It's no secret that America is reeling from uncertainty as 10 million people around the country find themselves unemployed in 2009. Enough to cause students, and the unemployed workforce alike to wonder, where will the future jobs be?
If there is anything we can learn from past recessions it is that steady, reliable work can be found if you look in the right places and prepare yourself. Not to say that any industry is guaranteed to be recession proof, but history indicates that some businesses will survive and even flourish through the economic downturn. A College education is helpful to find these jobs, but not always necessary.
Constance Brown, an economics graduate from the University of Washington said that people should get used to changing careers multiple times unless they seek out the more secure jobs that, "provide an essential function that society could not survive without."
This type of work starts with healthcare. The U.S Labor Department predicts that 13 of the 30 fastest growing jobs are in the healthcare industry. This includes physicians, physician assistants, analysts, caregivers, and nurses. The obvious reason for healthcare's prosperity is that people do not stop getting sick when the economy gets bad. It is also important to note however, that 79 million baby boomers will soon be retiring and needing healthcare services. For students worried about the possibility of a deepening recession, Nursing/Medical School is an opportunity for reliable work.
While on the issue of healthcare the new stimulus plan will allow for even more positions as $20 billion will go towards computerizing medical records and modernizing the health care technology system. This is estimated to create tens of thousands of new IT jobs in the industry.
Law enforcement/security, where only a high school diploma is required, is always in demand. According to publicsafety.com the Seattle Police Department and many others in the area like Lynnwood, are currently hiring officers. Security work does not just keep the community safe but the worker as well from economic downturn. Police officers, firefighters, and business employed security officers remain in healthy standing despite a growing list of job cuts around the country. Security related positions like hotel security, nightclub security, and surveillance manager's pop up daily in the Seattle area on Craigslist.
Next is education. According to educationworld.com there is a shortage in teachers across the country and hundreds of thousands will be retiring by 2015. This shortage was once thought to be a problem, but could actually turn into a blessing for many during a harshening economy. As millions of Americans lose their jobs, and students worry about their futures, teaching opportunities are in abundance. The U.S Labor Bureau of Statistics has shown that jobs in teaching tend to be recession-poof, and there is always a need for more qualified educators, especially in junior high and high schools.
With the right education, in engineering in particular, energy jobs are expected to be on the rise, especially with $20 billion of the stimulus plan going towards the creation of green jobs. Sidney Bolfing, chairman of the Texas Renewable Energy Education said, "nearly 100 percent of his graduates find jobs in the fuel-cell industry, many before graduation." This includes jobs like wind technicians and fuel cell engineers, as the stimulus plan expects to double the manufacturing of renewable energy over the next three years by making 75 percent of federal buildings and 2 million homes more energy efficient. Students that are interested in this kind of career can go to the Department of Energy Website and search for institutions, states, and researchers on the topic of energy careers.
Legal Professionals such as lawyers, especially those dealing with bankruptcy, tend to get more work during a recession, personal care jobs like barbers, and, believe it or not, the fast food industry, have all done well historically during the worst of America's recessions. Also, Jerry Bernhard, a recruiter for marketing and sales positions, wrote in The Magazine for Marketing Strategists, that sales and marketing jobs are considered essential to businesses functionality and tend to survive layoffs.
Martin Logan is a Human Resources Manager for the Seattle based Waldron and Company who helps workers transition into new careers. "There is still work out there, but a lot of it is stuff people never saw themselves doing. It does not mean it is bad work, but these people thought they would be working in business their whole life." Logan said.
A college education is always helpful and will give you the greatest degree of options, but not mandatory for finding work during hard economic times. It is important to consider what jobs society can not survive without, like plumber's, healthcare and security, and for the safest results, plan either your college major or job search around those types of industries.