5 California Sectors Growing with New Career Opportunities
You might already know that California, with over 39 million people, has a larger population than any other state in America.1 But did you also know that its economy is ranked among the top in the world? The state has the world's fifth-largest economy with a GDP worth almost three trillion dollars.2 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 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.3
Check out five of the sectors most likely to generate new employment possibilities:
The number of older Californians is growing rapidly. For instance, by 2030, the proportion of residents aged 65 and older is projected to reach 19 percent (up from 12 percent in 2012).4 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 2017 to 2026, California's per-capita health care spending is expected to increase by 5.5 percent per year, on average.5
- As of April 2019, the employment category that includes health services within the state accounted for more than 2.7 million workers.6
- California is expected to need close to 450,000 additional health care workers between 2014 and 2024 in order to both replace retiring workers and meet the rising demand for health and medical services within the state.7
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: Collectively, more than 131,500 new positions could be created in this state for art, design, media, and information technology workers between 2016 and 2026.8 Plus, over 25 percent of the country's video game industry originates in California.9
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 April 2019, more than 875,000 people were employed in construction, and over three million worked in transportation, the utility sector, or another trade.6
Plus, it's hard to ignore the possibilities related to auto repair. Californians drive a lot—on average, about 35 miles every day in 2016.10 That's a lot of wear and tear put on vehicles by about 27 million licensed drivers.11
Few other states attract as many visitors as California. In 2017 alone, about 8.2 million people visited from foreign countries.12 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.13
What it all means is that tourism is a major creator of jobs in California. In fact, in 2018, tourist spending directly supported almost 1.2 million jobs. About 665,512 of them were in the category of accommodations and culinary services.12
California's economy is incredibly diverse. And its businesses export products to almost 230 foreign markets—accounting for more than $178 billion of revenue in 2018.14 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 April 2019, about 835,000 Californians were employed in the financial sector, and over 2.7 million worked in the category of professional and business services.6 With a short amount of relevant schooling, you can join them in that success.
1 State of California, website last visited on June 18, 2019.
2 State of California, Department of Finance, "Gross State Product," website last visited on June 18, 2019.
3 Public Policy Institute of California, "California's Need for Skilled Workers," website last visited on June 17, 2019.
4 Public Policy Institute of California, "Planning for California's Growing Senior Population," website last visited on June 17, 2019.
5 California Health Care Foundation, "2018 Edition—Health Care Costs 101," website last visited on June 17, 2019.
6 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, website last visited on June 18, 2019.
7 Public Policy Institute of California, California's Health Workforce Needs: Training Allied Workers, website last visited on June 18, 2019.
8 State of California, Employment Development Department, Employment Projections, website last visited on December 12, 2019.
9 Milken Institute, Future-Proofing the Video Game Industry in California, website last visited on November 12, 2019.
10 Legislative Analyst's Office, "California's Transportation System," website last visited on June 18, 2019.
11 State of California, California Driver Handbook, website last visited on June 18, 2019.
12 Visit California, website last visited on June 18, 2019.
13 California State Capitol Museum, website last visited on February 19, 2020.
14 California Chamber of Commerce, "Trade Statistics," website last visited on June 18, 2019.