15 Stats To Help Confused College Students Decide on a Career

Written by Sarah Falcone
Published on August 3, 2023 · Updated on August 3, 2023

15 Stats To Help Confused College Students Decide on a Career

Written by Sarah Falcone
Published on August 3, 2023 · Updated on August 3, 2023

For college students, choosing a career is an exciting but uncertain adventure. While some people are born with a particular passion, others discover their interests later in life or explore multiple fields. The experiences of different trajectories truly enrich the path to an ideal career.

Whether you’re just starting college or have recently graduated, you’re likely concerned about the future. Let’s face it: we may be on the verge of a worldwide recession. Those entering the labor force, however, have bright career prospects. In this eye-opening blog, we’ll go through surprising statistics you probably don’t know but definitely should. We will explore everything from alarming employment rates to surprise income patterns. Here are 15 career stats that college students never knew they needed.

1. The demand for specialized “green jobs” is outpacing the production of green talent.

So-called green-collar jobs are booming. Green occupations are those that involve conservation, renewable energy, and sustainability. According to the LinkedIn 2023 Global Green Skills Study, "green talent" increased by about 12% last year. Meanwhile, the proportion of job ads requiring green skills rose by nearly twice as much - 22%. Green skills are in high demand in energy production, transportation, and finance sectors. 

Consider wind turbine service technicians. Wind technicians work full-time, mostly outside, maintaining and repairing wind turbines. They earn around $66,000 each year. The BLS predicts that job growth for wind turbine technicians will be 44% over the next decade. Because the BLS anticipates a significant rise in wind turbine technician positions in the coming years, possibilities for these professionals to advance their careers and earn big wages abound.

Education Path: High school diploma and some college are often the only requirements to become a wind turbine technician. However, students who earn a certificate or degree in Wind Energy Technology will be preferred. Companies typically provide on-the-job training. 

2. Employee negligence is the number one cause of cybersecurity breaches, costing businesses an average of $277,557 each in 2021.

Society’s increasing reliance on technology and the growing threat of cybercrime are reshaping the business landscape. As a result, experts in information security are in high demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that 19,500 new jobs will be generated in this field each year over the next decade. Moreover, security analysts have good career prospects. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), information security analyst positions will expand by 33% between 2020 and 2030.

Moreover, there will be plenty of opportunities to choose from. Government agencies, financial institutions, healthcare providers, technology companies, consulting firms, and huge corporations need information security analysts. One could work as a Security Analyst, Cybersecurity Specialist, Security Consultant, IT Auditor, or Incident Response Analyst, among other things. The money is fantastic as well. The average annual salary for an Information Security Expert in 2021 was $102,600.

Education Path: Information security analysts typically need a bachelor’s degree in a field such as computer science, information technology, or cybersecurity. They must have a solid grasp of programming, databases, and networking. Positions as an entry-level cybersecurity analyst or junior information security analyst provide experience in vulnerability assessments, risk analysis, incident response, and security monitoring.

3. One in three jobs created over the next ten years will be in healthcare. 

There is a strong need for health care. This is primarily due to the growing number of elderly individuals and their healthcare demands. When most people think of healthcare, they think of the nursing shortage. Jobs for nurses are predicted to grow at about 6%, whereas specialties for nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners are likely to grow 45.7% over the next decade. These numbers are significantly greater than the average for all jobs. 

Nursing, however, is not the only in-demand healthcare career. The number of physician assistant jobs is predicted to increase by 28%. These providers work in various healthcare settings, such as hospitals, surgical centers, clinics, private practices, and community health centers, providing primary care, specialty care, or even work in research or education roles within the nursing field. They may also specialize in family medicine, pediatrics, geriatrics, mental health, or women’s health.

Education Path: College students who want a career in nursing will follow a nursing path of specialized courses, beginning at the associate degree level and continuing through the Ph.D. Physician’s Assistants must first earn a bachelor’s degree in science, such as biology or chemistry. Then they earn a Master’s in Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS). 

4. 82% of people say that living through a pandemic made them want to get married.

In one study, many respondents said they wanted someone with them to endure any future storms. People spend a significant amount of their time daydreaming about their wedding. However, not many have considered the larger picture of the wedding industry in the United States. Weddings are a $70.3 billion-dollar industry. 

The average American spends 30% of their savings on the big day. A wedding planner might set you back about $2,000. A bridal gown costs anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000. A venue is easily ten grand. Some spare no expense. A career in the wedding industry can be financially and otherwise rewarding for those passionate about providing unforgettable experiences for couples on their wedding day. Event planners, caterers, photographers and videographers, and florists are all examples of professionals in this industry.

Education Path: While formal education is not required, a degree or certificate program in event management, hospitality, or a related sector can give a solid start in the wedding business. Students can also gain knowledge and skills through online courses and workshops.

