Our Step 4 methodology explained

By Rajkamal Rao 

Go back to Step 4: Identify Occupations in Demand and Industries that are Trending Upward

Our Step 4 methodology explained

4a. Find the Top 7 Occupations

Visit the Occupational Handbook page of the Bureau of Labor Statistics site at

Here, find the top 7 occupations (by growth rates) projected over the next 10 years for both BS and MS degrees that you could get into.

Look at the number of new jobs expected to be created - don’t just go by growth rates.  For example, jobs as Operations Research analysts are expected to grow 10 - 19% during the decade which is impressive.  But the number of new jobs is rather small, 5,000 - 9,999.

4b. Find the Top 3 industries

Next, find the top 3 industries for each of your 7 occupations from:


Notice that the above table lists all occupations from step 4a.  Download the 7 excel sheets for each of your seven occupations at the right most part of the table. For each sheet, set edits on and sort columns I and J from greatest to least to indicate the top 3 highest expected growth of jobs and changes in employment, by industry.  Copy these into a separate Google Docs spreadsheet so that you can share this, with us for example if choosing Premium Services, in the cloud.

Repeat this exercise for the other six occupations.  You should now have about twenty industries - quite a few of them will likely be duplicates - from which you should identify the top 5 - 7 target industries.

Your statement of purpose, personal branding and marketing campaign will have to focus on these seven occupations and industries.

4b1. Researching companies in your target area

Once you know the industry, search companies by state:
  1. Find the SIC code by doing a browser search: http://www.sec.gov/info/edgar/siccodes.htm or type the name of a company and find its SIC code to find companies similar to it.  For example, Facebook or Google have an SIC code of 7370 SERVICES-COMPUTER PROGRAMMING, DATA PROCESSING, ETC but Oracle Systems has an SIC code: 7372 - SERVICES-PREPACKAGED SOFTWARE.
  2. Then find companies, by state, here: http://www.sec.gov/edgar/searchedgar/companysearch.html. 

For a regional search, for each industry, find the number of companies that are located in your target area. 
  1. For a listing of the largest companies by state, go to various lists maintained by Nasdaq.
  2. For a listing of companies in your target area, first find the zip code of your target area.  Then, use the Thomas Register to find companies within a certain set miles of your zip code.
  3. If you are looking at small businesses, use lists maintained by Manta.  
  4. For the 5,000 fastest growing companies, look at lists maintained by Inc.
For generic business information about a company (including the company's top three competitors) or industry, go to Hoovers.

For the country's largest 500 companies, go to Fortune.

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