Hot Jobs and 20-Something Job Applications Show Little Correlation

The Idaho Department of Labor’s list of the hottest jobs in terms of highest
demand, best pay and largest number for the coming decade offers workers
some insight into where the best career opportunities lie and the kind of
education or training required.

The top 20 Hot Jobs in Idaho from 2010 through 2020 are:

  •  Registered nurse
  • Medical and health service manager
  • Physical therapist
  •  Dental hygienist
  • Pharmacist
  •  Software applications developer
  • Management analyst
  • Physician and surgeon in areas other than specific specialties
  • Network and computer systems administrator
  •  Market research analyst and marketing specialist
  • Radiologic technologist and technician
  • Family and general practitioner
  • Physician assistant
  •  Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurse
  • Mechanical engineer
  • Electrical engineer
  • Computer system analyst
  • Industrial machinery mechanic
  • Loan officer
  • Elementary school teacher other than in special education

20 something jobsaBut job applications during 2012 from the young members of Idaho’s labor
force – those ages 22 to 30 – indicate they are not looking in that direction.

Most Idaho hot jobs require scientific and technical knowledge. Many are
related to health care. All but two require some level of postsecondary
education – more than half requiring either a bachelor’s or associate degree with
several requiring professional or graduate-level education.

hot job apps1Most people apply for jobs that match their skills and experience. Idaho
workers between ages 22 and 30, who are registered with the Department of
Labor in IdahoWorks are applying for jobs in occupations which generally
provide low wages and require little training or education and not those that
are higher-paying or in technical fields.

They may be missing out on lucrative and rewarding career opportunities
with demand in these occupations filled by people from outside of Idaho.
The reason could be in the level of their education.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011 American Community Survey,
Idaho lags the rest of the nation in educational attainment. Nationally 9.1
percent of the population between 18 and 24 has a bachelor’s degree while
only 5.6 percent of Idahoans in that age group do.

Individuals age 25 and older in the U.S. also have higher educational
attainment than in Idaho. Nationally 28.5 percent have college degrees and
another 10.6 percent have graduate degrees, while only 25.3 percent of
Idahoans have bachelor’s degrees and 7.8 percent have graduate degrees.

The numbers also may indicate that too few young people in Idaho are
preparing for careers in general science, technology and health sciences.
Demand in these areas is likely being met by older workers and those coming
to Idaho from elsewhere., Regional Economist
(208) 236-6710 ext. 3713

• • •

Interested in reading more articles like this? Subscribe to the Idaho Labor Department’s monthly economic newsletter. Please send an email to