As adults, we are faced with enormous pressure to make important, and often expensive, decisions about what they want to do with their lives after graduation. Without having any prior work experience in a career profession, it can be taxing to choose the right job path, often beginning with continued education. Many students find themselves stuck, searching for majors that sound good or align with their favorite high school course. While brainstorming how to turn a talent or interest into collegiate success, it’s important to think about the practicality of your desired profession and how that fits into the lifestyle you love. As the world is diverse, so are job needs. Different regions have higher demand for certain careers. If you are set on where you want to live, set your eyes on a job path that can help you thrive in that location.
The job you choose, where you live, and your skills and education impact how much you can earn. It’s generally true that salary and hourly wages can vary from the city to more rural areas. The wages a person can earn tend to be higher in a city environment where the cost of living is higher and vice versa. Aside from that, your role may earn more in certain locations versus others. For example, this is true for Veterinary Technicians careers that are growing in Atlanta, Dallas, and Los Angeles. The Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy organization, did a study on salaries for the same career in different locations. Brookings uses another example: New Orleans, Louisiana is a great place for a nurse to make a living, but not a construction worker while the opposite could be true in upstate New York. As the study notes, knowing the average salary for the role you are aspiring to in your area can help you avoid a missed opportunity. In this case, residents in New Orleans might consider the healthcare industry, as a high demand for nurses likely also means high demand for other medical professions.
Researching through Google and tools like Monster, Indeed, and Glassdoor can be a great place to begin the process of identifying top industries and careers in your area. If you’re hoping to stay close to home, but still have a steady career, see what jobs are available within an hour commute of where you live. You should be able to see what positions are most common and what positions are harder to come by. Next, pick out a few that seem the most interesting and research how much the average pay is for that position. Determine if that would be enough to support your lifestyle and dependants. Sign up for alerts so that you are notified with jobs you are interested get posted on your favorite sites so you can monitor positions you like. This can also help to eliminate jobs or industries that are not feasible for your locale. For example, there is likely not going to be a huge need for marine biologists in a landlocked place like Mobile, Alabama. If the desire to become a marine biologist outweighs your desire to live in somewhere, it’s probably time to consider a move.
On that note, if you know you want to leave your hometown but have no clue where to go, thinking about what you want to do for a career can help you pick a place to move. Take the same research steps, but instead see where you can more easily find a job in the field you’re interested in and what the average income is for that job in different cities.
After doing your research, seeing what’s out there, and making a decision about what you want to do, you may realize you need to further your education to get the job you want. Guess what? It’s time for more research! Not every school will offer the program you need. You may not even have any schools near you at all. That doesn’t mean you have to decide to pack your bags and leave home if you don’t want to move. If you know what you want to do, search online options, like Penn Foster. With accredited, online education becoming more normal, completing your education from home for the career you want is more often than not the best route.