Career 

Help Build a Better World

Why do people work? To earn a living, of course, but most of us are wired to want more. Indiana—and the world—need people who are in it for more than a paycheck.

In fact, a 2016 survey* of adult employees found that 88 percent say their job is more fulfilling when they can make a positive impact on social and environmental issues. And a 2018 report revealed that “working with a purpose” is one of the main trends shaping today’s workforce.**

Meet some Hoosiers who find meaning—not just a paycheck—in their jobs and learn more about current opportunities to join or advance in these career fields:

Kayla Cash

“I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives and leave them better (physically, emotionally, spiritually) than when I first met them. That is the essence of nursing, and what I love so much about this career. Another wonderful aspect of nursing is the endless opportunities. You could be a nurse in research, a doctor’s office, management, at the bedside, teaching or nursing homes. There are also different patient populations one can choose to work with, such as geriatrics, babies, psychiatry, adults, etc. I’ve always wanted to become a Family Nurse Practitioner, and thankfully, I only have a year and half left of school until I do. 

“If you want to make a difference in the world, nursing is certainly one of those professions. Your patients and their loved ones will be completely dependent on you, on your knowledge, your critical thinking, and your compassion. They will depend on you to keep them alive, to notice when things change, to be an advocate, and offer a hand to hold. To them, you will make all the difference in the world. Nursing is a very profound, challenging and meaningful career that changes the lives of many, on a daily basis.”

—Kayla Cash is a nurse. Originally from Ferdinand, Indiana, Cash earned an associate degree in nursing from Vincennes University. She went on to earn a bachelor of science from IUPUI and is working on a master’s degree in nursing at the University of Indianapolis.

More about Health and Life Sciences

These jobs are planning, managing, and providing therapeutic services, diagnostic services, health informatics, support services, and biotechnology research and development. Career examples include:

  • Dental Assistant
  • Medical Assisting
  • Phlebotomist
  • Pharmacy Technician

An estimated 12,200-plus jobs are available in Indiana, paying hourly wages of between $12 and $44.* You don’t necessarily have to work directly with patients in a clinical setting: Indiana is home to the global headquarters of Anthem, Inc., Cook Medical, Eli Lilly and Company, and Zimmer Biomet and the North American headquarters of Roche Diagnostics; Beckman Coulter, Boston Scientific, Catalent Biologics, Corteva Agriscience, Covance, DePuy Orthopaedics, Express Scripts and Medtronic all have major operations in the state. 

Considering a career switch? If you’ve ever been curious about the healthcare field, this is a good—but challenging—time to enter. Check out programs through WGU Indiana, Ivy Tech Community College, Vincennes University or your regional Indiana University or Purdue University campuses. You could have a certificate in a year or an associate degree in two.

Al Carroll

“Careers in tech allow you to amplify your impact whether you’re in finance, marketing, sales or working directly in IT. We’re living in an exponential age where solutions to issues in every department are developing rapidly and technology allows those solutions to reach more people with fewer resources. Technology is improving how we make decisions and serve customers in every industry. If you’re looking to make an impact and learn transferable skills that make you immediately valuable walking in the door, look to learn more about tech!”

—Al Carroll, University Activation Senior Manager, TechPoint, the growth initiative for Indiana’s tech industry. Learn more about TechPoint at techpoint.org.

More about Information Technology

Jobs in IT occupations run the gamut, from entry-level positions to highly skilled tech careers, to more business-oriented and sales roles. Career examples include: 

  • IT Specialist 
  • Computer Systems Analyst
  • Computer Support Specialist
  • Information Security Analyst

An estimated 11,400-plus jobs are available in Indiana, with an average pay of between $14 and $64 per hour.* Companies of all sizes—from Indiana’s Fortune 500 companies to small tech startups—hire people with varying levels of experience and educational backgrounds. 

Considering a career switch? NextLevelJobs.org lists dozens of opportunities to get free or low-cost training that can lead to real jobs. You can also consider enrolling in a local coding academy, such as Eleven Fifty Academy (elevenfifty.org), the state’s first nonprofit code and cybersecurity academy designed on the bootcamp model. Free intro courses at locations in downtown Indianapolis and Fishers give individuals a crash course in tech and the coding bootcamp experience.

“Working in manufacturing in Indiana has connected me to a wide variety of opportunities and to a global network. I recommend pursuing a career in Indiana’s manufacturing sector because it is a challenging, fast-paced environment where a continuous improvement mindset is always valued.”

—Mary Miller, Recruiter for Allison Transmission

More about Advanced Manufacturing

Nearly all manufacturing is advanced manufacturing these days, as technology is embedded in the production, planning and control, maintenance and engineering processes. Yet these jobs are still for “doers” and people who like to make things. Career examples include:

  • Welder
  • Machinist
  • Robotics Technician
  • Quality Control Manager

An estimated 14,900 job openings exist in Indiana, with pay ranges between $15 and $32 per hour.* Indiana is a big manufacturing state, producing everything from plastics to medical devices to cars. Indiana is #2 in overall U.S. production of automobiles and more than 75 percent of RVs are manufactured in Indiana. 

Considering a career switch? Maybe you’ve tried manufacturing jobs before, but have you pursued training that could elevate your career? NextLevelJobs.org lists 56 training opportunities in fields such as welding, motorsports, production management and quality control.

Amber Santana and some of her students

“When I really think about the ‘why’ behind my professional choice it comes down to wanting to be the person that helped fill the gaps of what students need. For some kids, I am the instructional mastermind that they need to continue their educational journey. For other kids I am their constant in a world of change. They know I love them and will always have what they need whether that is a hug, a snack, or patience in their times of stress. For me, it is about helping shape the whole child into the best version of themselves.”

—Amber Santana is a teacher at Glenwood Leadership Academy, Evansville, and a graduate of the University of Evansville.

More about Education

Demand for secondary education, elementary and special education teachers is still high, according to the state of Indiana’s INDemand Jobs information at indianacareerready.com. Besides classroom teaching, examples of education jobs include:

  • Instructional Coordinators
  • Education Administrators
  • Vocational Counselors 

Pay for teachers can vary, but according to the National Education Association, Indiana teachers had an average salary of $54,308 in 2018. Indiana teachers make less than in many locations, including neighboring states of Illinois and Ohio.

Considering a career switch? Careers in education require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, teaching licensure, and sometimes a master’s degree or doctorate. There are  a variety of ways to approach getting into the classroom, so check with your local college campus for transition-to-teaching programs. 

*Job openings and pay data is from NextLevelJobs.org.

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