10 Hot Careers for Recent Grads

Last Updated May 25, 2010 7:53 AM EDT

It's that time of year again. College grads are donning caps and gowns and bigwigs of all stripes are lining up to offer them advice on life after school. While Bill Clinton's plea to Yale grads to work together to solve the world's problems may have been inspiring, what most recently minted grads really need is not rousing words but a job.

Luckily, UC San Diego Extension has come to the aid of those who are leaving university but still unsure what path to pursue with a list of ten of the hottest career options for recent grads in this still gloomy job market (download a free pdf of the complete report from the UCSD Extension website; HT to Entry Level Careers Examiner). What are they?

  • Health care information technology. As technology increases, so does the need for health information technicians to use and maintain patient data and to keep all medical records organized and confidential. Technicians are needed for emerging jobs such as health care integration engineer, health care systems analyst, clinical IT consultant, and technology support specialist.
  • Mobile media. Graphic designers, videographers and video editors, casual game/app developers and software engineers are needed to design and develop Web sites and create video content, software applications, games, interfaces, mobile platforms, and more, as demand continues to increase for Web content and next generation cell phones.
  • Data mining. Data mining is the technique of extracting specific types of information or patterns from large databases, such as data warehouses. Most businesses in every industry collect data, and in the digital age, information is crucial for success.
  • Embedded engineering. There are career options for software developers willing to learn some new tricks. Devices from phones, appliances and televisions, to automobiles and iPods all use processors to run. These complex digital processors, or computers, are embedded systems, often built around a microprocessor core, that are designed by software engineers.
  • Geriatric health care. The growing population of seniors continues to have a major impact on careers in health care. As the numbers of aging baby boomers increase, so does the demand for certain health care jobs and services, including nursing, personal care and home health care.
  • Occupational health and safety. More specialists are needed to cope with technological advances in safety equipment and threats, changing regulations, and increasing public expectations.
  • Spanish/English translation and interpretation. For those completely bilingual in Spanish and English, these highly marketable language skills open doors to new careers. The key is to gain experience through practical internships in specialized fields such as law, medicine and business.
  • Marine biodiversity and conservation. Changes in temperature, sea level and ocean chemistry have enormous implications for marine biodiversity and ecosystem functions. More investments in conservation projects provide job opportunities for conservation scientists, marine ecologists, fisheries scientists and policy makers for the oceans.
  • Feature writing for the Web. Journalism in general is a competitive field, and the skills required for a Web journalist are similar, but with a technology spin. These skills are: good, solid news judgment, strong morals and ethics, ability to meet deadlines, and a mastery of the AP Stylebook. Additional Web skills would be knowledge of HTML, a working understanding of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), social media literacy and the willingness to try new technologies.
  • Teaching English as a foreign language. College graduates can find teaching jobs abroad, with travel as an added perk.
(Image of thermometer by zoonabar, CC 2.0)
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    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.