating job opportunities in the marketplace. According to tech publication Mashable, more businesses are moving to private cloud computing and hybrid cloud-computing, a combination of public and private. Sixty percent of businesses utilized cloud computing in 2014, Silicon Angle reported – a number that is expected to grow as more companies use big data. These large swaths of data bring their own challenges, as companies need to be able to organize this information into actionable insights. An individual with a background in information systems may be able to help.

Consider your online bachelor’s degree with UAB

Earning an online bachelor’s degree can give students a sense of personal fulfillment. It can also help them feel prepared for a changing global work environment. To see if an online Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham is right for you, reach out to an enrollment advisor today.


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