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UC San Diego Extension Reveals Emerging Careers for 2016


Everyone is searching for a career that has both a promising present and an even brighter future. To help individuals identify these opportunities, the University of California, San Diego Extension today released its “Emerging Careers for 2016” report that details the most in-demand jobs with the highest growth potential both in San Diego and nationally.

To compile the list, UC San Diego Extension’s Center for Research on the Regional Economy identified the top 10 occupations that combined the highest projected growth rates and the most online job postings   using data from labor data market firms Emsi and Burning Glass. Researchers focused on careers that required a bachelor’s degree with less than five years of work experience.

According to its analysis, the top 10 emerging careers in the United States for college graduates in 2016 are:

  1. Software developers, applications

  2. Accountants and auditors

  3. Computer systems analysts

  4. Medical and health service managers

  5. Sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing, technical and scientific products

  6. Management analysts

  7. Market research analysts and marketing specialists

  8. Financial analysts

  9. Information security analysts

  10. Civil engineers

Mary Walshok, associate vice chancellor of public programs and dean of UC San Diego Extension, said these emerging careers show both the value of a college degree and also the need for specialized training as technology is continuously reshaping the job market and the economy.

“As Marc Andreessen recently opined, ‘Software is eating the world,’” Walshok said. “That fact is true in almost every top emerging career whether it be health care or marketing or financial analysis. It’s not enough to just know the fundamentals; you have to use technology to provide new insights.”

The report, which details the salaries, age and gender breakdown of each emerging career, also features insights from people in those fields on the micro trends and niche skills shaping their various industries. For instance, within the larger information security analyst profession, there is growing demand for infinite-response analysts, who are able to anticipate cyberattacks and seamlessly integrate a wide variety of cybersecurity products into a company’s computer systems. For accountants and auditors, one emerging career is that of an IT auditor whose job it is to ensure that automated systems are delivering outputs, or calculations, that can be trusted.

“By combining macro research data with insights from those in these emerging careers, we were able to provide a deeper understanding not of only what jobs are in demand now but what skills are driving future growth,” said Josh Shapiro, director of research and evaluation at the Center for Research on the Regional Economy at UC San Diego Extension, who designed and developed the “Emerging Careers for 2016” report.

The annual list of emerging careers is part of UC San Diego Extension’s larger research efforts to not only assist job seekers but also shape educational offerings to ensure companies have the talent they need to thrive in today’s competitive marketplace.

“UC San Diego Extension continues to be a vital component of the regional workforce training and development system,” Walshok said. “We do this by providing actionable data to help spur economic development efforts not only in this region but also across the country.”

The top emerging careers locally mirrored the national list but highlighted the San Diego region’s growing strength in cyber security, digital marketing and health care IT.

Locally, the 10 emerging careers for 2016 are:

  1. Information security analysts

  2. Market research analysts and marketing specialists

  3. Medical and health services managers

  4. Computer systems analysts

  5. Management analysts

  6. Software developers, applications

  7. Civil engineers

  8. Financial analysts

  9. Sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing, technical and scientific products

  10. Accountants and auditors

The findings of the report served as the basis for UC San Diego Extension’s Career Development Week, which runs from March 22 to March 24, and features presentations on employment trends, hands-on training sessions, career workshops and networking opportunities. Mark Cafferty, president and CEO of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, will discuss the report and San Diego’s workforce needs with Shapiro at tonight’s keynote presentation. For a free copy of the report, visit