Looking for Work
If your industry is crumbling, here are the fields that are hiring now
In this recession, many workers are losing not just their jobs but their professions too, as industry segments, from automotive manufacturing to newspaper publishing, sputter and die. If you’re looking for work, here are some new directions to consider to find where the jobs are now.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics keeps tabs on industries that are on the rise. Among the top growth fields over the next seven years (the projection is from 2006 to 2016), health and communications play starring roles. Network systems and data communications analysts top the job-growth list, with a whopping 53.4 percent increase projected. Home health care is forecast to grow by around 50 percent, and computer software engineers should enjoy nearly 45 percent growth. The list does hold a few surprises: veterinarians, veterinary technologists and technicians are big growth areas, reflecting the increasing importance of our household pets, as are substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors (sadly, these professions may see even greater acceleration when you consider the psychological impact of the global economic meltdown.)
Working for Uncle Sam
The government itself is looking hot, too. About half of all federal government workers will be eligible for retirement next year, and that will translate into nearly 200,000 new hires. Most of these jobs are in D.C., but Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, L.A. and New York also have a sizable contingent of federal workers.
The National Center for Education Statistics predicts that 2.8 million new teachers will be needed over the next eight years (math and science instructors are always in especially short supply). Pay is still low compared to other jobs (the average starting salary for public-school teachers in the 2006-2007 school year was $35,284), but these jobs do come with summers off and pension plans.
Stimulus Bill Businesses
The stimulus bill will sprinkle money over a variety of projects countrywide, improving highway infrastructure and expanding mass-transit systems, among other things. Engineering firms and construction companies will manage these projects, and these firms will need office workers, from secretaries to accountants, as well as engineers and skilled construction workers.
One last place to look are businesses that thrive in hard times. Bankruptcy law and crisis-management consulting are two clear choices, but don’t overlook less obvious areas, like security. The stimulus package will fund the hiring of 100,000 police officers, and the Transportation Safety Administration is expected to hire another 22,000 airport screeners.
It can be difficult to switch fields, of course, but if you’ve lost your job due to contraction of the industry you’ve been in, looking for work in a new industry could likely be your best option.