Are you a Hoosier at heart? Do you have a hard time imagining life away from the Indy 500, endless acres of farmland, and sweet corn in the summer? Or did you cast your eye on Indiana for more practical reasons, like its low cost of living, steadily growing economy, or the fact that it’s close to just about everything?
Whatever draws you to the state, if you hope to stay in Indiana after college graduation, you’re going to need a major that suits your plans.
What are the hottest jobs in Indiana and what college majors will help you land them?
A Glimpse at the Future of Jobs in Indiana
It may take you four years or more to finish college, and a lot can change in that time. What you need is a cheat sheet that will tell you what jobs the Indiana economy will need a few years down the road.
Fortunately, the state of Indiana has just the thing: the Hoosier Hot 50 Jobs, “the 50 fastest growing, high-wage jobs of tomorrow.” The state says the list “is based on expected demand and wages in 2022 for the state of Indiana.”
Let’s take a look at the top of the top, the first five jobs on the list (excluding those that don’t require a four-year college degree).
1. Registered Nurse
What is it? Registered nurses (RNs) keep America’s health care system running, administering medication, applying bandages, taking vitals, educating patients, and leading other healthcare professionals. Registered nurses can be found everywhere from hospitals to schools to nursing homes.
Indiana job outlook: Registered nursing is already a hot job in Indiana and the state projects demand to grow close to 18% annually over the next few years. By 2022, Indiana will need more than 69,000 registered nurses.
Average salary: $57,370
Major in: To become a registered nurse, you need to pass the national NCLEX-RN exam. To qualify for the exam in Indiana, you need at least an associate degree from an accredited program. Many experts say earning a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree will help you get more interesting nursing jobs with more responsibility and higher pay.
(Keep in mind: Licensed practical nurses [LPNs] are also in demand in Indiana. Becoming an LPN requires about a year of study and passing a certification exam.)
2. K–12 Teacher
What is it? Certified teachers staff Indiana’s public elementary, middle, and high schools, helping its million-plus students prepare for their futures.
Indiana job outlook: Indiana is facing a teacher shortage. As the state strives to bring class sizes down, school districts are making a push to recruit and retain top-notch educators. Annual growth will continue at over 10%, the state says.
Average salary: $49,151
Major in: To be a teacher in Indiana, you need complete a bachelor’s degree and a state-approved teacher preparation program. Majoring in elementary or secondary education will usually do the job. During your four-year program, you will gain classroom experience through student teaching.
3. General and Operations Manager
What is it? Managers are leaders in any business or nonprofit enterprise. “Duties and responsibilities include formulating policies, managing daily operations, and planning the use of materials and human resources,” says the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Indiana job outlook: As Indiana’s economy gets back on its feet, organizations need smart, skilled managers to lead them confidently into an uncertain future. The demand for general and operations managers will continue to grow 11% each year, reaching over 32,000 positions by 2022, the state says.
Average salary: $90,540
Major in: Most management-track positions at top companies require at least a bachelor’s degree. You can learn the latest leadership techniques and gain financial fluency with a business major. Many other majors (even art) can help you find your niche in the business world, as well.
4. Postsecondary Teacher
What is it? Postsecondary teachers include college and community college professors and instructors at career and technical schools.
Indiana job outlook: Indiana boasts over 60 colleges and universities, including one of the most populous campuses in the country (Indiana University) and the largest community college system (Ivy Tech). The call for postsecondary teachers will grow annually by almost 10%, the state says, reaching nearly 35,000 by 2022.
Average salary: $60,958
Major in: Anything you can major in you can teach at the college level. But academic jobs usually require a doctoral or professional degree.
What is it? Accountants are financial experts. They help businesses and individuals track their income and expenses, prepare their taxes, and conform to financial regulations. Through auditing and the study of records, they help organizations run efficiently.
Indiana job outlook: “As the economy grows,” notes the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “more workers should be needed to prepare and examine financial records.” In Indiana, that means an annual growth rate of almost 12% and a demand of almost 22,000 by 2022.
Average salary: $59,060
Find Your Major
Whether you hope to stay Indiana or dream of making it big on the coasts, choosing the right major is a critical first step. If you need some guidance, get your free copy of "Majors and Careers 101: A Guide for Undecided Students Applying to Colleges” by clicking on the link below.