An overwhelming amount of information about job market and workforce trends exists on the Internet.  Some of the information can be very useful when organizing a job search.  Below are a few sources that offer a good starting point.

How will college graduates fare this year?

The Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University performs a comprehensive survey of employers that hire college graduates.  The annual study forecasts the job market graduates will face based on responses from 5,000 employers, including small businesses, start-ups, non-profits, government agencies, school districts, and large corporations.  The report also covers trends in recruitment practices and forces affecting the job market.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers publishes periodic reports about job market trends.  Most are based on surveys conducted with their 9,000 employer and university members.  NACE has recently begun collecting student reported data from institutions across the country, creating a national snapshot of college post-graduation outcomes.

What job trends are likely to affect college students?

Georgetown University’s Center for Education and the Workforce studies the link between education, career qualifications, and workforce demands.  Their reports are divided into three areas:  Jobs, Skills and People.  All reports are downloadable from the Center’s website and written for a broad public audience.

What jobs have the best growth potential in the future?

The Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is an online resource that documents hundreds of occupations across the labor spectrum.  Each profile includes a job outlook of the occupation’s projected growth in the near future, as well as earning potential.  The site also features a section on fastest growing occupations.

What jobs are in highest demand for Maryland grads?

Computer Science, High Tech and IT.  The “digitization of everything” has driven a steadily increasing demand for graduates with computer skills.  University of Maryland students enjoy competitive recruiting for positions in software development, programming, information technology, systems administration and web design.

Engineering.  Demand in engineering fields remains steady, with electrical, computer and chemical engineering leading the way.  Due to the proximity of NASA and prominent defense industry companies, mechanical and aerospace recruiting is also robust.

Intelligence, Defense, National Security and Foreign Affairs.  The Maryland, DC and Northern Virginia region is home to the intelligence, defense and diplomacy communities.  Frequent recruiters include the National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the US Department of State.  Career Shuttles take students on site visits to the World Bank, the Institute for Defense Analyses, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  In addition, the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) is headquartered at the University of Maryland.

Public Sector.  The University of Maryland’s proximity to Washington DC and Annapolis opens many opportunities for UMD graduates in federal and state agencies.  High concentrations of graduates may be found in the US Departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, the Treasury, Energy, Agriculture, Education and many other agencies.  Every year graduates report converting internships into full-time positions on Capitol Hill.  The Smithsonian Institution is also an active recruiter on campus.

Healthcare.  Many UMD graduates pursue advanced degrees for jobs in healthcare, including doctors, physician’s assistants, nurses, therapists, healthcare administration, and public health education.  At the bachelor degree level, medical scribes, professionals that chart physician-patient encounters during examinations and emergency rooms, represent another rapidly growing healthcare role.

Accounting, Banking, Finance, Consulting and Supply Chain Management.  These business fields have retained solid job prospects for UMD graduates.  Accounting firms are among the top recruiters at Maryland, including Deloitte, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Ernst & Young.  Capital One leads the pack of financial institutions that interview on-campus.  Consulting firms such as Accenture and Booz Allen Hamilton also hire a significant number of UMD graduates.

Education.  Graduates from UMD’s College of Education are heavily represented in Maryland K-12 school systems, most prominently in the Montgomery County and Prince George’s County public schools.  UMD’s education graduates enjoy the highest placement rate of all majors.

Scientific Research.  The National Institutes of Health are headquartered in Bethesda and attract many graduates into research roles, as does the US Food and Drug Administration.

A note of caution.  While it might seem the best strategy for employment is getting a degree related to an in-demand job, keep in mind that trends rise and fall unpredictably.  What’s hot right now may not be in the near future.

A better strategy is pursuing jobs that align with your genuine talents and interests.  Employers look for candidates that are really good at, and passionate about, their work.

5%

employer-projected increase in hiring according to NACE Job Outlook 2017