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Careers With Staying Power Beyond 2008

by Nina Silberstein

It's great that 2008 is the year for your new career launch, but do you really want to start all over again in 2009? Avoid a lifetime of involuntary career leaps by exploring careers with staying power–those projected to grow over the next decade; ones with room for upward growth via education; and up-and-coming fields that meet new society demands.

Health care
With average life expectancy continuing to increase, professions within the health care field will realize enormous growth. “In an aging population, the demand for health care increases as does the demand for health care workers,” says Edwin W. Koc, director of Strategic and Foundation Research at the National Association of Colleges and Employers, which provides job outlook reports for college graduates every Fall and Spring. “This is the area, at least through the next decade, that should be the most intense [in terms of growth].”

And, it's not just in publicized shortage positions like registered nurses that the recruiters are scrambling to fill, says Robert Lyons, vice president and group leader of Professional Services for Kelly Services, a national staffing service. “Physical therapists and pharmacists are highly sought after. Clinical experience is often preferred, but many companies are accepting recent college graduates,” he adds.

Other emerging professions within health care exhibiting increasing opportunity: assisted living, hospital care, mental health, pharmaceutical, medical devices, cosmetic surgery and biotech. “These are areas that were once only used in extreme cases, but are now incorporated into common procedures such as hip and knee replacements, organ transplants, synthetic blood, cholesterol-lowering medications, improving sexual performance, breast augmentation, etc.,” explains author/researcher Nicholas Aretakis. Aretakis is a career coach who guides college students and recent graduates, and is author of the new book, “No More Ramen: The 20-Something's Real World Survival Guide” (Next Stage Press).

“We can expect that in the years ahead there will be more development and advances in stem cell research, which will provide new medicines, treatments, and tissue transplants to address a plethora of maladies,” says Aretakis.

Internet-Based Services
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer scientists and database administrators are expected to be among the fastest-growing occupations through 2014. Employment of these computer specialists is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations as organizations continue to adopt and integrate increasingly sophisticated technologies. “Many of the emerging work is being done on open-standards-based platforms [ones with no licensing or royalty requirements such as Java, HTML, Linux, and Wikipedia], as content is shared on the Web," explains Aretakis. "This trend will continue.”

Rapidly changing technology requires an increasing level of skill and education on the part of employees. Companies look for professionals with an ever-broader background and range of skills, including not only technical knowledge, but also communications and other interpersonal skills. Most employers place a premium on some formal college education. A bachelor's degree is a prerequisite for many jobs; however, some jobs may require only a 2-year degree. “An entire new breed of companies will continue to emerge every several years as we recognize paradigm shifts in technology and consumer adoption,” says Aretakis. Content sharing via the Internet will be an entirely new field where highly skilled programmers and content developers will be able to create and distribute their talents at home or in a small office, and collect a royalty stream from companies that specialize in distribution and each will share in some fee or royalty structure, according to Aretakis.

Corporate Governance & Corporate Accountability
Thanks to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which was created to protect investors from corporate accounting fraud by establishing new or enhanced standards, the demand for financial professionals will continue growing faster than the average for all occupations through the year 2014, states the BLS. .“[The legislation] has been a boon to the accounting profession,” notes Koc. Accountants and auditors held about 1.2 million jobs in 2004, reports the BLS.

“In the financial and accounting fields, the job outlook for newly [graduated] financial professionals is extremely good,” says Lyons. “A wide range of industries–from corporations and government entities, to accounting and legal firms and nonprofit organizations–all need a variety of financial professionals. Positions highest in demand are accountants and auditors,” he says. According to the BLS, the median annual wage and salary earnings of accountants and auditors were $50,770 in 2004. The top 10 percent earned more than $88,610.

Careers for the Times
In today's world–one fueled by security concerns both governmental and corporate–professions requiring specific skill sets in addition to knowledge are beginning to emerge. There is a wide range of businesses in the education, financial, logistics, legal, medical, IT, and telecommunications fields, for instance, which now require individuals with a security clearance. “Anyone who is transitioning out of the military with a security clearance could be a hot commodity in both the federal and private sectors,” says Lyons. “Defense contractors, federal civil engineers, along with the intelligence communities are creating the highest demand for security cleared professionals."

Intellectual property (IP) attorneys who specialize in patent law will be in demand because certain businesses need to protect their patents. The protection of patents by corporations is essential for them to succeed, according to Lyons. "IP attorneys with advanced degrees in engineering, biotechnology, and computer sciences will be coveted and will have the opportunity for greater earnings."

Engineering & Science
As technology becomes more sophisticated, employers will continue to look for engineering technologists who can combine their degrees with on-the-job experience. “Engineers are needed across the board, with the biggest shortage of civil/structural engineers and designers in the chemical and petrochemical industries,” according to Steve Armstrong, senior vice president of Technical Services for Kelly Services. “The medical device sector is seeing extensive growth and there is a demand for mechanical and validation engineers.”

Overall employment of engineering technicians is expected to increase about as fast as the average for all occupations through 2014. Competitive pressures will force companies to improve and update manufacturing facilities and product designs, resulting in more jobs for engineering technicians.

There is a high demand for quality/process engineers and electrical engineers, especially in the areas of electronics, specifically powertrain engineers,” Armstrong explains. These engineers design and engineer engines, transmissions, drivelines, and various components on vehicles. “Today's need for higher fuel efficiency, alternative fuels and hybrids and lower emissions (without sacrificing performance) has caused a significant increase in the demand for engineers in this area,” Armstrong says.

Article Courtesy of ClassesUSA

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