Like many other states in the U.S. right now, Colorado has a common economic problem – there aren’t enough skilled and qualified workers to fill all of the job openings that are springing up. In some industries like the nursing sector, the shortage is being caused by an entire generation of baby boomers retiring within a span of about a decade, while in other industries like computer technology, the shortage is due to exponential advancements that are increasing demand without the existing workforce and infrastructure to match.
These shortages are great for the average person looking for a job because anyone can get hired for a relatively high-paying position after completing a basic certification or skills-based qualification program. However, the situation has become tough for employers who are struggling to find and keep skilled and experienced workers. With that said, here are seven of the most in-demand jobs in Colorado:
More than a third of the nurses in Colorado are over the age of 55 and are therefore getting ready to retire within the next decade. While hospitals and clinics are struggling to find new nurses around the state, there’s certainly no shortage of online nursing programs in Colorado. Entry-level nursing jobs pay an annual salary of about $30,000-$50,000, while more advanced positions can pay as much as $100,000 or more.
2. Physician Assistants
Physician assistants are also in high-demand due to an increasing shortage in healthcare facilities throughout the country. Like nursing, this is a nationwide shortage, so even if you decide to move out of Colorado, you’ll have no trouble finding a job elsewhere. This job pays a median annual salary of about $110,000, but be prepared to study for 4 years for a bachelor’s degree and another two years to obtain certification through a training program.
3. Software Engineers
Off-hand, how many software engineers do you know? Probably not many, as there are only about 18 million software developers in the entire world and most of them aren’t even certified software engineers. That might seem like a big number, but when you realize that’s only 0.2% of the world’s population and then consider how much software needs to be created and maintained, the extent of the shortage becomes clear.
4. Environmental Engineers
Do you even know what an environmental engineer does? Sadly, most people don’t. Yet, this is possibly one of the most pivotal occupations on Earth right now, as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned that we only have about two decades left to shape up before the ongoing pollutive damage to the environment becomes irreparable. The pay for this job is good and will vary widely from about $60,000 to $100,000+ depending on your position and experience level.
5. Database Administrators
If you’re wondering what a data administrator is, that’s probably part of the reason why the industry is in need of new professionals. Not everyone has what it takes to manage complex computer systems, so anyone willing to step up to the plate will find themselves in high demand for a job that pays an average annual salary of about $75,000.
6. Physical Therapists
How many people do you know who are physical therapists? Now, how many people do you know who might need physical therapy? Just that simple mental exercise should illustrate the obvious need for more physical therapists. If you’re willing to make the commitment, you’ll wind up with a job that pays an average annual salary of about $85,000.
Colorado’s teacher shortage mirrors the current national trend and is very similar to the nursing shortage in that a third of the teachers in the state are expected to retire within the next ten years. This isn’t the best-paying job, with an average annual pay of about $55,000, but it can be enjoyable, fulfilling, and relativity simple once you get used to leading a classroom.
Does the Next Generation Have What it Takes?
For many years, this great global civilization of mankind has flourished and expanded, increasing in population, supply, demand, and every other metric. Technology has made all of our lives more convenient, and the newest generation only knows this heightened level of convenience. Consequently, many are questioning whether there are enough of today’s smartphone-cradling youth who are even interested in carrying on the torch and doing the more difficult jobs.
We’ve come to take many things for granted, with the assumption that “someone else will take care of it.” However, that relaxed mentality has become so widespread, it’s now a legitimate concern whether there will be enough young adults willing to take on society’s fundamental jobs. If you’re planning on residing in Colorado in the near future and you want to be a part of the solution instead of the problem, start by pursuing one of the recommended career paths mentioned above.
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