Unless you’ve been living in a nuclear fallout shelter for the past year and a half, you know that we’re all living in a brave new world. What was once up (a.k.a. the stock market) is now down, what was down (a.k.a. mortgage rates) is now up. So what does this mean for you and your future? Don’t worry. Change means, among other things, new growth and new job opportunities. There are plenty of great jobs out there, and we’ll be the ones to help you find them.
After doing some homework, we’ve put together lists (concerning jobs, industries, and training) to help you decide what career will be best for you not just tomorrow, but for the next decade.
Want to know which jobs are growing so fast you practically need to pull out your fire extinguisher to cool them off? Take a look at the following list of top 30 jobs put together by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):
- Personal and home care aides
- Home health aides
- Biomedical engineers
- Helpers – Brickmasons, tile masons, carpenters, etc.
- Veterinary technologists and technicians
- Reinforcing iron and rebar workers
- Physical therapist assistants
- Helpers – Plumbers, pipelayers, etc.
- Meeting, convention, and event planning
- Diagnostic medical sonographers
- Occupational therapist assistants
- Physical therapist aides
- Interpreters and Translators
- Medical Secretaries
- Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists
- Marriage and Family Therapists
- Brickmasons and Blockmasons
- Physical therapists
- Dental hygienists
- Bicycle repairers
- Health educators
- Cost estimators
- Medical scientists (except epidemiologists)
- Mental health counselors
- Pile-driver operators
So how does the BLS figure out which jobs will be growing the fastest not just next year, but all the way through 2020? In an issue of the Monthly Labor Review, author Kristina Bartsch explains they look at a number of factors, including which sectors of the economy will grow (such as the service-providing industries), which sectors will shrink (such as goods-producing sectors), and what kind of vacancies will be created as the workforce ages, retires or changes careers. Best of all? Bartsch says that, of the 30 jobs listed above, many have fewer educational or training requirements. (Being a physical therapist assistant, for example, does require certification, but not necessarily a bachelor’s in physical therapy.) This means you don’t have to get take out more student loans and get another degree to work in one the future’s top jobs.
Top Career Fields
Ok, so now we know which jobs are growing the fastest. But if you’re not into one of the 30 jobs listed above, there’s still hope. You can look at the industries that are booming and watch for your dream job to pop up in that sector. For example, if you’re a communications director and you know that health care is an industry that’s leading the pack, you can look for communications positions at hospitals, medical research facilities, health care groups – anything related to the healthcare industry.
Some of the tried-and-true favorites include (you guessed it) health care, technology, and education. These industries always seem to be growing, to the point that some call them recession-proof. But with the Department of Labor’s (DOL) announcement regarding $100 million in Energy Training Partnership Grants, you can factor green jobs in that equation too.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics also listed the following among the occupational groups (followed by their projected growth by 2020):
- Management Occupations – 7%
- Business and Financial Operations Occupations – 17.3%
- Computer and Mathematical Occupations – 22%
- Architecture and Engineering Occupations – 10.4%
- Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations – 15.5%
- Community and Social Service Occupations – 24.2%
- Legal Occupations 10.8%
- Education, Training, and Library Occupations 15.3%
- Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media Occupations -12.6%
- Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations – 25.9%
- Healthcare Support Occupations – 34.5%
- Protective Service Occupations – 11%
- Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations – 9.8%
- Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations – 12.1%
- Personal Care and Service Occupations – 26.8%
- Sales and Related Occupations – 12.5%
- Office and Administrative Support Occupations – 10.3%
- Farming, Fishing, and Forestry Occupations – -2%
- Construction and Extraction Occupations – 22.2%
- Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations – 14.7%
- Production Occupations – 4.2%
- Transportation and Material Moving Occupations – 14.8%
Top Trends in Training
If you’re in school, going back to school, or thinking about going back to school, now’s a great time to fine-tune your training. According to Dianna Middleton’s Wall Street Journal article “Landing a Job of the Future takes a Two-Track Mind,” companies will soon be looking for candidates with not just a vertical skill set, but a horizontal one. Traditional degrees, like computer engineering, will need to be paired with study or experience in emerging fields, such as online marketing or social media. In other words, those top-dog systems analysts may also need to know how manage their company’s Twitter accounts, and veterinary technicians may need to be crossed trained in data entry and system management. So if you’re pursuing a degree, consider taking a few classes in a new and emerging field that will help boost your resume and your skill set.
The point is that there are lots of opportunities out there, and not just to make a few bucks, but to find a career that you love and that will fit your lifestyle.