Over the last few years, the Nebraska Department of Labor has focused on promoting high-skill, high-demand and high-wage (H3) jobs, which account for just more than 37% of all jobs in the greater Omaha area and are some of the fastest-growing.
In December, El Perico published a resource guide of how to start a career in the five most in-demand jobs in the Omaha area. This month, The Reader takes a look at the five fastest-growing sectors in the metro area and how to get started with those.
If you’re looking to upskill and make a career move, this is where you can get started.
Information Security Analyst
This position is the fastest-growing in Omaha, with demand projected to grow by nearly 40% by 2026. Information security analysts make an average of $77,051 per year in Omaha, with entry-level professionals making an annual average of $50,680. Typically, this role focuses on cybersecurity measures for a company’s computer networks.
Local options for a career as an information security analyst include a cybersecurity degree through Bellevue University. Metropolitan Community College offers an associate’s degree in applied science, with a cybersecurity concentration. The University of Nebraska at Omaha offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in cybersecurity.
Occupational Therapy Assistants
Demand for occupational therapy assistants is also projected to grow by 40% by 2026 in Omaha. The average annual wage for this position is $56,119, with entry-level annual wages being $35,516. An OTA helps patients develop or redevelop skills needed for daily living and working.
The only programs in Nebraska that offer OTA associate’s degrees are located in Grand Island and Lincoln. Locally, however, many colleges offer advanced programs in occupational therapy, including master’s and doctorate degrees. Go to omahajobs.com to view a full list of accredited occupational therapy programs in Nebraska.
Physical Therapy Assistants
Demand for physical therapy assistants is projected to grow by nearly 37% by 2026. The average annual wage for a PTA is $49,248, while an entry-level professional makes $30,458. A PTA helps physical therapists with patients recovering from an injury or illness. Typically, that means assisting them with mobility skills and pain management.
Demand for statisticians is expected to grow by nearly 34% by 2026 in Omaha, although there are not many openings annually. The average annual wage for a statistician is $66,752, while an entry-level professional makes $43,994. A statistician analyzes data and uses math to solve problems, typically in a research and development setting.
The University of Nebraska at Omaha offers a statistics concentration as part of a B.A. or B.S. degree in mathematics. Creighton University offers an associate’s degree and an undergraduate certification in mathematics.
The need for software developers is projected to grow by nearly 33% by 2026 in Omaha. Currently, the demand for software developers in Omaha is the seventh-highest of all H3 occupations. Entry-level developers make $65,909 annually, but the average annual wage is $94,211. Software developers have a pretty intuitive job description — to design or develop software.
Getting into software development can be done through a bachelor’s and/or master’s degree in computer science, which all major universities in the Omaha metro area offer. Metropolitan Community College offers a two-level career certificate for computer programming, which can help jumpstart a career in software development. Other options include Lincoln-based Don’t Panic Labs, which finds corporate sponsors for those looking to upskill into software development and provides them with a certificate from Doane University. DPL’s website says the program guarantees a job placement with the sponsor.
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