5. Design is responsible for 94% of first impressions. 

For many businesses, their website is the initial point of contact with their clients. According to a study published on Research Gate, design accounts for approximately 94% of first impressions. That is why there is such a pressing need for expert web designers. The number of positions for web developers and digital artists is predicted to expand by 23% between 2021 and 2031, substantially faster than the overall job growth rate. 

Web developers, digital designers, and software developers can earn an annual salary of $77,000 to $110,000. They can work as UX/UI Designers or Graphic Designers in industries like technology, marketing, e-commerce, and media — either as part of a team or as freelancers.

Education Path:  Typically, a bachelor's degree in web development, computer science, digital design, or a similar discipline is necessary. Professionals often learn fundamental programming languages and technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, as well as back-end technologies like Ruby, Python, and Node.js.

6. Last September, the Biden Administration committed $2 billion to biotechnology and biomanufacturing. 

The White House announced the executive order "Advancing Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Innovation for a Sustainable, Safe, and Secure American Bioeconomy" to advance bioscience. "Biomanufacturing is the future: it will generate new products and services, drive economic growth and job creation, and pave the way for a better, more sustainable future," said Shara Ticku, CEO of C16 Biosciences, at a White House conference. Government funding will go toward health, food security, agriculture, climate, and energy solutions, as well as strengthening supply chains, improving health outcomes, and lowering carbon emissions.

This "whole-of-government" approach aims to improve opportunities in the field. Biotechnology is a rapidly expanding industry that spans multiple sectors and provides numerous work opportunities. Biotechnologists, for example, work in genetic engineering, agriculture, and pharmaceuticals. Biochemists and bioprocess engineers conceptualize, develop, and optimize products. Jobs in biotechnology are predicted to grow at varying rates ranging from 5% to 20%. Workers make between $50,000 and $90,000 per year.  

Education Path:  These jobs require bachelor's degrees in biosciences-related areas, such as biology, biochemistry, genetics, microbiology, or biotechnology. Depending on your career goals, you may need a master's or doctoral degree. Advanced degrees are often required for specialized careers, research, and academics.

7. Due to workforce shortages, one-quarter of companies are turning to AI.

According to IBM, almost one-in-four companies are adopting AI because of labor or skills shortages. In addition, here are three more stats you need. 

  • 35% of businesses report utilizing AI in their operations.

  • 42% of respondents indicate they are looking into AI

  • 46% of firms intend to deploy AI in the next three years.

As more businesses implement AI technologies, the demand for AI specialists grows. According to Indeed’s Best Jobs in the United States Study, job postings for Machine Learning Engineers surged 344% between 2015 and 2018, with an average base salary of $146,085 annually. AI Specialist was voted the top rising job in 2020 and has consistently grown. Job advertisements for generative AI-related positions increased by almost 20% last month. Other careers in the sector include robotics engineer, data scientist, and full stack engineer. 

Education Path:  Jobs in AI engineering are becoming more competitive. College students must obtain a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, such as computer science, computer engineering, or mathematics. Master’s degrees in Artificial Intelligence and Applied Digital Technology may be required depending on the career path. 

8. The average buyer consults 11 consumer reviews before making a purchase.

According to a KRC Research report, consumer opinion is tremendously significant in business. That’s why companies are willing to pay very well for expert Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists. Market research experts collect and evaluate consumer and competitor data. They help businesses determine what products customers want, who will buy them, and at what price. Likewise, market intelligence firms employ market research specialists to help clients with strategies to grow operations successfully, enter new markets, or build distribution networks.

Employment of market research analysts is projected to grow 19% from 2021 to 2031. In addition to opportunities, students in the market research field also command good pay. According to the BLS, the average salary was around $63,000 in 2021. According to Zippia, analysts in the technology industry are the highes​​t-paid in the US.

Education Path: Market research analyst positions often require a bachelor’s degree. Some employers demand or prefer master’s degrees for job hopefuls.

  While we have already discussed the increase in green jobs, solar energy is worth addressing on its merits. Solar also accounts for the greatest share of growth in the renewable energy mix, rising from less than 1% in 2010 to 10.3% in 2019. As a result, demand for solar photovoltaic installation is expected to increase by 24% over the next ten years.

Solar photovoltaic (PV) installers assemble, install, and maintain rooftop or other solar energy conversion systems. According to the BLS, employment of solar photovoltaic installers is projected to grow 27 percent from 2021 to 2031. In May 2023, an installer's salary range was $64,651 to $96,691.

Education Path:  The most common choice is an associate degree in electrical technology, although some students specialize in specific aspects of the discipline, such as renewable energy or industrial electrical technology. A bachelor's degree in marketing, business, or communication may be required for a career in solar panel sales. Installers undergo specialized on-the-job training that can last up to a year.

