In 2015, students and jobseekers conducted nearly 1.5 million job and program searches on Career Coach, Emsi’s career exploration tool that 200-plus colleges and universities have placed on their websites and connected to their programs.
Thousands searched for general careers or programs like “business” or “medical” or “computer.” Others took a much more specific tack, searching for “cyber security” or “medical coding” or “early childhood education.”
We looked at the data we’ve collected on user searches in 2014 and 2015 to find the most popular program and job searches. The following infographic displays the 30 most-searched-for fields of study and occupations, and no surprise, registered nursing was the runaway leader both years.
In addition to presenting Career Coach user data, the infographic shows the 2015-2020 job outlook for occupations tied to each program or job title. The color gradient indicates how much jobs tied to each program or field are expected to grow; those in blue are projected to see the most rapid increase.
Emsi projects jobs associated with physical therapy and occupational therapy—both of which include assistants and aides—to grow the fastest from 2015 to 2020 (15.9% and 14%, respectively). On the other end of the spectrum, we project graphic design and police officer jobs to grow the slowest (2.6% and 3.3%, respectively).
The bulk of students and jobseekers used Career Coach to search for growing fields that in most cases pay well. Of the 10 most popular program and job categories in 2015, only psychology and social work & human services offer either questionable pay or job prospects (and that depends on the city or region that someone is looking at for a job in those fields).
Meanwhile, the top five program/job categories for projected job growth are all in the very stable health care sector:
- Physical therapy, 15.9%
- Occupational therapy, 14%
- Medical assistant, 11.5%
- Health care/allied health, 10.6%
- Medical coding/health IT, 9.9%
Registered nursing isn’t far behind the top of the pack, with 2015-2020 job growth for RNs expected to be 8.8%. RN-related queries made up 4.5% of Career Coach searches in 2014 and 4% of 2015 searches. Computer science/IT was second both years, accounting for around 2.5% of searches. Business & economics (2.2%) was third in 2015, up from sixth in 2014.