While there’s certainly no shame for those going into trade, a new study from SmartAsset reveals that young adults with at least a bachelor’s degree have an employment rate of 86%, whereas those with only a high school diploma rank at 72%. But there is a dramatic difference based on the career field they choose.

Demand for the top jobs is significant, as employment in the top 10 is expected to grow 16% on average from 2018 to 2028, nearly three times as much as the projected percentage change across the 150 jobs (less than 6%).

The study analyzed stats from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) jobs ranked at the top and the bottom of the most in-demand jobs for bachelor degree holders.

Four of the top 10 are specifically tech related: computer and information systems managers (no. 3), information security analysts (no. 5), applications software developers (no. 9), and social science research assistants (no. 10).

Of the five STEM professions at the bottom, computer programmers are the only tech standout (the others are nuclear engineers, electronic engineers (except computer engineers), materials engineers and mining and geological engineers).

“Some STEM roles are greater in-demand for bachelor’s degree holders than others,” said A.J. Smith, vice president of financial education at SmartAsset. “Since jobs in the STEM industry rank at both the top and bottom of our list, it is important to look at the employment projections and income trends for each job to make an informed decision about the potential value of a STEM degree.”

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Computer and information systems managers

Computer and information systems managers hold top-20 rates across all 150 jobs in the study for three metrics: percentage change in employment from 2017 to 2018, projected 10-year employment change, and projected percentage change in employment over the next 10 years.

According to the BLS, this job had an approximate 7% growth in employment from 2017 to 2018. As firms expand more of their business to digital platforms, it is expected to grow more than 11% from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Information security analysts

Information security analysts rank in the top 20% of the study for three of the four metrics considered: percentage change in average earnings from 2017 to 2018, projected 10-year employment change and projected percentage change in employment over the next 10 years.

Information security analysts ranked as top of the jobs on the list in projected 10-year percentage change in employment.

The BLS estimates that the number of information security analysts will grow by about 32% from 2018 to 2028, the highest rate for this metric in the study. The BLS also states that demand for this job will be driven by the need for innovative solutions to prevent hackers from stealing critical information or causing problems for computer networks.

Software developers, applications

Software developers create the applications that run on computers and other devices. While the job ranks in the bottom third of the study for percentage change in average earnings from 2017 to 2018, it ranks second-highest overall for both projected 10-year employment change and the projected percentage change in employment over the next 10 years.

The BLS expects the number of employees in this job to increase by 241,500, or almost 26%, in the 10-year period from 2018 to 2028. In May 2018, the median annual wage for applications software developers was $103,620 per year. Strong computer programming skills are required for this job.

Social science research assistants

Social science research assistant rounds out the top 10 in-demand jobs for bachelor’s degree holders. It performs particularly well for the metric of percentage change in employment from 2017 to 2018, at almost 10%, the third-highest rate for this metric across all 150 jobs we considered.

Some of the duties of this job include preparing findings for publication and assisting in laboratory analysis, quality control or data management. The BLS projects social science research assistant jobs will increase by about 3,600, or 9%, from 2018 to 2028.

What all of this means is, Smith said, “Your job security and salary largely impact your personal finances and ability to achieve your financial goals, like buying a home or saving for retirement. Some jobs are in greater demand than others, so college students or professionals looking to make a career switch may want to consider employment projections and salary trends when selecting an occupation.”

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Image: Smart Assets