10. Over 92% of Americans think that maintaining oral hygiene is critical to their health.  

According to the 2023 State of America's Oral Health and Wellness Report, most Americans recognize the link between oral health and overall well-being. Because almost everyone has teeth, dentistry will always be in demand. Dentists diagnose and treat problems with patients' teeth, gums, and other oral structures. A Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree is required to become a dentist. 

The average dentist's salary is between $169,660 and $213,159 per year, depending on education, certifications, experience, and skills. Dentist employment is predicted to grow by 6%. Over the next decade, 5,100 dentist job openings are projected on average.

Education Path:  To become a dentist, it typically takes eight years. During the first four years as an undergraduate, you should acquire a bachelor's degree in biology, chemistry, human anatomy, physics, or physiology. The next four years are required in dental school to earn a DDS or DMD. If you want to specialize, you must also complete a dental residency.

12. The CHIPS and Science Act invested $280 billion in US semiconductors over the next 10 years.

Biden signed the CHIPS and Science Act last year to create jobs, strengthen supply chains, and bolster US production of semiconductors. According to US government figures, the US now produces 12 percent of the world's semiconductors, down from 37 percent in the 1990s. Many US companies rely on foreign-made semiconductors, and the vulnerability of those supply chains was exposed over the last two years as a global shortage threatened to derail economic growth. 

As America attempts to bring chip manufacturing home, there is an increased demand for semiconductor designers and engineers. These workers design and optimize the components of an electrical device, making them electronics engineers. Salaries in this field typically range between $69,000 and $134,000 a year.

Education Path:  For a career as a semiconductor engineer, college students must earn a bachelor's degree in Material Science and Engineering or Applied Physics with an emphasis in fields like Computer Science and Electrical Engineering.

13. Google searches for "financial advisor" have grown 75% over the last two years.

According to Google, smartphone searches indicate an increasing demand for financial gurus. The financial industry includes banking, insurance, real estate, and investment operations. The financial services business contributes to around 20-25% of the global economy. The sector is worth more than $20 trillion globally. Individuals and businesses will always require the assistance of specialists to navigate their financial affairs.

College students interested in a career in finance will be glad to know that there are about 374,000 finance jobs available in various industries. Analysts have the most opportunities in 2023. However, other popular finance careers right now include:

  • Business Analyst

  • Finance Analyst

  • Finance Advisor

Finance careers offer a safe and exciting future. Careers that combine areas such as finance and technology (fin-tech) are also on the rise.

Education Path:  A bachelor’s degree in finance is the minimum requirement to begin a career in finance. However, if you want to work as a financial analyst for high-net-worth individuals or manage the finances of a huge corporation, a master’s degree might be your best choice. The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is considered the gold standard. 

14. ​​The hotel industry supports nearly one in 25 U.S. jobs. 

A recent study found that the hotel and lodging industry employed over 8.3 million people in 2022. What's more, over $691 billion was spent by hotel visitors on accommodations, transport, food, retail, and other expenses. That's fantastic news for the economy and college students considering a career in this industry. Hotels and resorts typically provide consistent employment, and hospitality professionals are always in demand.

Other advantages of working in the hotel industry include opportunities for advancement, bonuses, and discounts. Large hotel and resort brands may also have multiple properties in different cities or countries, providing opportunities to travel. The BLS estimates that opportunities for hotel managers will grow 18% over the next ten years.

Education Path:  Many entry-level hotel and resort positions, such as front desk receptionist, do not require a degree. Still, many schools offer courses related to service management, hospitality accounting, human resources, and facilities maintenance. For management careers, the ideal preparation is a certificate or an associate degree in hospitality management. In full-service hotels, managers must usually have a bachelor's degree in hospitality management or hotel administration. 

15. The running total of tech layoffs for 2023 has reached 201,860. 

According to Techcrunch, major names i​​n technology, such as Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Yahoo, Meta, and Zoom, have been driving labor cutbacks. Startups have also declared layoffs in a variety of industries, ranging from cryptocurrency to business SaaS. Companies cite Increased expenses due to inflation, higher interest rates, and correction of overhiring during the pandemic as reasons for the tech layoffs. 

While large corporations are cutting back, midsize organizations are seizing the opportunity to hire tech-experts who have been let go. In addition, movement in the sector suggests that companies are turning to technical consultants instead of hiring full-time employees until the economy shifts. According to labor analysts, the tech careers that are still in high demand include those requiring skills in 5G, IoT, cloud, edge computing, applied AI, and cybersecurity.

Education Path:  The best degrees for landing a high-paying tech career include: Information Technology, Computer Science, Web Development, Web Design, Computer Networking, Database Management, and Cybersecurity.

The Takeaway

As we conclude the 15 statistics for college students, we hope you've picked up a thing or two about current trends in professional careers. College students can make wise decisions about career paths when they are aware of the changing job market, emerging industries, and in-demand skills. Remember that the future of work is in flux, and remain open to new learning opportunities.