With half the year behind us, the employment forecast for the next two quarters looks more than positive for veterans looking for cleared careers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent jobs figures, the unemployment rate is down to its lowest point since 2008 (6.1 percent), with 288,000 jobs added in June.  That trend looks to continue, due to a hiring manager frenzy to fill technology slots and other specialized fields,including a host of cleared careers

Hiring Ahead

So what are employers looking for?  About a third plan to hire more full time workers over the next quarter alone, with specific sectors in mind.  Information technology tops the list; 59 percent of employers plan to hire permanent employees in these jobs.  Driven by the digital technology trend, new jobs will be tied to specific markets where security clearances provide a competitive edge, such as social media, mobile technology, cloud computing, data analytics, cybersecurity and search technology. The need to fill these jobs will likely impact hiring needs among both large and small businesses, both of which are increasingly turning to new technologies for business processes and operations.

The Geography of Cleared Jobs

Texas currently leads the nation in job growth.  High-wage jobs in the state’s rising economy include several industries offering cleared careers;  information services, government, construction (government/defense) business and professional services and energy. Great places to look within the state include Austin, San Antonio, Houston and the Dallas Metroplex.

According to Moody’s Analytics, a global economic forecasting company, California runs just slightly behind Texas, with an expanding number of renewable energy jobs throughout Kern County, and technology opportunities that include DIVR Systems, Lort Manufacturing and ProSoft Technology.

Also making it to the top 10 states for job growth:  Arizona, Colorado, Oregon, Idaho and Utah.  Much of the boon is due to the thriving technology and aerospace sectors.  To be a little more specific, Arizona’s job market is propelled by the high-tech industry, where Apple is planning for a new facility in Mesa, Intel is expanding its semiconductor plant in Chandler, and GoDaddy is opening a new technology center in Tempe.  The state’s job growth has been staggering; it was ranked 49th in 2010, and is now 7th in the nation.

As always, the Washington, DC region, which includes northern Virginia and Maryland, will continue to rank as one of the best hot spots for cleared careers in both government and the government contractor sector.

For specific cities with the highest high tech salaries, cleared veterans may want to take a closer look at California’s Silicon Valley, where Forbes cites average salaries at $109,000, and Los Angeles, with salaries of about $96,000. Seattle and Boston both are paying high tech professionals $95,000, while Denver tech professionals are earning $93,000.

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Tranette Ledford is a writer and owner of Ledford, LLC, which provides writing, editorial and public relations consulting for defense, military and private sector businesses. You can contact her at: Tranette@Ledfordllc.com.