More than four years after the recovery officially started, it appears the state economy is finally on track as Colorado should continue to enjoy robust job gains in 2014.
Colorado is expected to be among the top five states for job growth in 2014, with a gain of 61,300 jobs in the goods-producing and services sectors. That’s down slightly compared with a gain of 66,900 jobs in 2013. The state is also likely to keep its unemployment rate below 7 percent in 2014.
If you’re looking to make a career change in the coming year here are some hot industries to consider in the Centennial State:
1- Healthcare – The Affordable Care Act has enabled more people to enter the healthcare system thus increasing the need for both healthcare workers and support staff. This in combination with an aging population and Colorado being regarded more and more as a popular retirement destination make healthcare a solid growth industry for 2014 and is on target to add 8000 jobs. The increase in patient care will translate to increases in areas like medical devices, home health care, and preventative medicine.
2- Technology – We are still in the middle of a tech boom and Colorado is regarded as being very tech savvy and has a reputation for a well-qualified tech workforce. The hot areas within technology are anything related to internet services including VoIP, internet applications, internet security, and mobile applications. The professional and business services sector is expected to see the most job growth next year, with a forecast gain of 14,200 jobs.
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3- Construction – The construction sector, which was the hardest-hit sector during the recession, is expected to see an 8.7 percent increase in jobs, with a net gain of 11,000. This includes manual labor-type positions, management, and support staff. Related winners will also include architectural and design firms along with building supply and consulting services.
4- Biotech and Pharmaceuticals – Biotech goes hand-in-hand with the growth of the healthcare sector. Pharmaceutical profits are strong which means more R&D for more drugs and more personnel. Colorado has some rock star companies in this area including Allosource and R&D arms of Covidien and DaVita.
5- Staffing and Temporary Agencies – 54% of all positions filled since 2009 have been temporary or contract positions. This benefit is two-fold in that the industry itself is rapidly expanding as companies more and more outsource their recruitment duties and also bring people on in a temporary role before offering full time employment.
Industries to avoid
Despite the positive news regarding job growth this year, there are some industries that will be losing jobs. Information which includes traditional telecom and publishing will look to shed about 300 jobs in Colorado this year. The federal government will also look to reduce its total number of employees. Manufacturing though looking to add 1700 jobs (1.3% increase) is still in slow-growth mode.
Tips for making a career change into a hot industry
Think like a specialist regarding how you can help a company solve their major needs or create more value. Position yourself as an expert (sales, marketing, R&D, project management, etc.) as opposed to an “I’ll do anything” generalist type and then talk to some people in the industry. Read blogs and trade journals and follow target companies on Twitter to get company and industry news and to also learn what they are doing to stay competitive and carve a niche. When networking, employ the TAR strategy (asking for Tips, Advice, and Recommendations) and see what they would do if they were in your position. One you’ve done your research, determine exactly how you can assist a target organization (determine your “brand”) and then construct a resume that highlights the required skills. Because you’ll most likely be lacking key industry experience, get out and join trade groups and associations and meet people within the industry as opposed to simply applying online.