If you are already in the field of finance or are looking to make a career change, becoming a CPA is a promising career path. CPAs fill a variety of positions, from tax advisory services, to auditing and international financial reporting. There are also wide differences between working in the private, public and governmental sectors. It seems there’s something for everyone in this field, but it does entail passing the notoriously challenging CPA exam—so not just anyone can do it.
Environmental awareness is no doubt a hot topic, and one that we all have a stake in. Jobs in this field promise excellent growth over the next 10 years. Because of the explosion of interest in all things green over the last decade, unique “green-collar” jobs are starting to become part of the main stream. In January of this year, the Obama Administration awarded $2.3 billion for the Recovery Act Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credits for clean energy manufacturing projects across the United States. The White House press release stated that it will lead to “183 projects in 43 states…tens of thousands of high quality clean energy jobs and the domestic manufacturing of advanced clean energy technologies including solar, wind and efficiency and energy management technologies.” Regardless of your political perspective, there is no denying that the “green” industry is poised to produce a substantial number of jobs over the next decade and beyond.
THE FACTS ON GREEN JOBS
The Pew Charitable Trusts stated in a 2009 report that “clean energy economy jobs” grew by 9.1% between 1998 and 2007, compared to a growth of 3.7% for all jobs, a fact that points to the sustainability of an industry that is all about… well… sustainability.
As further support, the number of job postings including the term “green” on Indeed.com, which searches thousands of job sites, has grown 120% since 2005. And job postings with the term “environmental” have grown more than 50%. This shows a clear rise in interest in this industry.
What’s more, on CNN Money’s list of the “100 Best Jobs in America” (in terms of pay, growth and quality of life), environmental engineering ranked #5 with a projected growth of 31% over the next 10 years. This is a great example of a “green collar” job.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics, our go-to source for job trends, received funding this year to collect data on green jobs, which shows the growing presence of the industry. The BLS is still compiling all of the statistics and profiling for the field, but the information on careers in wind energy is now up.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics breaks green jobs down into two categories: positions in which workers create green goods or provide green services and positions where employees are there to make their company more environmentally friendly. Here are some great options in both categories:
Eco tour guides
Interior/exterior designer (LEED standards)
Construction of solar thermal plants
Solar panel installer
Wind turbine fabricator
Here are some green-only job boards and resources:
The credentials for green jobs are still being developed and debated, but familiarize yourself with the various certifications and requirements that currently exist. Not all green jobs require them, but they could set you apart.
The next industry my team decided to cover for the “Where are the jobs?!?” series is healthcare. It probably doesn’t surprise you that it is on our list of booming fields, as the need for healthcare is rapidly rising with the aging baby boomers entering their retirement years. Even with the uncertainty of healthcare reform there is still projected growth in many healthcare occupations.
Many find careers in healthcare rewarding and take great pride in helping others make their way through tough physical and mental challenges. It also doesn’t hurt that the healthcare profession has some of the highest-paying positions in the country, even when you factor out those that require medical degrees! Of the jobs on CNN Money’s “20 Highest-Paying Jobs” list, almost half are in healthcare.
THE FACTS ABOUT HEALTHCARE JOBS
According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook wage and salary employment will increase in the healthcare industry by 22 percent between 2008 and 2018, which is substantially greater than the projected 11 percent growth for all other industries combined. More specifically, the BLS projects employment growth of 41 percent in home health care services, 39 percent for outpatient care, and 21 percent for nursing during the next decade. To amplify matters, a 2009 article in Health Affairs by Dr. Peter Buerhaus and company found that even in the face of the Great Recession the nursing shortage in this country is projected to grow to 260,000 registered nurses by 2025. This is a strong signal that there is definitely high earning potential here!
After researching this industry, there is no doubt some potential for solid career paths here. So if you’re in a rut and have the urge to go back to school or get a certification, it’s never too late in the name of job security. But if school isn’t an option, they have lots of administrative jobs that range from human resources to billing and even jobs in maintenance. Growth in the healthcare industry is going to require a lot of non-health related jobs because these are complex operations which will require a lot of support. Definitely keep your eyes open for opportunities in healthcare!
