Wondering where most of the opportunities are for young people and new grads right now? Perhaps unsurprisingly, many of the top jobs are in the technology sector. Programmers, developers, and designers continue to be in high demand, and roles in these fields pay among the highest starting salaries.

Reporting this, I feel like it is my “let them eat cake” moment. While youth unemployment in Canada remains at close to double the national average, and many educated young people are stalled in their careers waiting for the opportunity to get started, the recurring solution proposed seems to be, “let them learn code.”

Of course not everyone is suited for – or interested in – these jobs. We can’t all go out and become computer scientists, IT infrastructure managers, or interactive web developers.

So here is a look at some of the hottest fields to graduate from right now (many of them computer related) along with the most frequently posted jobs online for entry-level candidates – with and without a university degree or professional certification.

A new report released yesterday identifies the top 10 careers for new grads by analyzing four criteria: current employment levels, projected growth through 2022, median salary, and working environment.

Here are the top ten hot career paths:
(With median Canadian salaries and currently available opportunities)

    1. Software Developers, Applications – $70,000 [View jobs]
    2. Software Developers, Systems Software – $70,000 [View jobs]
    3. Accountants and Auditors – $61,000 [View jobs]
    4. Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists – $62,400 [View jobs]
    5. Cost Estimators – $62,400 [View jobs]
    6. Computer Network Architects – $58,240 [View jobs]
    7. Management Analysts – $67,184 [View jobs]
    8. Personal Financial Advisors – $61,100 [View jobs]
    9. Elementary School Teachers, except for Special Education* – $70,000 [View jobs]
    10. Financial Analysts – $68,640 [View jobs]

* This report is from an American university. Most of their data closely matches what we’re seeing in demand for Canadian professionals, except that in many regions in this country there is a surplus of teachers for the available positions. Retiring of the Baby Boomers is expected to mitigate this, but that trend has not kicked in yet.

“Global markets, the rise of big data and the continued reach and influence of the digital world, all helped propel jobs for software developers, computer network architects and marketing analysts to the top of the list,” said Mary Walshok, associate vice chancellor of public programs and dean of UC San Diego Extension which authored the report.

Similarly, ITWorld.com is reporting that of all fields of study, students graduating from Computer Science had the highest average starting salaries in 2014, $66,161, followed by engineering ($65,000), math and statistics ($60,300), economics ($58,600), and finance ($58,000). A further 32% of Computer Scientce Graduates earned a starting salary of over $75,000, and 13% landed starting salaries of over $100,000.

Nice work if you can get it. Let them eat code indeed.

Job postings on Workopolis can be categorized by employers for the career level of hire the employer is looking for. These include Management, Experienced, and Student/Entry-Level among others. Jobs in the Student/Entry-Level range tend to fall into two broad categories: positions that most people could do regardless of level of education (general labour, retail, hospitality, etc.) and those skilled positions where the demand for workers is so great that new grads are snatched up as soon as they obtain their certifications (regardless of real-world experience.)

So based on analysis of Workopolis job posting data, here are the jobs that are most frequently advertised online in Canada for student and entry-level candidates.

The top ten jobs posted for Student / entry-level candidates:

  • Customer Service Representative (Average wage: $16.50/hour) [View jobs]
  • Sales Associate / Representative (Average wage: $40,000 + commission) [View jobs]
  • Technical Support Representative (Average wage: $50,000) [View jobs]
  • Administrative Assistant (Average wage: $36,000) [View jobs]
  • Account Manager (Average wage: $66,560) [View jobs]
  • Cashier (Average wage: $10.50/hour) [View jobs]
  • Receptionist (Average wage: $33,000) [View jobs]
  • Grocery Clerk (Average wage: $11/hour) [View jobs]
  • Merchandiser (Average wage: $39,000) [View jobs]
  • Beauty Advisor (Average wage: $11/hour) [View jobs]

The top jobs where graduates are sought immediately after finishing school:

  • Registered Nurse (Average wage: $72,000) [View jobs]
  • Personal support worker (Average wage: $32,000) [View jobs]
  • Business Analyst (Average wage: $75,000) [View jobs]
  • Financial advisor (Average wage: $61,100) [View jobs]
  • Physiotherapist (Average wage: $71,000) [View jobs]
  • Marketing coordinator (Average wage: $48,000) [View jobs]
  • Pharmacist (Average wage: $84,765) [View jobs]
  • Accountant (Average wage: $61,000) [View jobs]
  • Occupational therapist (Average wage: $73,000) [View jobs]
  • Human Resources Assistant (Average wage: $44,720) [View jobs]

Salary data from the federal government’s Working in Canada site. (In most cases I have converted average hourly wages into annual salaries.)

And while we’re not all going to become techies, digital literacy is becoming the new literacy. We should all learn at least some basics of coding.

Peter Harris
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