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Study: Health care, business among the top job options for Americans looking to change careers

A new Schools.com analysis highlights 20 smart moves for adults seeking a professional change, based on job seekers' personality traits and skills

Foster City, CA

Best carere changesWith strong job growth and above-average salary potential, nurse practitioner, civil engineer, health educator and accountant were among 20 top jobs for 2015, as determined by Schools.com in their analysis of smart moves for career changers. The featured careers all met specific criteria for job growth, salary potential and educational requirements, and were selected using a matching system that emphasized the personality traits and skills of aspiring professionals.

Research from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that Americans between 18 and 46 change jobs, on average, at least 10 times during that period in their lives. This new analysis encourages job seekers to think about career changes and transferrable skills in a new way, and to remember that jobs both in and outside their current fields can be possibilities.

The 20 featured recommendations highlight great career moves, from low-paying, low-education jobs into stable, growing professions. They include shifts from emergency medical technician to nurse practitioner, traffic technician to civil engineer, surveying technician to cost estimator, psychiatric technician to occupational therapist, and teaching assistant to health educator.

Methodology

Using data from the BLS, Schools.com created a list of target careers, which meet specific requirements in the following areas:

  • Annual salary above the national average
  • Projected job growth above the national average
  • More than 1,000 projected job openings between 2012 and 2022
  • Typical education required for entry-level positions is a bachelor's, master's or doctor/professional degree
  • No work experience in a related occupation is required

Schools.com's data specialists then created a 4-point weighted compatibility scale based on criteria from the Occupational Employment Network, including:

  • Each career's primary interest and secondary interest, which refers to employees' personality preferences for their work environment and tasks
  • Each career's primary and secondary areas of knowledge, which refers to the skills employees need to do their jobs

Using the compatibility metric, starter jobs, which have annual salaries below the national average and require less than a college degree, were matched with their corresponding target careers.

To see all 20 recommended career changes, including details on salary potential and job growth for all target jobs, please see Schools.com's article on Changing careers: 20 smart moves for 2015.

About Schools.com

Schools.com is a resource for education, connecting students and prospective students with the right information, people and schools to help them advance in life. Featuring in-depth sections with faculty interviews, campus tours and national education news, the site aims to be a hub for higher education topics and trends. Schools.com is owned and operated by QuinStreet, Inc. (NASDAQ: QNST), one of the largest Internet marketing and media companies in the world. QuinStreet is committed to providing consumers and businesses with the information they need to research, find and select the products, services and brands that meet their needs. The company is a leader in visitor friendly marketing practices. For more information, please visit QuinStreet.com.