Looking for Work in Colorado ?
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Listen to the podcast, read the post or do both! I cover the ins and outs of different industries to consider when looking for jobs in Colorado.
*I will update this post at least once a month*
The most recent unemployment report from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (and the Denver Post) shared that Colorado has a 3.4% unemployment rate. This is hardly surprising and is a result of a number of great policies, good timing, and a sustained focus on business growth that local politicians and business leaders have been working on for years. This isn’t an overnight success story.
Policies that have been working for the state of Colorado:
- Tourism marketing as a constant line item in the state budget. When other states pulled back from advertising their state as a business, life, or vacation destination-we advertised ours!
- Encouraging businesses to move their headquarters to Colorado!
- Colorado local-we buy locally and the power of that one habit is priceless. It’s not a coincidence that local products do so well in Colorado.
- Diversified economy-Finally, we get it! Colorado has been known for very severe boom/bust business cycles. After learning the hard way too many times we’ve figured out that a diverse state economy is key to growth and sustainability.
- We will try basically anything-We’re pretty much up for anything. There is a spirit of innovation and excitement that is in the air and you can feel it.
- Admitting when things aren’t working well-I love my state…but…it’s NOT perfect. There are issues that we’re working on such as: The Education Paradox (strange lack of funding despite high rates of educated adults), education bias in schools affecting perceptions of children of color, housing affordability, and the list goes on.
- Growing our transportation infrastructure! This one is huge. We are a state that loves cars and we’re an oil and gas producing state but cities need transportation and it’s exciting to see the growth of the lightrail in Denver, the Plane to the Train, the Ski Train, and bike paths throughout the state. No, transportation is NOT like the East Coast. But, we are doing a hell of a lot better than before at addressing transportation needs.
In a state that is experiencing high levels of dynamic growth, of course a ton of people want to move here and be a part of the madness! But, before you begin packing your bags I would like to share the different industries in the state, opportunities for jobs, and things to watch out for.
I’m a GenXer which means that I am old enough to remember real cowboys walking up and down the 16th Street Mall and the ice rink at the eastern end of the mall. But, I’m young enough to really, really love all of the changes that are happening in the state (except the traffic which sucks). I’m also old enough to remember when we had very, very few industries and so when the economy experienced a dip in an industry-it was painful. That’s not the case anymore. We still feel pain when an industry is experiencing a dip, but, we have a ton of other industries that are growing at an incredible rate.
- Education-We have a number of different universities, community colleges, and alternative education spaces that need educators. The tricky part is that those jobs are extremely competitive because once people get in the job they tend to stay…for a while! Universities to look at:
- University of Colorado-Including the Boulder/Denver/Colorado Springs campuses.
- University of Denver
- Metropolitan State University
- Community College of Denver
- Colorado School of Mines
- Regis University
- Colorado Christian College
- Red Rocks Community College
- Colorado Mesa University
- Naropa University
- Western State College University
- University of Northern Colorado
- Tourism-There are so many jobs in tourism it’s kind of hard to wrap your head around. What I would say is that a lot of work has gone into having yearly tourism offerings vs. just ski season. You will find that there are all types of employees needed: cooks, cleaners, instructors, office staff, front desk personnel, chefs, and the list goes on. At the time of this post it is October and the ski resorts are FURIOUSLY hiring. Here are some resorts to consider (this is an incomplete list).
- Vail Ski Resorts-Which include: Breckenridge, Vail, Keystone, and Beavercreek
- Copper Mountain
- Arapahoe Basin
- Steamboat Springs
- Crested Butte
- Wolf Creek
- Tech-Let’s be clear, tech is growing like crazy in Colorado. BUT, I would say that there are things to consider. Think about whether or not you would like to work with a start-up, a well-established company, as a military contractor, or for yourself. I’ve spoken with different people who are in the industry and their feeling was that Colorado Springs was a trickier place to be in tech because the industry is reliant on bigger companies. If you are a: engineer, computer systems engineer, systems analyst, or developer there is a job out there for you! Food for thought-the Denver/Boulder metro area has a huge number of start-ups which are tricky by nature. Yes, there are a ton of jobs, and crazy money to be made…just save as much cash as possible while you’re making it. I will continue to add to this list every couple of weeks.
- Hired.com-A great resource for finding a tech job in Colorado is Hired.com. I actually had the opportunity to briefly speak with one of the guys from Hired.com and I loved how it makes the job hunt process a lot smoother. Set up your profile, cut out the middleman, and find your future Colorado tech job with a lot less hassle. Click on my referral link and set up your new profile today! Good luck.
- iBotta-I am super obsessed with this grocery app developed in Denver. Click here to check out their jobs listings, they are growing like crazy! Click here to start saving on your groceries today.
- Craftsy-Yep, they’re in Denver too.
- DaVita-Moved their headquarters to downtown Denver
- Boston Market-Headquartered in Golden, Colorado
- Western Union-Headquartered in Douglas County, Colorado
- Agriculture–We have a very strong agricultural presence in the state and I buy Colorado local on a weekly basis. If you’re looking for work in agriculture you probably know more about agriculture than I do. Here is a general website (My Next Move) to get you started though!
- Gas/Oil/and Fracking-Currently this industry is not doing well due to the glut in the market of oil and gas. However, if you would like to get a feel for what is out there go to the following link: Colorado Oil and Gas Association.
- Green Energy–I love that we have a growing green energy industry. I’m in the process of looking for good resources for people in this field. Will keep you posted.
- Cannabis-I will be honest and say that I debated whether or not to include anything cannabis related on the blog. But, the reality is that we passed the law and it’s a HUGE industry now. I would say that there are 2 types of opportunities for people who would like to be involved in this field: businesses serving cannabis tourists (especially transportation) or just spaces that cater to this demographic. The other opportunities are working directly with the product: bud trimmers, sales people, etc. *Things to consider-cannabis/pot/mary jane/ is still considered illegal nationally. This is a cash business so it’s inherently unsafe because of the sheer amount of cash floating around. If you change jobs it is likely that you will need to take drug tests in the future.* I’m a live and let live person, but, it’s important to me that you consider the ins and outs of working in the industry before making the leap. Click here for job information.