Before starting a job search, it’s good to become familiar with the job outlook those specific careers offer. This can help create future safety for your work and make sure you will be able to find similar jobs in the future.

Finding your first job right out of college can be intimidating, especially if your skills and qualifications bring you to industries with big corporations and scores of talented people. The key is not to narrow yourself down to very specific entry-level positions. If you understand the career for a number of different industries, you can find the job that is the right fit and will benefit you on your path to success.

What Does ‘Job Outlook’ Mean?

The job outlook is the change in the number of people that are employed in a certain occupation over a selected period of time. The period of time is usually two, five, or ten years.

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Economics professionals are in charge of predicting how much the rate of employment will either increase or decrease between the base year and the target year. This estimated job growth is important when you’re looking for career options within the industry you’re interested in. Apart from the salary and your interest in a particular field, you should also look into how the job you want is expected to perform in the next few years.

What is a good job outlook percentage?

The job outlook percentage is determined by comparing the job growth of all occupations over the same period of time. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) determines this percentage by usually estimating the growth an occupation is supposed to have within ten years.

Any percentage that is higher than average is supposed to be good for the field. These are the job outlook percentages, according to BLS:

  • 14% or more increase (grow much faster than average)
  • 9%-13% increase (grow faster than average)
  • 5-8% increase (grow as fast as average)
  • 2%-4% increase (grow more slowly than average)
  • 1% decrease or increase (have little to no change)
  • 2% decrease (considered decline)

Why You Need to Consider the Job Outlook of a Career

When considering a certain job, there are many things—such as compatibility, qualifications, the industry, the responsibilities—to take into account. Another decisive factor in career research is the job outlook. If you find that a job suits you, but the employment rate is expected to decrease in the following years, it might be time to consider other options.

Another way to understand your career outlook in any industry is to know what skills and qualifications you bring to the table. While you may have a solid education, you will also want to make sure that you have a set of transferable skills that will further your career in the right direction. Remember, there are many high paying associate degree jobs with a good outlook too which you can land with the right skills.

Knowing the job outlook of an occupation is also valuable when you’re considering changing your career pathway. It’s good to look both into your current and desired job’s growth. If your current career’s employment rate is expected to decrease, then you should consider a career change and make sure that it has a positive job outlook.

What Are Your Options If the Career You Are Interested in Has a Poor Outlook?


It can be demoralizing to find out that the career you want has a poor job outlook. However, that shouldn’t be the case. Although economists are good at predicting it, the growth of a particular career can increase and decrease unexpectedly due to a variety of factors.

Additionally, you can opt for slightly changing the course of your career. Here are some ways to achieve that.

1. Consider getting a field-specific certificate

Getting a certificate can help you master the skills needed for a specific job. Certificates are oftentimes focused on equipping you with knowledge and skills to make you more employable.

If you’re considering changing your career, finishing a certificate program can help you quickly gain the field-specific skills you need. In addition, they usually last up to two years, so you would get back in the job market quickly. You can choose to follow two of the certificate programs, graduate and undergraduate, both of which are short-term programs with a focus on the technical area of a subject.

2. Find industries where your skills are in demand

Having a certain degree doesn’t mean going for one job only. There are many different industries that may require someone with your skills to complete a certain job.

For instance, if you have a Computer Science degree, you may think that you need to look for a job within a company that manufactures computers or creates software. These can be a great position, but a Computer Science degree can also be applied to almost any industry because high-level computer skills are in demand for corporations, retailers, small businesses, and even government positions. The same can be said about information technology degrees and cybersecurity degrees.

Think outside the box

Thinking outside of the box, in this case, translates to considering job options outside of a traditional worldview. In today’s world, you can choose to work in a range of industries depending on the education you have.

Just because you studied for years to become an accountant doesn’t mean that you must work as an accountant for the rest of your working life. There are many jobs suitable for people who are trained for one specific job but find themselves looking for more. In the case of a qualified accountant, they can also easily find jobs as auditors, analysts, and managers in a range of industries.

Understanding the job outlook and how you can use it for your career is important. Apart from job growth, there are other things to take into account when searching for a job, such as the number of people applying for it, your education, the highest paying career with your degree, etc. It’s also good to keep in mind that if a job doesn’t have a great outlook, there are ways to make it in the industry without going for that specific job.


We hope this helped you. Good luck!


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