Residing in states outside of the realm of your chosen career field can pose serious issues. Take for instance the fields of fashion and game design. There is not a lot of opportunity relating to these careers in my hometown of Michigan; Most people opt to move to the east coast or to the southwest which presents greater opportunities for securing employment in those fields. The same is true with game design in the mitten state. Many must move to California or comparable markets to stand a fighting chance with gaining employment in the area of their expertise. Moving to an area that presents more opportunity for your profession is smart if you can, but for many, moving is just not an option–this is especially the case for recent college graduates. Individuals’ fresh to the field may not have the discretionary funds to just pick up and move across the county. Or perhaps individuals actually like where they live and are not interested in moving to another state. This is where conducting labor market information is very important. When choosing a major to study in college you should begin to conduct labor market information (i.e. searching to see where opportunities are prevalent, what skills and education are needed to enter the field, business trends and growth in the field of choice, median salaries, etc. ). This will prepare you for when you complete your degree. If you are in an area where there is not as much opportunity in your field then you will have to be resourceful.
Let’s take the game industry for example. Here in Michigan there are about 7 game studios, which means there will be a lot of competition for a limited amount of jobs. If you look a bit deeper into the market here in Michigan, you know that manufacturing is a huge part of our economy. There is opportunity in the manufacturing arena even for those aspiring to work in the gaming industry. These companies offer modeling, programming, and 2D/3D artist opportunities for people with the desired skills. You may not be working in an actual game studio, but you still get the opportunity to work using the skills you learned in school, make pretty good money, and stay in an area that you love. You can also think about working on a contractual basis and freelance projects for actual game studios remotely. This is the same case with fashion design. While there are not many Fashion Design hubs located here in Michigan, there are some opportunities in the most unlikely places. For example there are many jobs in Manufacturing for people in this of fashion. For instance Trim Engineers, Colors & Materials Specialist, Pattern Drafting, and Industrial Sewers all allows students to implement the knowledge they receive within the fashion arena. There are also many opportunities in the Midwest, Columbus Ohio to be exact. Many of the large retailers have headquarters in the growing city. They have entry-level fashion design jobs that are perfect for new graduates. You can always use the skills you learned in school to your benefit, even if it wasn’t a part of your original plan. Doing what you love, earning a good living and staying in an area that you love doesn’t have to be compromised.
I have helped many clients and graduates obtain employment in the areas stated above and they absolutely love what they are doing, even though they never thought they would be working in manufacturing. Ideally people would move to an area where there are more opportunities, but for some it’s not that easy. Conducting labor market research and adjusting to the market you are located in could be the difference between not finding a job in your field or working in an unconventional area of your field and still finding employment. For more information on conducting labor market research contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.