People between the ages of 18 and 34, currently referred to as the millennial generation, face modern-day challenges that older demographics may be unfamiliar with. Because of rapidly changing technologies and fluctuating economies – among other factors – many millennials are struggling to pin down which careers will be able to offer long-term job security and financial support.
Professional advocacy group Young Invincibles recently published a list that it hopes will help take some of the guesswork out of selecting a gainful profession. Every job on the list was carefully analyzed using a set of criteria. The organization took into account each position’s median salary, projected growth and the seeker’s chances of securing the job before the age of 35.
High salaries and potential for growth fuel top spots
Physician assistant took the number 1 spot, with a median salary of over $90,000 per year and a projected growth rate of 38 percent. Notably, this position requires extensive training, which could drive millennials deeper into debt. Second on the list was actuary, a job with a median annual salary of about $94,000 and a projected growth rate of 26 percent. Third place was a tie between two careers: statistician and biomedical engineer. Each job earns median wages of over $75,000 each year and both have growth rates of 27 percent. The top five was rounded out with computer and information research scientists, who make median annual incomes of over $100,000 and have a projected growth of 15 percent.
STEM trend dominates report
The overwhelming trend that presents itself throughout the list is that positions in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields have the highest salaries and largest potentials for growth. This is clearly evident in the list’s top five careers, all of which fall somewhere on the STEM spectrum. Other jobs on the list that adhere to this trend include nuclear engineer, petroleum engineer, dental hygienist, therapist, logistician, financial analyst and adviser, software developer, pharmacist, credit analyst, dietician, geological technician and medical scientist.
Of course, not everyone is inclined toward math- and science-based careers, and there are still somewhat lucrative options outside the STEM realm, according to the list. Marketing specialist earned the number 6 spot on the list, making a median annual salary of $60,300 with a projected growth rate of 32 percent. Elevator installer was also included in the top 10, coming in at number 8. Other jobs not requiring STEM degrees included public relations and fundraising manager, public relations specialist, agent and business manager.