In-demand jobs require degree

Earl Parsons
September 26, 2007
Filed under Features

Statistics show that there are plenty of job opportunities for people with a degree or preliminary training in a specific field, and a survey of Bakersfield College students suggests that it’s fairly easy for students to find a job.
Of the 20 students surveyed, 12 said that they had a job. Of those who had a job, only two students said that they had trouble searching for a job. However, only one person had a job that was related to their major.
Among the eight students who did not have a job, three were actively searching.
The California Employment Development Department lists the top “high wage/high demand” jobs in the Bakersfield area in 2007, most of which require either a degree or a preliminary training period, on the basis of the most available annual openings and median annual income.
Elementary school teachers, excluding those in special education, had 201 average annual openings and a median annual wage of $49,430, according to the California EDD. Truck drivers had the second most annual openings with 165, with an annual median wage of $38,659. Correctional officers have an average of 115 jobs open per year, with a median annual wage of $60,294. Bookkeeping, auditing and accounting clerks have 101 average annual openings and make a median wage of $30,553, while registered nurses have average annual openings of 94 and make a median wage of $65,337.
The California EDD also includes petroleum engineering and agricultural inspection as “niche jobs” in the Bakersfield area. It estimates that the number of petroleum engineers will increase by seven percent from 2004 to 2014, “providing about 16 new and replacement openings per year.”
The Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, along with other labor and population statistics, has a list of the fastest growing occupations in Kern County from 1999 to 2006.
Jobs in systems analysis and electronic data processing have increased by 42.7%, from 750 in 1999 to 1,070 in 2006. Computer support specialist jobs have increased by 41.5%, while petroleum refinery jobs have increased by 40.9%.
Among jobs with the most growth, correctional officers have the most positions, with 3,760 workers as of 2006, up 29.7% from the 2900 correctional officers working in 1999.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 352,100 people working in the Kern County area’s civilian labor force as of July 2007, up from an average of approximately 338,000 last year.
Construction, once a booming industry in the Bakersfield area, has since lost jobs in conjunction with the leveling off of housing development in the area. Skyrocketing from 15,900 employees in January of 2005 to 19,800 by December of 2006, the construction industry in Kern County has since dropped from 20,700 employees in July of 2006 to 19,600 employees in January of 2007 and has maintained a steady 20,400 employees from April 2007 to July 2007, the latest statistic recorded by the U.S. Department of Labor.

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