Most Popular Career Fields
With the economy in such a bleak state, many people believe there are no jobs to be had. While many corporations are downsizing and laying off employees by the thousands, there are still companies that are growing. In fact, three industries are growing by leaps and bounds, and if you’re thinking about going back to school or starting a degree program for the first time, this might just be the perfect time to consider one of the top three industries:
- Health Care
- Human Resources
- Information Technology
The top career field in the United States is health care. In fact, the health care industry is growing faster than any other sector in the country. Through 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that positions for medical assistants will increase by 35%, pharmacy technicians by 32%, registered nurses by 23% and licensed practical nurses by 14%.
Health care is an attractive field for a number of reasons, including job availability. As baby boomers age, hospitals and other medical facilities need to grow to accommodate an increasing elderly population. Jobs will continue to be readily available through the next several years, if not longer, in both urban and rural areas of the world.
Another bonus to jobs in the health care industry is job security. Once the ideal job has been found, it’s a safe bet that job will be secure. As the industry grows, health care organizations will be looking to retain their staff as well as add to it. Benefits, bonuses and salaries should remain lucrative.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of the health care industry is that degrees can be earned in a short period of time. A registered nurse, or RN, only needs an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN), which can be completed in two years. A licensed practical nurse, or LPN, can become licensed after just a one-year practical nursing degree program. Both RNs and LPNs can later enroll in an accelerated degree program to bump up their credentials, either to an AND for LPNs or BSN for RNs. Dozens of such programs are offered online, making nursing an extremely convenient career field to pursue.
Aspiring medical assistants can also complete a degree program fairly quickly with options to earn a certificate, associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree in anywhere from nine months to four years. Many medical assistant programs are also offered online.
Human resources is another hot, hot field expected to expand exponentially through the next ten years. General human resources positions are expected to increase in availability by 17% due to new legislation that strengthens laws concerning occupational health and safety, as well as changes to health care benefits, salaries and other work-life related issues. The median salary for human resources managers in 2006 was just over $88,000, another attractive benefit of this field.
Most human resources associates start with either an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree and many employers require certification from the Society of Human Resource Management or other professional organizations.
The IT field has continue to boom throughout the last several years. As technology evolves, the job market grows, and there are no indications that a slowdown is on the horizon. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Services predicts this field will be one of the fastest-growing through the next 10 years. Positions just for computer scientists are expected to increase by 37% through 2016, while jobs for network administrators are expected to increase by 27%.
Jobs in the IT industry are attractive for high salaries, usually in the high five or even well into six figures, as well as fairly comfortable working conditions and the variety of positions available.
With the variety of job possibilities comes a variety of educational tracks. IT professionals can get their start in the field with a certificate, which may take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to earn. Anyone with goals for higher education can pursue and IT degree and specialization in an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or even doctoral program. Just as in the health care field, IT pros can start small, with maybe a certificate or associate’s degree, and then add on to their credentials later as their career field demands. Many IT programs are offered with accelerated options, and many schools have IT degree programs that are completed entirely online.
With relatively short degree programs, the availability of online programs and great career opportunities waiting after graduation, jobs in health care, information technology and human resources are more attractive than ever.