Economy

A new tool is in town to help plan your next career move.

The site careercalculator.org, from Louisville Metro, gives region-specific data on job opportunities, salary ranges and growth.

For all the aspiring welders out there, for example, it might be helpful to know that you can earn as much as $56,000 per year in such a gig. Also, 45 job positions have been posted in the Louisville area in the past three months, and the prospects are expected to grow slightly by 2021.

“So whether you’re a kid in high school figuring out what to be when you grow up, whether you’re an adult thinking about re-inventing yourself as a 30- or 40- or 50-year-old, you know have on your phone, on your iPad, on your computer, at the library, at the career center an easy way to search by job category, but college major and the amount of money,” says Michael Gritton, executive director of KentuckianaWorks, the agency behind the site.

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The site also enables you to search job opportunities according to your major. The top occupations that pop up for sociology majors, for example, are social worker, teacher, management and lawyer.

You can also type in your desired salary and see the top majors and jobs with that income. So if your goal is to make $100,000 per year, you can bank on a career in finance, aircraft mechanics or marketing.

Gritton says much revealing data is in the college majors. He hopes the site will help lead to a bigger conversation about how, or if, colleges are preparing students to get jobs.

“Part of releasing the app,” Gritton says, “was also meant to be the beginning of a conversation. So you get other people to look at the data and see what does this tell us, how can we improve these economic outcomes for people who are graduating from our colleges and universities.”

Nursing and engineer students fare pretty well after they graduate, according to the tool. Liberal arts majors — not so much.

Gritton, a proud political science and philosophy major, says one reason may be that colleges don’t do a great job connecting liberal arts majors to summer jobs and internships related to their field, like engineering and nursing schools do.