Using Data to Navigate the Job Search


As you are preparing for the job search and navigating the current industry and economic trends, it’s important to consider growing industries and how that might impact your search. This blog post will lead you through national and local employment data on growing industries and will provide resources on how to use this data for your specific situation. As we take a deep dive into our current economic situation, consider how you might use this data to learn about new and growing occupations!

WHAT DOES THE DATA TELL US?

National projections:
Let’s take a look at a data source, which is widely used for employment projections, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which falls under the United States Department of Labor. According to 2019-2029 employment projections, “the healthcare and social assistance sector is projected to add the newest jobs, and 6 of the 10 fastest growing occupations are related to healthcare.” Below are a few visuals and lists from the data to describe additional employment and industry projections.

** It’s important to note that these 2019-2029 projections do not include impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and response efforts. For additional details, you can check out the full report here.

Unsure what specific jobs might fall into these industries? You’re not alone! Click on the hyperlinked text to get a comprehensive list of occupations using the O-Net Online resource, which entails comprehensive employment data developed under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration. Using the O-Net Online resource, you can find out the typical tasks of this role, the educational level required, the job outlook, and average salaries.

Here are a few examples of occupations from select sectors above:

  1. Geoscientist: Mining, quarrying, and gas extraction sector
  2. Genetic counselor: Healthcare and social assistance sector
  3. Environmental Science and Protection Technician: Professional, scientific, and technical services sector
  4. Curators: Arts, Entertainment, and recreation sector
  5. Social and Community Service Managers: Other services (except public administration) sector
  6. Occupation Health and Safety Technician: Construction sector
  7. Educational, Guidance, and Career Counselors and Advisors: Educational services; state, local, and private sector
  8. Information Security Analysts: Finance and insurance sector

Local/Regional Data:

As a UGA student specifically, what does this mean for you? Those who have frequented the UGA Career Center are likely aware of our exclusive job board for students and alumni, Handshake. From Handshake, our team was able to grab a few pieces of data to show the top 15 industries and the top 15 job functions represented in fall 2020 jobs postings. Take a look!

INDUSTRY JOB FUNCTION
K-12 Education Other
Healthcare Education / Teaching / Training
Non-Profit - Other Engineering - Civil / Mechanical / Other
Internet & Software Data & Analytics
Government - Local, State & Federal Engineering - Web / Software
Higher Education Sales
Research Research
Manufacturing - Other Administration
Insurance Information Technology
CPG - Consumer Packaged Goods Finance
Advertising, PR & Marketing Healthcare Services
Electronic & Computer Hardware Marketing - General
Sports & Leisure Community & Social Services
Investment / Portfolio Management Business Development
Biotech & Life Sciences Advertising, Media & PR
  • Consider using the O-Net Online and the Occupational Outlook Handbook, a publication of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, to research these industries and job functions. Both are great resources!
  • On Handshake, use the “Career Paths” tab to explore these job functions, which gives a brief description of the job function and shows associated job postings from Handshake.

HOW DO I USE THIS DATA FOR MY MAJOR OR CAREER CHOICE?

Alright, alright. Enough of the data. What do I do with all of this information? Here’s the deal with data and information- it can help to manage our expectations and to create comprehensive plans of action. While data can sometimes make us feel limited in our options, I believe it can also help us to expand those options using current information.

Let’s walk through an example.

Michelle is an English major at UGA. She found her love of literature, books, and writing from high school courses and serving as the editor for her high school newspaper. Michelle chose English for her interest in the subject, but she also hoped to one day create content for, write, and publish for a publication or online media outlet. She looks through this data and thinks, “Wow. I see nothing for me. This is very discouraging as I am finishing up my junior year and considering my career options post-graduation.” It’s true that Writer, Editor, and/or Publisher is not a top growing job title/occupation based on these projections. However, I see several opportunities for Michelle to pursue her career interests based on this data. Should she change her major? Probably not. What is more likely is that Michelle should change her mindset. Let’s talk through how this data can help her explore career options.

Michelle might consider two options to widen her job prospects:

  1. Learn more about and consider alternate industries
  2. Research job titles by skill rather than major

Considering alternate industries is always a great place to start when widening your career options. As Michelle hopes to use her skill in content creation and writing, she might begin to consider how that skill could be applied in other industries, beyond journalism and publishing companies. Every company and organization needs good writers. The difficult step is often opening our world to imagine how these growing industries might need those specific skillsets. Let’s consider this skill in an alternate industry, tech.

With one quick online search for “Google (the company) careers”, I was brought to Google’s careers page. The initial job board was overwhelming with the number of jobs available, so I used the filter “Skills and Qualifications”, to hone in on Michelle’s skill of “writing”. This 30-second activity gave me an entirely new set of job titles that she will likely see on other tech company’s career pages. Here’s a few examples of job titles that require writing as a skill:

  • User Experience Writer
  • Technical Writer
  • Content Strategy Manager
  • Internal Communications Writer
  • Technical Editor

These job titles may not have been on her radar before, but now Michelle can add these to her job titles of interest as she navigates the job search.

As you look at the growing industries from the data above, consider going through a similar exercise.

  1. Which industries might I enjoy working in using my skillset?
  2. What new job titles might I use in my job search based on these new industry interests?

You may find your next, awesome opportunity in an industry or company that you never imagined, so be open!

Still unsure how to make sense of this information?

See us at the UGA Career Center! You have a Career Consultant for your major or college who is ready to help you navigate your major and career options. Schedule an appointment through Handshake or call the Career Center front desk at (706) 542-3375.

WHAT ARE THE IMPACTS OF COVID ON THESE EMPLOYMENT PROJECTIONS?

Last March our lives were turned upside down. Millions of folks lost their jobs as companies laid off workers, and other companies scrambled to get products online for customers to buy and shipped to their homes. We saw the “biggest job losses in leisure and hospitality, especially in food services and drinking places; education and health services; professional and business services; retail trade; and arts, entertainment, and recreation.” It’s also important to note that “job losses were greater in industries employing less advantaged groups, creating greater inequality”.

According to the Monthly Labor Review article, “Employment recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic”, it’s still unclear how the pandemic will impact our economy long-term. While teleworking/remote work may be here to stay, the effects of that change may impact those services in which business relied on in-person office workers to maintain stability and growth. No more coffee shop runs, lunch outings at the local restaurant, or conference room space reservations for large group meetings. In addition, we will likely see a demand in online commerce and automation as we recover from the pandemic recession. Will consumers continue to use delivery services, and will Zoom serve as a primary way to interact with others? Will we continue to innovate automation in production through robotics to use less labor for greater output? These questions are still left to be answered, but until then, keep your mind open to industries and roles that you may not have considered before.

As always, remember that you have a great resource in the UGA Career Center. Our staff is here to help during this difficult time. For more information on our services, go to www.career.uga.edu.

REFERENCES AND RESOURCES:

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