December 31, 2010
Six careers likely to have staying power in the years to come
What will the help-wanted ads look like in two years? In five? In 10?
As the world evolves, so do job trends and job descriptions. It’s important to structure your career so that your job will be in demand in the coming years. Based on government, industry and business research in trends and job growth, here are six professions that promise to be good bets for the future.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, an aging population will make health-care workers such as doctors, nurses, physical therapists, home-health aides and pharmacists more in demand. Four million jobs are expected to be added to this sector by 2018.
Health-care workers should enjoy working with people and should have an aptitude for science and math. Less-skilled and lower-paid workers such as aides may require as little as a certification course, while doctors, nurses, physical therapists and pharmacists require specialized schooling after graduating from college.
Think of all the technology we didn’t have just a few decades ago — even a few years ago. Computers, the Internet and smartphones have changed the way we do business and communicate, and they will continue to do so.
As more technology is developed, IT professionals such as programmers, security specialists and administrators continue to be in high demand.
Those in the field should enjoy analytical thinking but should also be creative problem solvers. More colleges are responding to the demand by offering course work and majors in areas such as computer networking and information security, applied computer science, and computer science and innovation.
Because this field evolves rapidly, keeping up with cutting-edge changes will require classes, continuing education and certification.
Alternative-energy sources such as wind, hydrogen, geothermal and solar should create dozens of new careers — from mechanics and plant managers to scientists, engineers and even sales and marketing professionals — as these energies become more mainstream.
Those with scientific minds who enjoy research and care about the Earth’s future are good candidates for a career in alternative energy. As this field becomes more popular, colleges are offering associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees and even MBAs in green energy.
As the emphasis on global business and trade grows, organizations are increasingly looking for workers who have the education, experience and skill set to navigate areas like international law, tax codes, work and environmental regulations, and even ethics.
A law degree with an emphasis on international law is ideal. Excellent communication skills, as well as knowledge and/or fluency in one or more languages, will also help. Those who follow this path should be willing to live in several different countries over the course of their career.
As marketing becomes more education-based and less sales-based, demand for business writers who specialize in blogs, newsletters, website articles, white papers and special reports is expected to increase.
There is no typical education for professionals who specialize in content creation. Most have at least a bachelor’s degree, with additional education in areas of specialization.
Workers in this field must have good communication and writing skills and be highly creative and original. They also must be self-motivated and self-disciplined to meet deadlines.
Unsettled economic times have demonstrated a need for sound financial advice and planning. As our country’s financial future becomes less predictable, financial analysts and planners continue to be in demand.
Most people in the financial industry have at least a bachelor’s degree, and many opt to earn MBAs. Certifications are required in some fields. A good track record is necessary for success, as are exemplary people skills, math aptitude and the ability to handle stress.
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