Going back to school? Research labor market first

May 18 2012 - 3:51pm

Does an advanced education make it easier to make more money? Yes. Does an advanced education make it easier to get a job? Well, maybe.

In today's job market, it has been reported that 53 percent of college graduates under the age of 25 were not able to obtain employment in their field of study, finding themselves unemployed or working in jobs that normally require only a high school education.

None of this means that you should not try to pursue additional education. The higher the level of education, the more money an individual is likely to make.

The key is to look at the job potential and job trends for the job field you want to pursue before you begin those higher education studies.

In the job search industry, this is called a labor market analysis and it is important.

The Department of Workforce Services provides labor market data by county at www.jobs.utah.gov. This data includes wage and employment information for both private and public sector jobs.

Also included are 10-year projections for various industries in each area of the state. Included in these projections is a rating system, with five stars representing the strongest employment outlook with the highest median annual wage. These ratings are meant to provide general guidance for those seeking high-demand/high-wage positions and are not the final word on the desirability of a particular occupation.

For each industry in different areas of the state, the Utah Occupational Report contains an occupational description; employment projections; license information; required skills; the star rating described above; occupational wages; related occupations; industries and employers; and current job openings.

Many economists are projecting a brighter labor market going into next year with the national unemployment rate falling from 8.2 percent to 7.7 percent. Unfortunately, those same economists ratcheted up their inflation forecasts for the Consumer Price Index, from 2 percent to 2.3 percent going into next year.

The Ogden-Clearfield Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) had varying results for March, 2012 as compared to March, 2011. For example, employment in the leisure and hospitality industry fell 7.6 percent while the natural resources, mining and construction industry rose 16.2 percent for the same period. The manufacturing of durable goods rose 5.4 percent and the information industry rose 5 percent.

Statewide, the industry in front of Utah's economic recovery is professional and business services. Approximately 5,600 positions have been added over the past 12 months. Nearly all are coming in the high-paying professional and technical industries, like legal services, computer systems design, consulting and market research.

If you are considering higher education, you must look at employment opportunities and trends for the field of study you want to pursue to ensure you will find jobs available once you complete your education.

Ron Campbell has worked extensively in the job preparation and job search industry. He can be reached at 801-386-1111 or campbellrv@gmail.com.

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