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DCE Magazine

New Year, New Career

Spring 2017

Whether you choose one of these high demand occupations, or one that better fits your professional interests, make 2017 the year of career growth and exploration.

Looking to leave your job behind for something more rewarding? A new year is the perfect time to start the journey, whether that means switching it up in your company or striking out on an entirely new career path. But don't take the plunge until you've done your homework and researched your best career and education options available.

The right qualifications and preparation can make all the difference, turning dreams into a dream job. And UCI Division of Continuing Education can help every step of the way, offering a wide range of certificate programs that address some of the top employment segments of 2017 and beyond, from entry-level to advanced, providing education options to last a lifetime.

The good news is that the employment outlook is bright for 2017. California's economy and job growth are strongest since the Great Recession, and many of the most in-demand jobs are also among the most lucrative.

Let's look at some of the hottest careers in the state – along with DCE certificate programs that can put you on the fast track to a fresh new start.

Accounting

Even in down economic times, businesses rely on accountants to balance their books. And with today's rebounding marketplace, demand is quite strong: Nearly 145,000 accountants are working in California, a number that's expected to grow 18% in the next eight years, with average salary around $80,000.

Intrigued? For anyone who wants to get a foot in the door – or advance to the next level – the Applied Accounting certificate program provides comprehensive training that lays the foundation of accounting fundamentals and principles with hands-on instruction. Completing the entire program satisfies the educational requirement for taking the Uniform CPA Examination, but courses can be taken individually, as well.

Business Administration

A strong background in business administration can propel you on a number of paths – and many of the top trending careers in California fall into this broad and lucrative category. Management analyst positions, for example, are projected to grow by 23% with an average salary of more than $96,000. General and operations managers are making about $128,000 a year, with 16% growth forecast.

Modeled after a traditional MBA program, DCE's Business Administration certificate can advance most any career by providing a solid foundation for management success. Offering expert instruction in financial theories, business analysis and managerial best practices, the certificate can be a calling card in a number of areas, including marketing, finance and human resources. It's a great way to get the benefits of an MBA without the cost and investment in time.

The Business Analyst program provides basic and advanced tools in analytical thinking and problem solving – keys to keeping up with today's solutions-driven corporate environment. It also focuses on soft skills like leadership and communication. Other programs that benefit business professionals include Innovation & Product Development, Organizational Leadership & Communication and more.

Financial Planning

Considering a career in financial planning? Through the DCE, students can work toward earning certification in this lucrative field, projected to grow by 24%, with an annual salary of $130,000.

Start with Personal Financial Planning (PFP), an eight-course program or the PFP Accelerated Certificate, an eight-month weekend program intended for those with minimum three years experience in the financial industry. Graduates of both programs are eligible to transfer credits toward the M.B.A. in Financial Planning at California Lutheran University. And the CFP® Review program is designed to better prepare candidates for the Certified Financial PlannerĀ® Exam.

Human Resources

With hiring on the rise in California, HR specialists are in demand, with 18% growth expected through 2024.

Highly regarded by regional companies for its real-world training and forward-thinking approach, the Human Resources Management program takes a deep dive into all essential aspects of HR, from staffing and employee relations to organizational development and recruitment – the core of human resources. Participants learn how to navigate new government regulations and integrate the latest technology into their HR departments.

Experienced HR professionals can elevate their game with the Advanced HR Management program which offers intensive training that spans the scope of strategic and tactical practices, addressing emerging trends that can point the way to high-level HR leadership positions. Be advised that average annual salary for HR managers is around $131,000.

Information Technologies

IT positions in California are positively booming, creating a need that the DCE addresses with 19 certificate programs including Web Design and Development, a segment that's expected to grow by 48% over the next eight years, offering an average salary of $81,000. Whether you're experienced or just starting out, this program provides cutting-edge training in the design and creation of web-based applications, with the option of two specialization tracks: Web Design, which focuses on layout, organization and overall feel of a website, and Web Development, for those interested in more functional aspects like programming and database integration.

Overall, jobs in other areas of computer science are expected to increase by nearly 50%, and the DCE offers a number of programs that address some of the most in-demand skill sets. The Information Systems Security certificate, for instance, is a good way to break into the increasingly important and relevant cyber-security field.

Other notable programs include Web Intelligence, Database Management, Data Science, Big Data and IT Certification Training.

Marketing

Social media and new technology have revolutionized the art and science of marketing, spiking demand for positions in this field, with 32% growth forecast.

Providing a good entry point, the Marketing and Communication program offers comprehensive training in marketing fundamentals and focuses on ways to create a clear communication strategy by aligning advertising, promotion, direct, and digital marketing.

For those looking to specialize, the Digital Marketing program focuses on search engine marketing, social media, mobile, analytics and more. It's all about adapting traditional marketing practices and integrating the latest digital tactics and strategies. A marketing career can be a fulfilling way to combine creativity with business savvy – with earning potential around and above $81,000/year.

(Jobs data provided by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. All career growth percentages reflect California estimates through 2024.)