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Education Lab Blog

Education Lab is a project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.

December 29, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Free online tool shows top jobs for community college grads

What jobs will be in high demand four years down the road, when today’s college freshmen enter the workforce?

A new report released by the advocacy group Young Invincibles outlines broad employment trends, but if you’re looking for a more specific guidance — what to study now — there are also newly-available online tools that can help.

The Future of Millennial Jobs suggests that future technological shifts are likely to mean fundamental changes in the way we work. But “futurists are split on whether technological advances will produce a net increase or decrease in employment, and rapid changes in technology mean that the jobs of the future may be vastly different than what we see today,” the report says.

Millennials (born after 1980) — and others — looking for specific guidance might want to try Career Coach, a free online career-search tool recently rolled out by Tacoma Community College. The tool is used by a number of other institutions, as well, including Highline College in Des Moines and the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County. It’s built by EMSI, a Moscow, Idaho, company owned by CareerBuilder.

The website allows students to enter the degree they’re pursuing — or thinking about — and shows related careers in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area, including salaries and prospects for future employment.

Here’s an example: A student studying for an associate certificate in accounting could forge a career path in bookkeeping, accounting and auditing. A clerk job in those professions pays an average of $19.67 an hour, according to Career Coach. More than 24,000 people are employed in those fields in the region, and that number is expected to increase by 6.2 percent over the next four years. The website also links to current job postings in the field.

Career Coach offers a career assessment — an online questionnaire that matches your personality type with different types of careers.

And it shows the hot jobs in the local region. Not surprisingly, a career in developing software applications shows up at the top of the regional list. According to Career Coach, the job pays about $54 an hour, and the number of software developers expected to be needed in the next four years will grow by 10 percent.

The Career Coach search also links to programs offered at Tacoma Community College that could start students on their chosen career paths.

Comments | More in News | Topics: higher education

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