Hottest Careers for College Graduates

Government economists estimate which occupations will have the most job openings between 2008 and 2018. Openings occur because new jobs are created and because workers retire or leave the field for other reasons.

Check out these top 10 lists of occupations, sorted by the level of education typically required:

 Graduate Degree

Occupation Total Job Openings 2008–2018
Postsecondary teachers 553,000
Doctors and surgeons 261,000
Lawyers 240,000
Clergy (Imams, Nuns and Monks, Priests, Protestant Ministers, Rabbis) 218,000
Pharmacists 106,000
Educational, vocational, and school counselors 94,000
Physical therapists 79,000
Medical scientists, except epidemiologists 66,000
Mental health and substance abuse social workers 61,000
Instructional coordinators 61,000

Associate’s Degree or Postsecondary Vocational Award

Occupation Total Job Openings 2008-2018
Registered nurses 1,039,000
Nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants 422,000
Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses 391,000
Computer support specialists 235,000
Hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists 220,000
Automotive service technicians and mechanics 182,000
Preschool teachers, except special education 178,000
Insurance sales agents 153,000
Heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration technicians 136,000
Real estate sales agents 128,000
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics