5 California Sectors Growing with New Career Opportunities
You might already know that California, with almost 38 million people, has a larger population than any other state in America.* But did you also know that its economy is ranked among the top in the world? In 2011, the state had the world's ninth-largest economy with a GDP worth nearly two trillion dollars.** And many people expect that ranking to go even higher in years to come.
That's good news for aspiring professionals across many different fields and locations. From the culturally rich cities of Northern California to the warm and lively cities of Southern California, this state has some of the most intriguing career settings on Earth. Places like San Francisco, Sacramento, Fresno, San Jose, Los Angeles, and San Diego are very well-known for sustaining an appealing variety of jobs. And the even better news is that students here don't have to spend very long in school in order to find respected and good-paying opportunities.
In fact, by 2025, the state is expected to experience a significant shortage of professionals with credentials that take less than four years to earn. California may need as many as 1.5 million more workers who have two-year associate's degrees or one- or two-year technical certificates. Up to 36 percent of the jobs are likely to require people with the marketable skills that often come with such credentials.***
Check out five of the sectors most likely to generate new employment possibilities:
The number of older Californians is growing rapidly. For instance, between 2010 and 2020, the population of residents aged 65 to 74 is projected to increase by more than 60 percent.** That's just one of the reasons why this industry is worth paying attention to if you're someone who wants a reliable career. Here are some others:
- From 2000 to 2009, California increased its per-capita health care spending by more than six percent per year, on average.**
- As of August 2014, the employment category that includes health services within the state accounted for more than 2.4 million workers.****
- By 2019, the number of Californians with health insurance could rise by about two or three million thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (i.e., the federal law often called "Obamacare").**
2. Creative Arts, Media Arts, and High-Tech Services
You won't find many other places on Earth with California's density of creative and technology-minded visionaries. This state is where Steve Jobs became a global icon. But Apple is just one example of numerous well-known companies from the Golden State. Others include Google, Facebook, and Twitter. The list goes on and on.
Clearly, Silicon Valley is world-famous for driving technological innovation. And Hollywood is the obvious center of the film industry. With these two powerhouse regions serving as major economic anchors, plenty of opportunities are generated for professionals with artistic, design, programming, or other computer-related talents.
Check out the numbers: California's creative sectors employ about two million people. And over 25 percent of the state's exports come from the computer and electronics industry.† Plus, Los Angeles and San Francisco are often top-ranked cities for video game development.
With economic growth comes the need for new construction and repair and expansion of physical infrastructure. And that results in good opportunities for skilled tradespeople in a variety of areas. The trades already produce a big chunk of California's jobs. For example, in August of 2014, more than 676,000 people were employed in construction, and almost 2.85 million worked in transportation, the utility sector, or another trade.****
Plus, it's hard to ignore the possibilities related to auto repair. Californians drive a lot—on average, more than 40 miles every day in 2011 alone. That's a lot of wear and tear put on vehicles by about 24 million licensed drivers.**
Few other states attract as many visitors as California. In 2013 alone, about 15.6 million people visited from foreign countries.‡ And millions more were drawn to the state from throughout America. They come for the sun, the beautiful beaches, the famous theme parks, the distinctive shopping opportunities, the old-growth forests, the wineries, and many other popular attractions.
This state is simply packed with unique things to do and see. For example, many tourists love driving the scenic Pacific Coast Highway and dining in charming restaurants along the way. Others enjoy exploring California's wilderness areas such as Sequoia National park.††
What it all means is that tourism is a major creator of jobs in California. In fact, in 2013, tourist spending directly supported almost 966,000 jobs. About 568,000 of them were in the category of accommodations and culinary services.‡
California's economy is incredibly diverse. And its businesses export products to almost 230 foreign markets—accounting for more than $168 billion of revenue in 2013.† As a result, the state has long been a great place for people with skills related to business or financial administration. Every industry needs professionals with such abilities.
In August 2014, more than 778,000 Californians were employed in the financial sector, and over 2.4 million worked in the category of professional and business services.**** With a short amount of relevant schooling, you can join them in that success.
* State of California, website last visited on October 16, 2014.
** Legislative Analyst's Office, website last visited on October 16, 2014.
*** Public Policy Institute of California, website last visited on October 16, 2014.
**** Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, website last visited on October 16, 2014.
† California Chamber of Commerce, website last visited on October 16, 2014.
‡ Visit California, website last visited on October 16, 2014.
†† California State Capitol Museum, website last visited on October 16, 2014.