In the next decade or so, major technological advancements are going to lead to some exciting new career paths for those in the field of science and technology. Although seemingly far-fetched, Popular Science predicts that by 2020 there will be a need for space pilots to fly commercial airlines for chartered space “expeditions.” With Virgin Galactic’s plans for a 2012 launch, this seemingly science fiction fantasy may became reality sooner than we think. Keeping with the sci-fi theme, another emerging field will be that of human-robot interaction specialists. As robotic technology advances, highly trained individuals will be needed to remotely operate machines that will be used in place of actual humans in dangerous environments. the bottome line: advancement may be coming faster than you think!
Getting back down to planet earth, and the the more immediate future, many are also predicting there will be an increased need for more traditional positions in biological and forensic sciences. Most of these opportunities are expected to be best for graduates of applied science technology programs who are well trained on the latest equipment being used in laboratories and production facilities. the reality is simple, technology is continuing to advance. So, if you are looking to play in the science/technology space keep reading for some tips on how to focus your search.
THE FACTS ON SCIENCE JOBS
According to the job trending tool on Indeed.com, job postings related to “science” have increased steadily over the past five years for a total of about 3% growth. This is evidence that the field of science in general seems to have survived the long-lasting slump in the economy and has potential to be a bright spot as we begin the road to recovery.
When it comes to specific occupations in the scientific field, biotechnology certainly stands out. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of biological scientists will grow 21 percent between now and 2018; a percentage of growth that is much higher than the average for all other US occupations. With an aging population and continued competition among pharmaceutical companies, the demand and drive for innovative health technologies should continue to expand.
For you CSI buffs out there, good news, because jobs in forensic science are expected to increase by 20 percent over the next decade, which is also much faster than the average growth for other US occupations. Although state and local governments have taken quite a hit, the BLS is projecting increases in applications for forensic scientists across the board.
Here are some links to resources that will help you on your way to finding a career in science:
NatureJobs (Job search engine, career fairs, list of popular employers, etc.)
Science Careers (Information and job search engine produced by the journal Science)
NewScience (A bridge between the younger generation and the scientific world)
Here is a list of some of the more promising and/or up and coming science-related career paths and positions:
Animal migration engineer
Human/robot interaction specialist
World watcher (via satellites)
Thought hacker (advanced lie detector)
GET OUT OF THE HOT SEAT!
Overall, science has always been a great field to get into for those with a proclivity for being at the forefront of innovation and progress. Overall, most science-related jobs provide you the opportunity to choose between working in an office, a lab, or out in the field. But you have to have at least a Bachelor’s for these mentally intensive jobs, and often a Master’s or PhD for mid to high level positions. For more information on the specific jobs positions and the experience and education needed for them, check out these articles from U.S. News and Popular Science.
The Federal Government is the second industry my team and I researched for the “Where are the jobs?!?” blog series. Although state and local governments across the country have been severely hit by decreased property and income tax revenues, there are opportunities at the Federal level. A number of the Federal opportunities we came across are in the law enforcement sector. Agencies such as the FBI, TSA, and Border Patrol either have openings or will in the near future.
THE FACTS ON GOVERNMENT JOBS
The Partnership for Public Service predicts the Federal workforce will expand to 2.1 million civilian employees from now through 2012. According to their estimates, 384,000 of these new openings will be the result of baby boomer retirements. Further, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) “Career Guide to Industries” predicts the continued retirement of baby boomers in the Federal government will likely last through 2018. Although many boomers in the private sector have been forced to delay their retirements due to the financial crisis, Federal pensions tend to kick-in earlier and pay-out fairly well in comparison.
Many of the open positions we came across tend to have a security-related focus both on financial transactions and national security. However, there are opportunities in other sectors as well. Here are a few spots to look for government positions and also get support in your Federal government job search.
