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How to Find The Best Careers In The Local Job Market

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We are going to look at this a little differently than other articles you will see on the topic of best careers. Typically, you will see opinions based on nationwide job demand and tend to be very generic.

I work in Tampa so many of my clients live in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Sarasota, Manatee and Hernando counties, but also get many clients from all over the country. For now are going to stick with career fields that are in big demand in the local market. You can use the same information for your area. Many of these are big in most markets, like Information Technology, Project Management and Cybersecurity. Specifics might change. For instance for Cloud Technology, Azure might be the most popular one in market A, but AWS or google Cloud might be bigger in a different market. Some fields lend themselves well to remote work (IT, Cybersecurity, Business Intelligence), so you can be anywhere.

It is very important when you are job hunting to know your local job market so you can  focus your efforts on where you have the greatest likelihood of success. I would not consider a career as an animator unless you already live in an area where there is good demand or are either prepared to move or your dad has already promised you a job.

Secondly, we are going to focus on careers where you can get up to speed quickly. If time and money are not an issue, then you can consider wonderful careers like becoming a CPA, which takes a bachelor’s degree, 2 years working under a CPA, and then additional studies so you can take your CPA exam. If you are like most of the people I see, then you need something you can do in a short period of time so you can get back to work as quickly as possible. Know that the type of training you will need to accomplish this will be short, but intense. Tell the family and loved ones that the aliens have abducted you because you will be super busy for a few weeks.

Programs that will help you get the skills you need

If you are unemployed, there is a wonderful federal program to help you get what you need at no cost to you. It is called the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act WIOA). If you qualify, it can pay up to $10,000 depending on where you live for you to get trained, certified, and placed in your field. This is ideal because many of the hottest fields require an up to date certification to become marketable. If you qualify, it will cost you nothing.

Because the emphasis for WIOA is on getting a job, we are going to focus on those career fields that work well for this program: in high demand, plus whatever training is needed can be completed in a  short period of time so we can help you get placed fairly quickly.

Are you unemployed? Millions of people lost their jobs because of the Corona Virus so Congress has stepped in to help. On March 18th, the Department of labor set aside $100 million dollars for dislocated worker grants and more funding was added for workforce assistance with the law that just passed. if you qualify, this program, can pay up to $10,000 to get trained, certified and then get help getting placed in their career. The amount and availability varies by county. This can be used to get certified in fields such as Cyber-Security, Information Technology, Project Management, Business Analysis and more. Some of the most highly sought after certifications include CompTIA, Microsoft, Cisco, Project Management Professional (PMP), Scrum Master and more. If you would like to see if you qualify, you can call me at 813-387-3503 I look forward to speaking with you

In the past, if you did not qualify for any grants, the only way to get the skills you need was to get a student loan. With a student loan, you assume many risks. Whether you get a job or not, you must pay it back. Interest keeps accumulating until this is paid off. If you lose your job later, you still must pay this back.

Now there is another, no risk alternative: Income Share Agreements (ISA). With an ISA, you pay nothing up front, nothing while you are in school and nothing until you are placed in your career making the minimum threshold. There is no interest either.

Instead, you pay a fixed percentage of your income for a set period time. If you lose your job, you pay nothing until you are back to work.

With an ISA, the school assumes the risk instead because you pay nothing until you are working. If you lose your job later, they will try to get you placed again so they can get paid. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Best Careers in the Local Job Market

Now that we have established the ground rules, let’s see which fields fit the best

High demand careers you can start from scratch

In any of these fields, it is ideal when you have experience or transferable skills. If you do, then you will start higher up the ladder and have increased marketability. However, sometimes people have to or want to start all over. These are fields where you can get into quickly with no experience if needed.

Information Technology

With the number of computer networks doubling every 5 years, the job demand for Information Technology workers continues to heat up for this high paying career. Even during the COVID pandemic, we are getting job leads for the following:

  • Full-stack developers
  • Java Developers
  • Cloud Engineers
  • Software Engineers
  • Product Designers
  • Software Developer
  • Network Engineer
  • Systems Engineer
  • Business Analyst
  • Software QA Engineer
  • Application Developer
  • IT Project Manager
  • Program Manager
  • Cyber Security Engineer
  • Computer Support Specialist
  • Systems Administrator
  • Computer Programmer
  • DevOps Engineer
  • .NET Developer
  • Database Administrator


Cyber Security

The Tampa/Clearwater/St. Petersburg job market is one of the hottest in the country. According to Cyberseek, there are an estimated 6,700 job openings in the local area and the number of qualified workers is very low.

