Grads! Kansas Reports on Fastest Growing Occupation Opportunities

By: From 13 News
By: From 13 News

TOPEKA -- The latest report from the Kansas Department of Labor (KDOL) may prove an interesting read for the 33,000 Kansas students expected to graduate from high school this month. The 2006-2016 Kansas Occupational Outlook, released today, examines the fastest growing jobs and industries in the state – providing a valuable guide for those choosing a career path or determining a course of study for postsecondary education.

According to the report, five of the top 10 fastest growing occupations are in the field of computers and mathematical science. These occupations combined are expected to add 6,172 jobs over the 10-year projection period, and the average median wage for these occupations is $31.47 per hour – more than two times the median wage for all occupations in the state. The occupation projected to grow the fastest is network systems and data communications analyst.

“A lot of valuable information is contained in this report, making it a great resource not only for Kansas students, but for parents, educators and career counselors, as well,” said Kansas Labor Secretary Jim Garner. “The occupational and industry employment projections in the report are useful for the planning and preparation of educational and training programs, assessing the need for skilled workers in the future, studying long-range trends in occupational employment and for economic development purposes.”

Overall, the fastest growing occupations in the state are those that require higher levels of education. Because of this, the share of jobs requiring postsecondary vocational training or more is projected to increase. This would include occupations with a requirement of an associate degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, first professional degree or doctoral degree. The occupational group with the highest wages is that which requires a first professional degree. Occupations in this group require at least three years of education beyond a bachelor’s degree.

“The fastest growing educational group is that which requires a doctoral degree, occupations in this group are projected to grow 24.5 percent over the 10-year period,” said KDOL labor economist Tyler Tenbrink. “Indications are that the jobs of the future will require a higher level of education and training.”

Other information included in the report includes the industry sectors projected to add the most jobs, as well as a breakdown of the regions in the state in terms of projected job growth rates.

Long-term projections are created every two years and cover a 10-year time span. The current projections use 2006 data as the base year and project occupation and industry openings out to 2016. The projections are funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employment and Training Administration.

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