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Hot jobs
Looking for a career overhaul? Consider training for one of the 10 most popular jobs of the new year.

By MELISSA MCGRAW

January 2013

Gaining employment in today’s marketplace depends on the ability to offer relevant skills, especially those considered "nonroutine analytical," says Dennis Winters, chief economist for the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. He notes creative problem solving, collaboration and communication, in addition to specialization for an in-demand field. To increase your employability, consider one of the 10 hottest jobs of 2013. Training is available at a university near you.
 

Biomedical Engineer

Topping the CNN Money list of best jobs in America is biomedical engineering, which combines engineering and life sciences to improve the quality and reduce the cost of health care. Milwaukee School of Engineering offers courses in all specialty areas of the field, and a strong focus on engineering design, incorporated in all four years of study.

"Our students have time to understand a problem before they try to fix it," says Dr. Charles Tritt, program director. "The first solution is probably wrong. You can’t jump in too quick."

By graduation, students have created a working prototype and are well-prepared to pursue additional education or work in the industry."
 

Sport and Entertainment Manager

In less than three years, the new sport and entertainment management program at Concordia University Wisconsin has experienced "phenomenal growth" to become the largest major in the School of Business and Legal Studies, says Dr. David Borst, dean. Student-athletes and sports enthusiasts bridge the gap from passion to profession in a global industry with collegiate, municipal, club, semi-pro and professional levels.

"There is a balance between rigorous business curriculum and experiential learning application," says Joey-Lynn Bialkowski, program chair. With the Lakeshore Chinooks, a "built-in" minor league baseball team, students have a field experience opportunity in their own backyard. "Concordia stands out, and it’s on the cutting edge," Bialkowski says.
 

Physician Assistant

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that physician assistant will be the second-fastest-growing occupation in the next decade. The profession was created in the mid-1960s in response to a shortage of primary care medical providers, and that same concern exists today.

"Physician assistants practice medicine as a team with physicians and provide high-quality patient care at less cost," explains Christina Robohm, director of the Master of Physician Assistant Studies program at Carroll University. "It allows a great amount of flexibility."

Her students focus on cultural competency for diverse patient care, especially to the medically under-served. "Carroll has a model curriculum," she says.
 

Industrial Designer

Today’s inventors are called industrial designers. They help people through products, seeing what does not yet exist and improving upon what does. At Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, students refine their skills in the creative and analytical process to solve problems in new ways, and benefit from a program ranked 10th in the country by "DesignIntelligence."

"Our students focus not just on what people will buy, but how to create a better future," says Stacey Steinberg, director of Admissions.

With a portfolio of conceptual drawings to 3D models and the professionalism to present their vision, MIAD graduates are "hired for the mind behind the idea," says Duane Seidensticker, director of Career Services.
 

Global Business

The largest specialty track within the global studies program at UW-Milwaukee is Global Management — "a growing program with ongoing interest," says AJ Corner of the Center for International Education. "We are on-trend with the world movement toward a globalized economy and the increasing need for intercultural skills."

This bachelor’s degree is offered jointly by the Lubar School of Business and the College of Letters & Science to build a balanced portfolio of professional, cultural and language skills. Students have unique experiences through study abroad and overseas internships, and can apply their skills in various industries. "Our students are well-prepared for the fast pace of the future," Corner says.
 

IT Network Specialist

In this age of mobile technology (when our gadgets will soon outnumber people on the planet), everything is connected, from the GPS in your car to the Internet on your television.

"Someone has to support these devices," says Kim Ehlert, associate dean of Information Technology at Waukesha County Technical College.

A network specialist designs, implements and manages networking technologies.

At WCTC, "The four semesters are customizable for specialization in such a large field," Ehlert says, including wireless, cyber-security, virtualization, convergence and social media. Immediate hands-on training with the "latest toys," service-learning experiences in the community, and the ability to complete several certifications before graduation also help WCTC students stand out.
 

Medical Laboratory Technician

A key role on any health care team is a medical laboratory technician, a person who is certified to run tests on bodily fluids and tissue cells using precision lab instruments. They detect illness-causing pathogens, analyze the chemical content of fluids, match blood for transfusions, check drug levels in the blood and more. At Herzing University-Brookfield, this associate’s degree can be earned in as little as 20 months.

"Computer automation has actually increased the need for MLTs who understand the principles of a test and have the attention to detail to determine if the results are correct, which affects diagnosis and treatment," says Brady Rogers program chair.
 

Investment Manager

In today’s more cautious economy, the growing careers in business relate to risk management and compliance. Marquette University has one of the nation’s top undergraduate programs in applied investment management, training a select group of finance majors with hands-on experience, including managing part of Marquette’s endowment fund.

"Our students take this role very seriously," says Dr. David Krause, program director. "It prepares them to succeed better than their counterparts."

Since the program’s inception in 2005, graduates have a 100 percent job placement rate.

Krause notes, "There is a calling to finance, not just a desire to earn. Investment professionals are always tuned into the world so they can effectively provide advice about the future."
 

Inclusive Educator

A new degree at Cardinal Stritch University is the only post-baccalaureate program of its kind offered in Wisconsin. Ideal for career changers, the Master of Inclusive Education provides dual certification in regular and special education for grades 1-8 in an accelerated format.

"Our program allows general education teachers more expertise to meet the special needs of students already in their classrooms," says Dr. Kirstin Anglea, chair of the Teaching Graduate On Campus program. "We believe that all children are amazing, and it is our job to help them be the best person they can be."

Teachers with a spectrum of knowledge to meet the needs of diverse learners enrich a community, and are increasingly necessary as special education funding is reduced in many schools.
 

Entrepreneur

Milwaukee Area Technical College’s entrepreneurship diploma is for people who want to share their knowledge and talents with the world.

"We don’t get a lot of dreamers," says program coordinator Armen Hadjinian. "These students are engaged in practical businesses that serve society."

They are comfortable taking risks but do not gamble, can quickly and nimbly adapt to a changing environment, posses analytical skills and are excellent communicators. "Entrepreneurs survive by their own wits, relying on themselves and no one else," Hadjinian says.

MATC’s program is accessible to all in the community, adding value to the marketplace whether graduates operate their own business or enrich an existing organization.


This story ran in the January 2013 issue of: