Top Five Industries for 2018 Grads

grads thumbnailWith more than 1.7 million college students set to graduate this spring, the American workforce is slated to receive an influx of job applications from freshly-educated candidates. With 164,000 net new jobs created last month and unemployment at a low 3.9%, employment conditions are stacked in the graduates’ favor. However, some sectors are hotter to hire than others. Below is a list of the top five industries with ample job openings well suited for recent grads.

Solar Power

2018 employment growth rate: 11.9%

Projected five-year annualized employment growth (2018-2023): 10.1%

Projected five-year annualized wage growth (2018-2023): 9.7%

College majors: Engineering, Computer Science

Average industry wage: $107,193

Using solar cells, panels and other devices, the Solar Power industry harnesses the power of the sun to create renewable energy for commercial, residential and industrial markets. As environmentalism has become increasingly popular and the national dialogue surrounding climate change has taken center stage, the government has begun to incentivize the use of renewable energy sources in the form of tax credits and grants. As a result, demand for solar power has soared in recent years and is projected to continue climbing in the future. Additionally, electrical consumption is expected to grow at an annualized rate of 0.5% over the five years to 2023. As a result of these trends, demand for the Solar Power industry is anticipated to rise at an annualized rate of 12.0%, creating a need for more engineers and computer scientists to enter the field.

Translation Services

2018 Employment growth rate: 4.0%

Projected five-year annualized employment growth (2018-2023): 3.7%

Projected five-year annualized wage growth (2018-2023): 3.9%

College majors: Foreign Language, Linguistics, Communication and Rhetoric

Average industry wage: $23,302

Operators in the Translation Services industry translate written material from one language to another, including official documents and website text, and interpreting oral speech and sign language. Over the past five years, a growing US immigrant population, increased visits to the United States by foreign travelers and high levels of global business activity have led to robust demand for industry services. Over the next five years, these trends are expected to persist, causing revenue for translation services to increase at an annualized rate of 3.1%. This will bolster demand for multilingual individuals, especially those with educational concentrations in foreign languages or linguistics. While average wages may be relatively low in this industry, the demand for new labor presents an opportunity for college graduates without engineering- or business-focused majors.

Software Publishing

2018 Employment growth rate: 4.0%

Projected five-year annualized employment growth (2018-2023): 3.1%

Projected five-year annualized wage growth (2018-2023): 3.4%

College majors: Software Engineering, Computer Science, Information Systems

Average industry wage: $154,132

Companies operating in the Software Publishing industry design and develop software built for computers, cell phones and gaming consoles. As the world has become increasingly digital, and the number of mobile connections has rapidly expanded, the industry has experienced robust revenue growth and has rapidly expanded its workforce. Over the next five years, the industry will continue to grow in line with high corporate profit levels and increased consumer demand for technology. The Business Analytics and Enterprise Software Publishing industry will represent a particularly bright spot for operators and grads alike, as it is expected to expand employment at an annualized rate of 5.2% over the five years to 2023. This will create high demand for individuals with degrees in software engineering or computer science.

Accounting Services

2018 Employment growth rate: 2.7%

Projected five-year annualized employment growth (2018-2023): 2.7%

Projected five-year annualized wage growth (2018-2023): 3.2%

College majors: Accounting, Finance, Economics

Average industry wage: $75,905

Accounting firms provide a range of services, including audit and accounting advice, to corporate clients, individuals and small businesses. Over the past five years, the Accounting Services industry has benefited from growth in corporate profit, which has increased business investment activity, compelling more companies to seek out accountants for tax consultations. Furthermore, in recent years, growth in new business creation has expanded the pool of potential corporate clients, the industry’s largest downstream market. Over the next five years, the number of businesses is anticipated to rise an annualized 1.0%, increasing the need for corporate accountants and creating demand for students who majored in finance, accounting or economics.

Advertising Agencies

2018 Employment growth rate: 2.6%

Projected five-year annualized employment growth (2018-2023): 2.2%

Projected five-year annualized wage growth (2018-2023): 2.4%

College majors: Advertising, Marketing

Average industry wage: $79,653

Operators in the Advertising Agencies industry create ad campaigns and provide creative services for downstream corporate clients. These advertisements are showcased in a variety of media outlets, including print formats such as newspapers and periodicals, and digital formats such as television and websites. Over the past five years, industry demand has expanded due to high corporate profit, which has enabled industry clients to splurge on more creative and involved ad campaigns. During the period, the Digital Advertising industry represented a particularly strong area of growth, and is expected to continue to thrive moving forward as a larger share of services are conducted online. As a result, the subsegment of the overall industry is expected to expand its workforce at an annualized rate of 7.9% over the five years to 2023, creating demand for college graduates with degrees in marketing or advertising.

grads infographic

Edited by Sean Egan. Designed by Miranda Romano.

Industry Impact: Solar Power; Translation Services; Software Publishing; Business Analytics & Enterprise Software Publishing; Accounting Services; Advertising Agencies; Digital Advertising Agencies