It's easy to look at someone with a great salary and think about how lucky they are. But the truth is, high-paying jobs aren't as rare as they seem — in fact, they're often the ones with the most available positions. While you might first need to develop a special set of skills or pursue a particular degree, there are many in-demand jobs with high salaries that are only increasing by the minute as employers struggle to fill them with qualified candidates.

Many of these jobs have a legal requirement that you must be certified. The cyber-crime epidemic is expected to triple the number of job openings over the next 5 years. Employers desperately need workers who are certified in Security+ and other DOD-8570 certifications.


Business Intelligence Analyst (Also Data Analyst, Financial Analyst, Data Scientist, etc.)

Each year, more businesses are realizing the benefits Business Analysts offer. Because of this, the Business Analyst job market is expected to grow at a rate of 19% over the next 10 years! With that amount of growth, businesses are already fighting for every Business Analyst they can get and pay good salaries.  One of the most significant changes to this career is the need for business intelligence skills, like Excel, SQL, Power BI, and Tableau. Organizations now mostly depend on data analysis technologies like Big Data analysis for business growth. With the right certifications, business analysts will get the business intelligence abilities they need to succeed in their careers.


Executive Secretary/Administrative Assistant

Responsible administrative assistants perform several administrative jobs and clerical tasks. Duties include providing support to managers and employees, helping in everyday office needs, and managing the company’s general administrative duties. The more skilled administrative assistants can make a surprisingly good salary if they have the necessary abilities. Certifications like Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) and QuickBooks can really help to move up in this career.


High demand careers where you need some experience or transferable skills


Project Management

If you have management experience, one of the job opportunities that is in very high demand is in project management. In the Tampa/St. Petersburg/New Port Richey job market the demand is especially strong for project managers and pays quite well. The Project Management Professional (PMP) is the most sought-after credential for this field. Forbes magazine ranked this certification number two for 2019. Other certifications in this field include ITIL, PMI-Agile, DevOps, Six Sigma, Product Owner and Scrum Master


Human Resources

This one is tricky. There is good demand, but I would not call it great. There is also good growth, but not great. However, this field also has above average job satisfaction. If you already have some experience in this field, you can enhance your marketability significantly by getting your SHRM certification. This field is best suited to career enhancers rather than career changers, especially for mature workers. I frequently get people telling me how they always wanted to go into Human Resources, but if you are a mature worker with no experience, I do not recommend this option because you will be fighting an uphill battle.


Good career opportunities but be careful


Medical fields/Allied Health

There are many medical fields that are in high demand, but you must be careful. The best schools have long waiting lists that can take 1 – 2 years to get in and you may even have to complete some prerequisites first at a community college. This is not ideal for the WIOA program because if you get a job in the meantime you no longer qualify, plus you are supposed to be actively searching for work. Now there are some colleges out there where you could get in right away, but there are other drawbacks to them:

  • Success rate. Any college that receives federal financial aid (think FAFSA, not WIOA) must publish the percentage of their classes that complete the program as well as the percentage of the class that graduates who get a job. These should be on their website under “disclosures.” You may have to search around a bit to find them. In many cases, the schools where you can get in right away have very low success rates in both categories
  • The Cost. Typically, these schools are more expensive, which means you must come up with the difference.

I was able to help a young lady recently apply for a WIOA grant for her RN Associates degree at a community college with a very good program. However, she had already completed her prerequisites and been accepted, so it worked quite well. In many cases, to get a good school you should wait and use financial aid instead of WIOA


Other Options

There are other options as well, but keep these things in mind when making your choice:

  • It must be an approved occupation
  • It must be suitable for WIOA
  • It needs to be a field where there is a high expectation of employability when you get certified.

Note also that not all career choices and programs are available in each county.

Next steps to get started

 Call now for a free consultation so we can review your career options and see what is the best fit. Let’s also see if you qualify for a WIOA grant.  You can call me at 813-428-2409 or book a time for me to call you. If you are eligible, we can review your options to come up with a plan to suit your needs. Then I can help you apply for this grant and help you get approved, so we can go to work to help you get trained, certified, and placed.