High school graduation season is in full force. If you know a new high school grad that isn’t sure what she wants to be "when she grows up," a new tool from Rasmussen College may help. The "What Career Should I Choose?" tool is an interactive chart created from Bureau of Labor Statistics data. 

Career information includes expected growth, median annual salary, the level of experience needed, total employment numbers and how much work experience will be needed to enter the field.

A quick look at the dots scattered around the graph shows one career that is poised for extreme growth — registered nurses. According to the tool, the median annual salary for RNs in 2011 was $65,950. There were more than 2.7 million employed RNs in 2011 and the field is expected to grow by 26 percent by 2020.

On the left side of the graph there are a few light blue dots; light blue represents careers that are expected to have negative job growth between now and 2020. These include air traffic controllers (-2.9 percent growth), postal service mail carriers (-12 percent), tool and die makers (-2.3 percent) and auto damage insurance appraisers (-7.5 percent).

After hovering around the dots scattered throughout the tool, I decided to get a bit more specific in my search. My son wants to be a scientist — volcanologist, geologist and wildlife biologist careers keep coming up in conversations. So, what does the future of the geology field look like?

The geoscientist field, except hydrologists and geographers, is expecting 21.2 percent job growth by 2020. He won’t graduate from high school until 2019 but perhaps job growth will be even stronger by then.

The 2011 median annual salary for geoscientists was $84,470, not bad considering a bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement. As we prepare to visit the geothermal hotbed known as Yellowstone National Park for the third time, my son’s interest in the geosciences is surging yet again.

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