You’ve seen all the headlines. Recession. Unemployment. Credit crunch. Government stimulus. It all paints a pretty gloomy picture, but is it really an accurate portrait of the situation, or is it all just a bunch of overblown media hype? With unemployment currently sitting at 9.7% (July 2009) in the U.S., it is clearly not all hot air, but that statistic doesn’t reflect all sectors of the economy – some of which are doing quite well.
The list below presents some industries which are doing very well, and careers within those industries experiencing demand. Maybe one of them would be right for you? Perhaps one of these industries might offer a future outlet for your skills. Even if you require some training, it might be worth it in the long run. Here are 10 careers which are currently in high demand as well as some projections for careers that will be in demand for the next few years.
Recession or not, people still get sick and need to be cared for. The top in-demand career at the moment is for Physical Therapists, closely followed by Occupational Therapists. America has an aging population and there are increasing requirements for health professionals to help them continue to enjoy a good quality of life. The baby boomer generation, who are starting to take up retirement, generally enjoy quite good pensions and so they have the money available to ensure that they are able to stay active and healthy well into their retirement.
It isn’t just care for the older population where there is demand. There is a high demand for Registered Nurses (RN’s), EMT’s, Family Practice Doctors as well as all of the behind-the-scenes workers: administrators, laboratory assistants, specialists (including skin care specialists), etc. Here’s a good Website for Medical Receptionist Training.
The pharmaceutical industry continues to be strong. As long as people get sick there will be a need for drugs to treat them with. As the recent scare over swine flu indicated there is a continued need for the development of new drugs to tackle and prevent new diseases as they occur.
Children still need to go to school and there will always be a demand for qualified teachers to equip them with the skills they need as they grow up and enter the workforce. But it isn’t just at the lower levels – there is an increased demand for places for adults on university courses and other forms of vocational training. Many people who have lost their jobs are looking at retraining options – they’ll require someone to teach them the new skills if they need to go back out into the workforce.
It isn’t just the front line educators – there is the entire infrastructure to support education: administration, facilities, curriculum development and support, IT needs, etc.
It may seem surprising, but times of unemployment have traditionally been excellent times to undertake construction and infrastructure projects due to the availability of labor. This recession is no different. While the residential construction industry is at a standstill, federal spending towards infrastructure is on the up – partly as a way to stimulate the economy and tackle high unemployment so there is a demand for all kinds of workers within the construction industry. In many states the US National Guard is hiring and work on transportation, bridges and roads is picking up.
‘Green’ building technologies are in high demand – both in their development and implementation. There are plenty of good opportunities for working in this increasingly important field.
People still need to heat or cool their homes, have electricity and run their televisions. Even if they are trying to cut back on their consumption, there is still a need to provide energy. Once again, companies which are developing ‘green’ energy and alternative energy sources are seeing growth which means opportunities for new careers.
Children still need to be cared for while their parents are working so this remains an in-demand industry. You can work as a childcare attendant, but there are also entrepreneurial opportunities to open up your own daycare or childcare business.
Companies have to work harder than usual to keep their orders up and that means they are relying on front-line sales staff to bring in revenue. Opportunities exist at all levels. The third highest in-demand job in summer 2009 was Assistant Managers in retail and food service industries, and the fifth and sixth highest were independent beauty consultants and Avon sales reps, which goes to show that women in particular have yet to forgo lipstick and beauty creams.
With the Government stimulus money comes a greater demand for accountability for how the money is spent. This has seen an increased demand for qualified auditors and accountants – particularly at the big four accounting firms.
8. Luxury Sector
At the high end, the goods and services which cater to the very wealthy tend to be resistant to recession as that level of consumer is less affected by shifts in the economy. Even if they cut back on spending there is still a great deal of demand to cater to their desires.
9. Personal and Household Services
Hair still needs to be cut in a recession. People still need help with gardening, keeping pools cleaned and sometimes need someone around to unplug their clogged drains. All of these tend to be steady fields where demand seldom drops.
10. Counseling Services
Career counselors are busy at the moment helping people deal with unemployment, figuring out where their strengths lie and matching those with a demand in the market place. In addition, there is a demand for regular counselors, therapists, psychologists and coaches to help people cope with the emotional upheaval which come with unsettling times. All of these counseling and coaching industries offer possibilities for employment. A masters in school counseling or similar postgraduate degree will set you up well for a career in this field.
1. Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts
2. Personal and Homecare Aides
3. Home Health Aides
4. Computer Software Applications Engineers
5. Veterinary Technicians
If you are looking to do some retraining, these jobs might give you some ideas of areas you could profitably look at. However, be aware that they are just projections! Past projections have sometimes got things very wrong – so be sure it is a field that you have a genuine interest in.
Knight Hooson was born and educated in Canada before moving to Great Britain in 2002. Now based in London, he writes for The Credit Letter where he blogs about managing credit cards and personal finance. When not working, he enjoys learning about wine and exploring France – especially at the same time.
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