Newswise — Finding a job can be challenging, but establishing and maintaining a successful career in today’s constantly evolving economy can be an even tougher task. To help individuals identify critical skills and opportunities, the University of California San Diego Extension released its “Emerging Careers for 2017” report that details the most in-demand jobs with the highest growth potential both in San Diego and nationally.

To compile the list, UC San Diego Extension’s Center for Research on the Regional Economy identified the top 10 occupations that combined the highest projected growth rates and the most online job postings   using information from labor-market data firm Emsi. Researchers focused on careers that required a bachelor’s degree with less than five years of work experience.

According to its analysis, the top 10 emerging careers in the United States for college graduates in 2017 are:

  1. Interpreters and translators
  2. Operations research analysts
  3. Personal financial advisors
  4. Computer systems analysts
  5. Software developers, applications
  6. Market research analysts and marketing specialists
  7. Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors
  8. Information security analysts
  9. Meeting, convention and event planners
  10. Management analysts

Mary Walshok, associate vice chancellor of public programs and dean of UC San Diego Extension, said these emerging careers show both the value of a college degree and also the need for specialized training as globalization, innovation and demographic shifts continuously reshape the job market and the economy.

“Employers want to hire people who are not only well educated, but also know how to put their knowledge to work,” said Walshok. “Work readiness means the ability to communicate effectively both in person and in writing–and demonstrate critical thinking and problem-solving skills. It also requires a willingness to adapt to challenges whether they be new technologies or changing economic conditions.”

The report, which details the salaries, age and gender breakdown of each emerging career, also features insights from people in those fields on the micro trends and niche skills shaping their various industries.  As our world becomes more interconnected and increasingly diverse, there is a growing demand for translators and interpreters who are proficient in multiple languages and culturally astute.

“By combining macro research data with insights from those in these emerging careers, we were able to provide a deeper understanding not of only what jobs are in demand now but also what skills are driving future growth,” said Josh Shapiro, director of research and evaluation at the Center for Research on the Regional Economy at UC San Diego Extension, who designed and developed the “Emerging Careers for 2017” report.

The annual list of emerging careers is part of UC San Diego Extension’s larger research efforts to not only assist job seekers but also shape educational offerings to ensure companies have the talent they need to thrive in today’s competitive marketplace.

“UC San Diego Extension continues to be a vital component of the regional workforce training and development system,” Walshok said. “We do this by providing actionable data to help spur economic development efforts not only in this region but also across the country.”

The top emerging careers locally mirrored the national list but highlighted the San Diego region’s growing strength in computer science.

Locally, the 10 emerging careers for 2017 are:

  1. Operations research analysts
  2. Interpreters and translators
  3. Personal financial advisors
  4. Computer systems analysts
  5. Information security analysts
  6. Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors
  7. Market research analysts and marketing specialists
  8. Meeting, convention and event planners
  9. Software developers, applications
  10. Management analysts

To view the full report, visit