What’s hot for the 2014 job search?

With the start of the new year comes job market predictions. What’s hot and what’s not? Who’s hiring and who isn’t? What can job seekers expect in 2014?

The good news is that many experts predict a growing job market this year based on recent gains in employment and record stock market highs. Both are indicators that job growth will continue.

In any job market some professions experience more demand than others. The health care and IT industries are traditionally among the fastest growing. This isn’t to say employment opportunities aren’t available in other areas, just not in the larger quantities that IT and health care experience. You can use resources like the Occupational Outlook Handbook to find out employment trends for particular professions.

Locally, more positive news from the Charlotte Business Journal lists Charlotte as one of the top 10 cities for job searching in 2014. An article in the Charlotte Observer predicts that the hottest jobs in Charlotte will be in IT, retail sales, nursing and trucking. It’s encouraging to see Charlotte’s economy showing balance in a variety of industries rather than a heavy reliance on banking. This local good news is supported by the ongoing employer registration for the CPCC Career Fair planned for March 6. Companies from a variety of industries have already signed up to attend. As the date gets closer, look for a list of companies on the Career Services website.

It’s understandable wanting to know placement rates for a college program before starting one. According to a 2013 survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers students choose a major because it leads to a career. CPCC’s Career Coach presents great information to help current and prospective students make decisions about careers. You can search thousands of job titles and retrieve local job market statistics for the field, as well as corresponding CPCC academic programs connected to the professions.

But be careful when using placement rates as your criteria. One CPCC student recently shared with a career counselor that she pursued a degree in transportation logistics at another community college, but dropped out after the first year. While job placement rates were high for the field, her interest wasn’t, which fueled poor grades in her courses. She hopes to study a program in the Human Services Technology division because it captures her true career interests.

And the key ingredients to a successful job search don’t change regardless of the economy. Even if many job opportunities exist in your targeted industry, you won’t get noticed without an effective resume. You’ll be quickly passed over for a job offer if your interviewing skills aren’t up to par. Any job search can’t rely solely on online job boards. Applicants have to incorporate networking and social media into their strategy.

If you’re preparing for a job search this year, know that the news is looking better than it has in recent years. Career Services can help you navigate the search to make it a successful one.