10 jobs where millennials are finding work
Although the job market is on the upswing, for many of the roughly 75 million Americans in the millennial generation -- those ages 18 to 34 -- finding work remains tough.
Unemployment among recent college graduates remains above 7 percent, compared with 5.5 percent for all workers, according to the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington think tank. For millennals with only a high school education, the jobless rate tops 19 percent.
"They've had a tough time in the job market," Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen noted in testimony before Congress earlier this year.
But according to a new report by job-search firm CareerCast.com based on an analysis of federal labor data, some fields offer richer employment opportunities to younger people.
Read on to learn about 10 occupations where millennials are seeing the greatest job gains, including median annual salary and projected employment growth through 2021.
Advertising account executive
Annual Median Salary: $115,750
Projected Growth Outlook: 12 percent
A changing communications landscape means businesses need more workers who both understand new technologies and the new generation of consumers.
But these new ad account execs are a far cry from the "Mad Men" stereotypes of decades past. "We're talking about account execs primarily at online, Internet sites who are selling impression-based ad delivery and that type of thing," Tony Lee, publisher of CareerCast, told CBS MoneyWatch.
It stands to reason that the new breed of ad execs is selling mostly to other millennials, who recently surpassed baby boomers as the most populous generation in the U.S. "If you're a digital native, you're speaking that language to someone else who's the same," he said.
Annual Median Salary: $79,340
Projected Growth Outlook: 20 percent
The retirement of baby boomers in engineering is clearing the way for younger people. That need is expected to grow in the years as the U.S., politics permitting, works to modernize the nation's aging roads, bridges, railways airports and other infrastructure.
"[T]he nation's infrastructure is in trouble," said CareerCast's Lee, "so the demand for civil engineers who can help rebuild the nation's infrastructure, as well as all other civil engineering projects, is strong."
Computer Systems Analyst
Annual Median Salary: $79,680
Projected Growth Outlook: 25 percent
One of several science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, positions on the CareerCast list, computer systems analyst is traditionally seen as an entry-level job that can become a stepping-stone to more senior company positions.
According to CareerCast publisher Tony Lee, millennials in the field can pretty much write their own ticket. "If their skills are towards coding, then they'll move up into program and program management," he said. "If they prefer to stay in systems, then they'll end up running the systems group."
Annual Median Salary: $124,149
Projected Growth Outlook: 15 percent
CareerCast says the position of data scientist is a new and emerging job field that is well-geared to educated millennials.
"Companies are looking for folks who can help make sense of big data," CareerCast's Lee said.
Data scientists use their math, analytical and computer skills to help organizations mine the torrents of information computers collect. Along with helping commercial enterprises market and sell products, "it helps cities and governments figure out how to service the population better," Lee added.
Annual Median Salary: $67,520
Projected Growth Outlook: 27 percent
Millennials may not be retiring for another 30 years or more, and few of them have much extra income to put into savings -- but many younger workers are already thinking about their future financial security.
And rather than sit down with older financial planners, CareerCast.com found Millennials would rather figure out their financial strategies with someone their own age. That shift away from older financial advisors is creating new demand from financial institutions for Millennial-aged financial planners.
Market Research Analyst
Annual Median Salary: $60,300
Projected Growth Outlook: 32 percent
Another position considered a "stepping stone" towards more senior positions, Millennials who enjoy marketing are gravitating towards market research analyst jobs.
Millennial-aged analysts are also helping companies decipher the consumption habits of their fellow Millennials - who as a group, according to MarketResearch.com, are relatively unpredictable in their tastes and demands.
"They are adventurous and are less likely to fall into the lull over strict brand loyalty," the website noted last year, "which was the hallmark of Baby Boomers. In essence, the Millennial consumer profile is built on convenience, flexible/non-existent brand loyalty, and price sensitivity."
Annual Median Salary: $79,860
Projected Growth Outlook: 36 percent
The demand for physical therapists has exploded, according to CareerCast's Tony Lee, mostly because the baby boom generation is "getting old and needs help."
But the position is also attracting a lot of millennials who want to make a personal difference in other's lives in a relatively unconventional field.
"It's an area where, if you have a predilection towards working in the health care field but doing it in a way that's one-on-one -- you're helping people feel better -- then it's a perfect occupation," Lee said.
Social Media Manager
Annual Median Salary: $46,169
Projected Growth Outlook: 13 percent
Another new and rapidly growing job title, social media managers apply their Internet skills to advance an organization online. As part of their job-skill set, social media managers might help retailers sell more products via their Facebook page, or assist a municipal government in getting news and information out to younger community residents.
And much like social media itself, social media experts have a 24/7 job. "They're the ones who send out messages constantly and are making sure that all the social media accounts are up to date," said CareerCast publisher Tony Lee.
Annual Median Salary: $93,350
Projected Growth Outlook: 22 percent
The demand for software engineers continues to grow, and its technical requirements also bring with it strong salary levels.
"Overall, we're seeing companies across industries hiring much faster than previous years," Adam Hyder, chief technology officer of recruiting software company Jobvite, recently told Quartz.com. "For the positions in highest demand, sourcing this talent can take companies a long time. However, once hiring managers find this talent, they'll hire immediately. We're also seeing that companies are willing to invest in training employees that may not be the perfect fit if it means a quicker hire."
Annual Median Salary: $75,560
Projected Growth Outlook: 27 percent
Much like data scientists, people who are able to "dive" into data and emerge with the essential statistical information are increasingly in demand.
"Statisticians are specialists, but statistics demands they be generalists, too," according to the American Statistical Association. "One advantage of working in statistics is that you can combine your interest with almost any other field in science, technology or business."
Statisticians are in demand among insurance, health care, agriculture, chemical, engineering and manufacturing firms, as well as government organizations, according to the ASA.