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Where the jobs will be



The job outlook for graduates in 2007 is good, according to the 2007 Job Outlook by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Employers expect to hire 17.4 percent more new college graduates in 2007 than they did in 2006. And the good news doesn't stop there: Employers also said they expect starting salaries to increase more than 10 percent.

So what kind of jobs are growing the most and what will they pay? And what kind of degree do you need to get one?

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The chart below, based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics "Fastest-Growing Occupations 2004" projections, shows the top 20 fastest-growing jobs between 2004 and 2014. There is a short description of the job as well as the median salary for that position, based on information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook 2006-07 Edition. (Use this link to search for your own career in the A-Z Index.)

Fastest-growing jobs
Home health aides
Description: Provide housekeeping and routine personal care
Education: On the job or community college or trade school
Median salary: $8.12 per hour
Network systems and data communications analysts
Description: Design, test and evaluate network systems
Education: Bachelor's degree
Median salary: $60,600 per year
Medical assistants
Description: Perform administrative and clerical work in medical office; may also perform clinical duties
Education: Associate degree
Median salary: $24,610 per year
Physician assistants
Description: Provide diagnostic, therapeutic and preventive health care
Education: Associate degree plus national accreditation
Median salary: $69,410 per year
Computer applications software engineers
Description: Analyze users' needs, and design, construct and maintain applications
Education: Bachelor's degree
Median salary: $74,980 per year
Physical therapist assistants
Description: Assist with therapies, record results
Education: Associate degree
Median salary: $37,890 per year
Dental hygienists
Description: Clean teeth and gums, take xrays
Education: Dental hygiene program plus state license
Median salary: $28.05 per hour
Computer systems software engineers
Description: Coordinate construction and maintenance of company's computer system
Education: Bachelor's degree
Median salary: $79,740 per year
Dental assistants
Description: Perform patient care, office and laboratory duties
Education: On the job or dental-assisting program at community college, trade school
Median salary: $13.62 per hour
  Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2004 Occupational Outlook Handbook


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