With the economy still in the dumps, it helps to get an idea of where the job market is going in the next decade. This breakdown paints a picture of some of the emerging trends.
Help Wanted: Educating Yourself for the Future
As you chart the course for your future career, it’s a good idea to educate yourself about future employment trends. With the state of the economy forcing a lot of people out of their jobs, you don’t want to put yourself in the position of earning a degree that leaves you unemployable after graduation.
That’s not to say that you necessarily have to have a college degree to be employable. Out of the 30 fastest growing occupations and the expected need for qualified workers through 2018, 14 of those positions require a bachelor’s degree or higher. Seven require a post-secondary diploma or associate’s degree, which leaves nine jobs that require on-the-job training instead.
How Much Do You Want to Earn?
Are you looking for a job to pay the bills, or are you interested in a career that promises long-term growth? Your earning potential depends solely on how you answer that question.
Individuals who work in jobs that require on-the-job training earn far less than those who earn a college degree or higher, approximately $18,000-$20,000 per year. Conversely, for each additional diploma or degree an individual earns, his or her salary increases exponentially.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook, “Education is essential in getting a high-paying job. In fact, all but two of the 50 highest paying occupations require a college degree. Air traffic controllers and nuclear power reactor operators are the only occupations of the 50 highest paying that do not require a college degree.” Clearly, pursuing a college education offers a positive return on investment over the life of your career.
Is Your Job Safe?
On the contrary, the 30 occupations with the highest expected loss in employment do not require a college degree. While there are never any carved-in-stone guarantees, it appears that a college education provides a higher level of job security for most individuals. Manufacturing appears to be among the hardest hit when it comes to joblessness rates. In fact, the following industries are expected to experience a decline in overall employment rates: clothes and textile manufacturing; audio video equipment manufacturing; footwear manufacturing; pulp, paper, and paperboard mills; and basic chemical manufacturing.
While this information seems a little daunting, there is good news on the horizon. If you’d like to plan your education according to the fastest-growing employment trends, here are the careers that are expected to have the fastest projected employment growth through 2018:
Occupation Level of Education Required
Biomedical Engineers Bachelor’s Degree
Network Systems and Data Bachelor’s Degree
Home Health Aides On-the-Job Training
Personal and Home Care Aides On-the-Job Training
Financial Examiners and Auditors Bachelor’s Degree
Medical Scientists Doctorate Degree
Physician Assistants Master’s Degree
Skin Care Specialists Post-Secondary Vocational Award
Biochemists and Biophysicists Doctorate Degree
Athletic Trainers Bachelor’s Degrees
Only two of these occupations allow for short-term on-the-job training, so earning a college degree in one of the fastest-growing career fields will make your transition from commencement to career flow more smoothly.
Projected Job Growth by Industries through 2018
The fastest growing industries for the next eight years are expected to be in the following areas: management, scientific, and technical consulting; alternative educational services; individual and family services; home healthcare services; and specialized design services.
Out of all these industries, there is an expected surge in new job openings for certain occupations. Professional and business services are expected to have the highest growth for the next eight years with an expected 4.2 million new jobs available. Accounting, engineering, and computer science, among others, are included in these numbers.
Individuals who work in health care and social assistance jobs can expect 4 million new openings in the next eight years. All other industries are projected to have 6.4 million new jobs available.
What Does This Mean to You?
Whether you’re at the beginning of chartering a new career path or midway into your career, you may want to pay close attention to these expected trends for the future. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that “Population is the single most important factor in determining the size and composition of the labor force-comprising people who are either working or looking for work.” This, coupled with the fluctuating economy, points directly to the importance of developing a well-planned career path for the future.