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Careers That Can Fight Recession


The economic news certainly looks grim, but there are strong sectors in the economy that will continue to hire through the end of the decade. Some professions that require advanced or post-graduate degrees will rise, but perhaps the best news of all amidst the gloom is that many career openings will require candidates to hold only a two-year college degree.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has identified the fastest-growing occupations and career groups that are predicted to enjoy the largest numerical increases in personnel through 2016, and has ranked them by the amount of education necessary to enter the profession. Health care, education, and technology employers should continue to offer the most promising projections in total numbers in hiring, especially since the key roles cannot be outsourced and Americans will need their services and expertise despite the ups and downs in the economy.

Let's examine the top-growing fields by sector and educational requirements.

Health care Keeps Going Strong
The health care sector should remain one of the sturdiest fields through the decade, with needs for:

Personal and Home Health care Aids: Associate's degree. The second-fastest growing professional field in all careers will be for home health aids, members of a service occupation predicted to grow by an astounding 50 percent through 2007. Online associate's degree programs can provide training for the field.
Dental Hygienists: Associate's degree. Some Americans without insurance seek dental work abroad. Most, however, do not have their tooth and gum care outsourced. Jobs for hygienists are predicted to grow by 30 percent through 2016.
Registered Nurses: Associate's or bachelor's degree. The largest health care occupation that will add 587,000 new jobs between 2006-2016. Get career training through an online associate or RN to BSN degree program.
Physical Therapists: Master's degree. Aging population will drive job growth as the field increases its number of professionals by 27 percent. Positions will be especially good in acute hospital, orthopedic, and rehabilitation centers.
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counselors: Bachelor's or master's degree. Some government and public agencies will hire counselors with bachelor's degrees, however most employers will recruit graduates holding master's degrees. The BLS predicts a 34 percent increase in jobs for substance abuse counselors and a 30 percent overall rise in positions for mental health counselors.
Education Hiring Appears Steady
Teachers in public and private elementary schools will still be in demand, as will post-secondary teachers, instructors, and professors. Hiring needs should be sparked by retirements, despite the economy.

Elementary school teachers: Bachelor's degree, certification/credential. Openings for elementary school teachers will be best in states undergoing high enrollments (Nevada, Arizona, Texas, and Georgia) and in rural districts. Some states are allowing fast-track online credentialing programs to meet demands.
Post-secondary teachers: Master's degree or doctorate. The BLS predicts a 23 percent increase in hiring. Community colleges and some universities may hire candidates with master's or master's in fine arts degrees. Four-year colleges offering tenure-track positions prefer doctoral degrees.
Technology Sectors Retain Priorities
As the crunch deepens, businesses will be looking for consultants in IT management and support to help streamline services, hold the bottom line, and bolster operating efficiency. It's positive to consider that some 90 percent of all current IT employees are employed by non-technology businesses and organizations. Globalization increases the need for engineers and researchers with career expertise--as well as an ongoing need for entry-level support staff.

Computer Support Specialists. Associate's or bachelor's degree. Expect increases to reach 18 percent over the decade despite outsourcing. Graduates with career training in technical support, customer service, and certifications will move to the front of the hiring line.
Computer Software Engineers, Applications: Bachelor's degree. This is where the jobs are, according to the BLS. The BLS is predicting a 38 percent increase in overall hiring through 2016, generating 324,000 new openings. You'll need a bachelor's degree in computer science or programming to compete, and a post-graduate degree and additional certifications to rise in the field.
Computer and Information Scientists, Research: Doctorate. There's room (and security) at the top. Jobs for computer scientists and database administrators are predicted to grow by 37 percent during the 2006-2016 decade. Many advanced IT managers and project leaders choose to escape private companies for the relative security of college and university research labs that offer tenure.


Gabby Hyman