When we talk here about struggles with student loans, we often discuss this crisis hand in hand with unemployment and underemployment issues. Forbes last year reported that 60% of recent graduates aren’t able to find work in the areas of their major. This was confirmed by a report released this year by the Federal Reserve that just 27.3% of grads have a “college major match” with their job. If you’re struggling to find a job in your major, why not consider a mindset shift to a career path that is growing – such as IT?
Staff.com revealed in a recent infographic we share here that IT job opportunities are on the rise, continue to pay increasing salaries and are experiencing a shortfall in talent. The good news is that so many of today’s graduates have excellent computer skills and may be ready to tackle these tech jobs with little to no additional training. Here’s some of the opportunities and what you need to know to get in on them:
Web Developers Web developers do not need a degree in computer science and one degreed developer admits he uses very few of the skills he learned in school on the job. The tech blogger goes on to say that, “You can even teach it to yourself if you find the right resources and continuously practice what you learn.”
To get a web-dev job, you will often have to show a portfolio of sites you’ve created or worked on. You can set up websites for family friends, a local non-profit, a friend’s band – anything that will let you get your feet wet. Be prepared to start out as a junior and spend time on the learning curve, but you can earn up to $90,000 per year once you’ve built your skill set.
Health Information Technicians You’ll need to pick up a RHIT certification and may need a little bit of extra training, but this is a growth industry – we’re not getting any healthier as a nation… This important career is played out mostly in hospitals and is all about life-saving data integrity of patient records. And it’s not just data entry – it’s also data analysis to improve patient care and outcomes.
While an associate’s degree in this specialty is required, if you’ve already completed your BA or BS, you should be able to avoid many of the core courses required. That should leave you with just the occupational course requirements which will allow you to hustle through the program at top speed. And here’s a bonus to consider – if you get a job in public health – such as the VA or a non-profit – you may be eligible for public service loan forgiveness!
Other Jobs You can see from the infographic that there are a host of other in-demand jobs. To get your foot in the door to be considered, your degree (whatever it’s in) may be all you need. In some cases, a certification course from a technical college may be what you need. For other positions, you may be able to gain entry level work and then build skills on the job that allow you to advance in the IT field.
With all of the talk about data analysis, more warm bodies are going to be needed to compile that big data from websites, databases and other information feeds. This is a much better strategy than flipping burgers after you graduate because you can’t find work in your major!
No matter what career path you choose, working to devote as much of your income to tackling your debt as possible is the best way to get free of student loans. To help with that, check out Tuition.io’s free student loan tool to view, manage and optimize your debt in one easy interface! To keep informed on the student loan crisis at large and strategies to take on debt, please enjoy these recent blogs: