Search This Blog

Thursday, December 9, 2010

50 Top Careers for 2011

The following is a summary and this writers thoughts on a tweetchat on 12-7-2010. The discussion was with Alexis Grant tweeting as @USNewsCareers.  Here are the results:

How do you determine what careers/industries make the list?
Our list is based on job-growth projections from the Labor Department. We look for jobs with above-average incomes, and high job satisfaction, etc. Those job-growth projections are a great measure of stability, they tell us how much growth is expected between 2008-2018. We also talked with people who work in these jobs to gather anecdotal evidence about employment prospects and job satisfaction.  The report excludes careers that don’t have large numbers of positions, because they provide opportunity only for small number of people.  The list looks to diversify in terms of category and education requirements to offer a wide variety of solid jobs. USNewsCareers uses the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics to determine the initial numbers but all of the factors are taken into consideration.  They also analyze past lists and many of the careers transfer onto the list from year to year.  One participant said, "...if (the list) changed too much from year to year, they would be great jobs, not careers."

If you are searching for a career that isn't on USNews list, you can go to or to .  O*NET is a useful site as it gives a total picture of the career path as well as similar titles.

Seven careers that were removed from the list this year were: loan officer, funeral director, cost estimator, plumber, landscape architect, security system installer, market research analyst.  Some of these were affected by the economy.
The new seven included:
Athletic trainer – Largely b/c of high demand in high schools.
Interpreter/Translator – I find this one fascinating – high demand because of global economy.
Sales manager – This job is recovering along with the economy. Highest median salary of $97K
Education admin – For example, a high school principal. Ranks high 4 job satisfaction. 
Heating, Air conditioning and refrigeration technicians did well partly because of demand for green energy compliance. 
For the full list: Check this link:

Many participating in the discussion were amazed that Funeral Directors were being booted from the list because you cannot predict when people will die and with the aging of the Boomers, there should be a large prospect for that career field.  Perhaps tho, the Boomers are living longer and "flying in the face of death".

The question was raised about whether entrepreneurs should be on the list?  Thoughts on this were that isn't everyone who starts a business an entrepreneur?  Isn't everyone who is an entrepreneur performing multiple careers at one time - CFO, COO, CEO, marketing, sales, and on and on. But while entrepreneurs are a growing path for many people, in fact, they are often sole proprietors.  Employment data is much more difficult to calculate on sole proprietors.

What top skills are hiring managers looking for?

Skill sets! As part of each career profile, we’ve included tips and advice for people who work in the industry on landing a job. Look for this advice at the bottom of each profile.  Hiring managers are looking for achievement oriented people who can do for their company what they have done for others. They want to see multi-talented individuals - but who still fit the "mold".  Know what your skills are and how you can apply them. Not only do you need the right skills, but  be able to fit within the new corporate culture and team. Along with job-specific skills, many hiring managers said “people skills” are also super important – being able to communicate. You can also see USNewsCareers slide show with advice for landing jobs on our list:  

For some jobs, having business savvy was also cited as helpful. Besides job skills, soft skills are important - things like communication, team work, conflict resolution and about 10 others.  Soft skills are so vital in the business world. if you don't have them, you wont get far. Many employers prefer someone who displays these skills - they can't teach someone (workplace skills) but, they can teach job skills. Even the president of Southwest Airlines says "that you can teach skills, but you can't teach behaviors". You can hire for attitude and train for skill. Because no one career is right for everybody, USNewsCareers include 50 jobs on their list, with variety. Hiring managers are interested in people who can solve their companies problems.  Being able to explain how you helped your previous company achieve their goals will be a good selling feature for you.

This article was given as a resource - Inside the Hiring Manager's Head at the Job Interview
Strong speaking skills + strong work ethic most sought in#jobseekers by employers per NACE study 

One participant asked "Does anyone have a good list of hard skills for each industry/sector or know where I could find one?"  My answer to that would be use O*NET.  Here are the skills needed for an athletic trainer for example.

What jobs are in the most demand?

A good way to measure demand is with job-growth projections.  It tells how many positions are likely to be created between 2008-2018. To put this all in perspective, the average expected growth for all jobs based on data from BLS from 2008-2018 is about 10 %.
  • Using job-growth stats from Labor Department: 
  • Biomedical engineer is at the top for percentage of growth at 72%.
  • Neetwork architects – 52 %
  • Health care jobs - Dental hygienist = 36%, physician assistant = 39%
  • Athletic trainer – a job that’s new on the list this year – 37%
  • HVAC (also new on our list) - 28%.
  • Leisure & Hospitality -12% 
  • Professional & Business Services - 11% 
  • Information - 10%
Illinois has a website - that features a Key Sector area explaining the high-growth, high demand sectors for Illinois that include Agriculture, Healthcare, Information Technology, Manufacturing, and Transportation/Distribution/Logistics. 

Several participants sited career paths in IT - especially web developers, health care, and manufacturing. One poster said their hiring expectations for 2011Q1 is the most optimistic in two years. 

The best place to find the skill shortages in the marketplace is to track the volume of ads on job boards by sector/discipline. A good article re: skills not matching job openings: There are plenty of other articles out there. 

So many unemployed individuals have skills that are no longer in demand. Our economy has changed so fast and new skills are needed.  Workforce Investment Act (WIA)funds will help unemployed individuals learn new skills and can be targeted toward high-growth, high-demand careers.  If you are a lifelong learner, you will continue to build skills/attitude being able to keep up with the rate of change in workplace. People will have to adapt. Just as one example wind turbine repair technicians will have only  50% of the personpower needed by 2015 to maintain the wind turbines that are on-line right now. That doesn't take into consideration the effort to increase wind power into the future. 

Which careers on the list give a great salary for little education? 

Another article from USNewsCareers was: 10 jobs that offer a big bang for your buck:
  • Sales manager jumped out at Alexis, since you need a bachelor’s degree for a median annual salary of $97K.
  • On the health care side, dental hygienists make about $67K with associate’s degree and license. 
  • Physician assistants need 2-year associate’s degree plus certification, to bring home paycheck of $84K.
  • Gaming managers - who work at casinos, make about $67K after vocational or dealer school, plus certificate.
  • Meteorologists also do well, bringing in median of $85K with a bachelor’s degree.
Certifications and licenses are becoming more important, it shows you can actually do the work vs. take a test.
Service industry jobs are here to stay. It is one of the longest professions around.
One poster shared that you can research markets by asking what skills employers rate most important soft skills or hard skills. Alternately you could use a LinkedIn or a Twit poll.

One problem about which we have been hearing here at KCDEE is that employers want people with experience, but those who are retraining into new career fields may not have experience in their chosen new career field.  My question would be - How can you meld your transferable skills with your newly learned skills to impress upon a potential employer that you would be a great hire?

Which of the jobs on the list most interests you as a career path? 

Whichever career path you seek - technician, exec, etc., it is good to be proactive, knowledgeable, forward-thinking about your chosen industry. 
Some closing thoughts and resources that were offered include: 
If you would like to participate in upcoming Tweetchats, you will need a twitter account. Then go to  Log-in using your twitter account enter the hashtag #Careerchat and type away.  Let me warn you that the conversation is fast and furious and you can miss things as you type your thoughts, but they are full of useful information.

No comments:

Post a Comment