Where the Jobs Are: The Careers of Our Future

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With the unemployment rate anticipated to remain high for the next six years as many economic experts have predicted, the question remains.  Just where will the jobs be as our economy slowly recovers?  And what can you do as a worker to prepare yourself to make sure you can survive your career?

 

First let's look at where the jobs, aren't! In looking at the unemployment figures you need to analyze whether the current downturn in available jobs is of a structural or a cyclical nature. A cyclical market is when job losses were a direct result of a crisis or a recession and unemployment figures fall largely in sync with the overall economic recovery. The structural element of job loss is even a bigger problem than a high unemployment rate.

 

A structural loss of jobs has more to do with jobs and industries that become obsolete, where workers are educated and trained in these areas, but their skills are no longer needed.  Some of the balme can be attributed to the megatrends in the growth of techology and the globalization.  Neither of these is going away.  U.S. companies have been more profitable than ever over the past two years, even as unemployment has grown.

 

This is due partly to companies tapping into the growing middle class of workers in China, Brazil, India, and Viet Nam, as not only workers, but also as consumers.  The increase of efficiencies due to improved technology has allowed companies to generate record revenues, while shedding workers.

 

These structural issues will not go away no matter how much money our federal government pumps into our system in form of tax cuts or stimulus packages. This only will raise inflation and make it more difficult for people who have a job as they will be paying higher taxes at both the state and federal level.  In order to manage a structural unraveling of our workforce, we must first admit it exists.  Endlessly extending unemployment benefits costs the taxpayer about $60 billion a year and because benefits are temporary, this can cause anxiety.

 

Our capitalist system is going through a massive disruption where changes are precipitated by technology and a global economy.  And the only way to survive is to adjust to a new economy, rather than fighting it or denying it exists.  There is no going back.  The manufacturing jobs here in the U.S. that were lost are not coming back. We as a nation need to build our new economy with training for our displaced workers and education.

 

Some of the areas that are poised to lose jobs are: travel agents, printing machine operators, news analysts/reporters, telemarketers, postal clerks, file clerks, sewing machine operators, and door-to-door sales workers.  Some of these jobs will be non-existent as technology replaces workers and the way we conduct business, changes.  The best a worker in these areas can do is to acquire new skills and education for a new career, rather than waiting for their industry to "come back".  In many cases it won't.

 

The good news is that there are new jobs being created as companies continue to recover from the Great Recession.   Hiring is increasing as more jobs are created.  This will improve as we go forward.  Technology leads the way.

 

So where are the jobs?  The Bureau of Labor Statistics has suggested that the selected occupations for growth from 2008-2018 are as follows:

 

Biomedical Engineers- + 72%

Home Health Aides- +50%

Medical Scientists- +39%

Market Research Analysts +28%

Accountants/Auditors-+ 22%

Construction Laborers- +20%

Mathematical Science Occupations- +20%

Medical Health Service Managers-+16%

Educational/Occupational School Counselors-+14%

Lawyers-+13%

Psychologists-+12%

Funeral Directors-+12%

Lodging Managers-+5%

 

The reality in this economy is that many of our current skills will not have value in our new economy.  Re-training and education are essential to get a job.  To survive your career, you will need to embrace change and go to where the need of our economy is, rather than expecting dying industries to support you.

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