College students pay thousands of dollars for their education. Many find that they are equipped with all this knowledge in a particular field, and have no place to apply it. With the economy the way it is, it is almost twice as hard to find a job in most fields.

But it helps if one goes into a field that is booming, and now several local universities have revealed some of the top fields that they have the most success in placing individuals in and around Pittsburgh.

ALL NUMBERS—Professor Elise A. Boyas, of the University of Pittsburgh’s Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business & College of Business Administration, explains an equation during her afternoon accounting class.

“Nationally and in Pittsburgh, the top three fields in high demand are accounting, information technology and engineering,” Carol Greco, director of Point Park University’s Career Development said. “Then Education and Health care.”

Information Technology deals with computers and computer software. The duties of an Information Technologist include data management, networking, engineering computer hardware and database and software design.

Greco says that there are numerous positions in each of the fields, especially accounting. She explained that a lot of students forget about their career counselors at their schools. She said that when individuals search for jobs on their own, it takes nine to 12 months, but when counselors use their various tools, they cut it down to about three-months.

“We have more than 3,000 sources for finding jobs,” Greco says. “Ninety percent of jobs go un-posted and are filled through referrals. Employers do not want to hire strangers. The hidden job market is huge. That’s where career services departments are becoming more pertinent.”

Brian Heddleston, Employment manager of the University of Pittsburgh’s Student Employment and Placement Assistance, agrees with Greco on the top placements. He adds that accounting positions are booming, especially with the banking and financing industry and the way the economy is going. Employers want to make sure they have the right people in their company.

Although Heddleston does not deal too much with placing students in Healthcare fields, because they have their own school and usually do their own posting, he says that there are a lot of jobs in that field. He says that his department, like most career services departments, works with matching employers and students together. They arrange job interviews, both on and off campus; help with internships; resumes and various interview skills; and coordinate job fairs.

Robert Morris University’s Director of Career Services, Kishma Decastro-Sallis, says her findings regarding the top three placements are consistent with that of the other universities. “The top three fields seem to be a trend. Accounting is doing well not only locally, but nationally, because of the banking industry as a whole.  That is also consistent with that of the National Association of Colleges and Employers.    Decastro-Sallis says that the field hardest to place is that of Communication and Media Arts.

Because of the constant need and use of technology in today’s society, it has and most likely will remain a top field. Lisa Dickter, associate director of the Career Center at Carnegie Mellon University, says, “Technology is still a top field. This has not changed within the last couple years.”

While they all agree what the top fields are in Pittsburgh, the job market is steadily becoming harder and every little advantage helps. For most accounting and information technology jobs one can get an education at either a two-year college and graduate with an associates degree or go to a four-year institution and earn a bachelors or even a masters. As for engineering jobs, one must have at least a bachelor’s degree, which can be obtained at most four-year institutions.

It is very rare to find that ideal job right away it takes patience. Decastro-Sallis says that often, students want that great job right away, but it does not always work that way. Sometimes one just has to start at the bottom and work their way up.

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