USAJobs – Official government job search engine—special section for students
Fedscope – Research which agencies are in your state and whether they hire people with your background
The following is a list of some of the hottest federal government positions out there:
IT specialists/cyber security
Border patrol agent
Emergency management (terrorism/mass casualty)
Follow Directions: Make sure your resume and application are complete. The Federal application process can be very lengthy, so be ready for this. Also, be ready to fill out a comprehensive background questionnaire that will require information on at least 7 years of your residence and work history.
Be Patient: The application and hiring process for Federal positions can take a long time. For some positions it may take up to a year. Apply for positions that don’t require major security clearances about four months prior to your target start date and at least six to eight months in advance for national security-related positions.
GET OUT OF THE HOT SEAT!!!
Federal government positions are all over the country. In fact, only 10% are in Washington D.C. And, there are positions that require all levels of education and experience. So, if you haven’t considered this career path before, expand your horizons!
The first stop on this 7-part blog series titled “Where are the jobs?!?” is going to be social media. The world of marketing has changed dramatically with the rise of social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. These days, companies are looking for people who know how to create an online buzz and reach the masses as efficiently as possible!
So, if you have a respected blog, consider yourself a well-loved “Facebooker,” or have the right mix of writing and marketing skills, this may be the route for you. And if you have an educational background or experience in marketing, copywriting, or journalism, you have an even bigger edge in landing a Web 2.0 job.
THE EVOLUTION OF MASS MEDIA MARKETING
Consumer product marketing has always been at the forefront of American pop culture and is continually evolving. Keep in mind, the concept of mass media marketing was born during the Great Depression when radio was in its golden age and cinema was the latest innovation. During this time companies such as Procter and Gamble were desperately seeking opportunities to reach the most people possible, as inexpensively as possible. Radio seemed to be the innovative way to go. It provided a great new vehicle for reaching the masses!
So, it’s no wonder that the Great Recession has spawned an entirely new marketing vehicle in social media. Just as during the Great Depression, companies are seeking out innovative and cost effective ways to reach the masses. Social media is today what radio was nearly 100 years ago, a vehicle for reaching the masses. Consider that for the first time in 23 years, Pepsi did not run a commercial this past Super Bowl. Instead, they invested in a social media marketing campaign, a trend that is continuing to grow.
THE FACTS ON SOCIAL MEDIA JOBS
According to a 2009 study of social media marketers, 95% of respondents said they were going to increase, or at least maintain, their social media spending in the coming year.
A quick glance at Indeed’s job trending tool shows that job postings including the phrase “social media” have grown almost 2,000% over the last four years (see imbedded the chart).
If you’re still not convinced, The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ “Occupational Outlook Handbook” predicts that “the recent emergence of social media in the public relations is expected to increase job growth as well. Many public relations firms are expanding their use of these tools, and specialists with skills in them will be needed.”
The following is a list of some of the hottest social media positions out there:
Social Media Strategist/Digital Strategist
Social Media Marketing Specialist
Search Engine Marketing Associate
Online Customer Service Representative
Where can you go to find these positions? Here are some options:
Approach small companies that don’t use social media yet. Have your custom social media plan ready for them. See how Daniela Bolzmann did it.
Do Your Homework: Read up on your target companies and don’t just go to their websites. Research any relevant news, press releases, and industry publications that will help you understand their pain. Your job is to show them what you can do to make their pain go away. Companies are looking for problem solvers, so your job is to show them how your social media savvy will help make them stronger.
Engage Your Targets: Comment on their blog to get their attention. Be sure to provide thoughtful insights that also show your knowledge. Get your name out there and show that you know their brand. Here’s a real social media success story about a job seeker who used social media to land a job as marketing manager.
GET OUT OF THE HOT SEAT!!!
As the facts show, social media is a growing sector in the marketing world. So, if you want to change careers or you’re a recent grad looking to leverage your on-line skills, consider social media as a potential vocation! One perk to this industry is that you can often work remotely. On the flip side, make sure you can do more than just talk the talk, because your on-the-job results are very measurable and companies will be looking for actual results!!!
For more on Career Planning in the New Economy check out Dr. Woody’s new book: The YOU Plan on Amazon.com