September 19, 2020

Continuing Ed | Careers: Top 10 List: Where the Jobs Are

Such a list was first compiled in 1946, just after the end of World War II, to help veterans on the G.I. Bill make smart educational choices. One need only pay attention to news reports to guess where the current shortages may be: eight of the fields in the top 10 categories are health care or wellness related; one is in financial services; and the other is in the information technology field.

But, points out Michael Wolf, an economist with the bureau, “The mere fact that a category is fast growing does not mean you can get a job in it.” For most of these occupations, training (sometimes years of it) is necessary.

1. BIOMEDICAL ENGINEER

Job Growth: 72 percent, or 12,000 new jobs by 2018

Salary: $82,550 mean; $103,000 for scientific and technical consultants

The Field: This relatively new specialty bridges the medical and engineering disciplines, with emphasis on engineering. Biomedical engineers design and build innovative devices (artificial limbs and organs, new-generation imaging machines) and improve processes (for genomic testing, or making and administering drugs).

Why It’s Growing: Thank the quick clip of technological advances. Pharmaceutical and genomic industries, in particular, are “exploding,” says Helmut H. Strey, associate professor of biomedical engineering at Stony Brook University, which has about 100 students in its master’s degree and Ph.D. programs.

Training: If you’re attracted to this field, you aren’t afraid of math, chemistry, physics and engineering, and already have the coursework. Engineers and biology majors are likely candidates for career transitions, though Dr. Strey believes that engineers will find it easier to complete required biology coursework than biologists will getting through the engineering. Either way, a master’s is a must.

2. NETWORK SYSTEMS AND DATA COMMUNICATIONS ANALYST

Job Growth: 53 percent, or 156,000 new jobs by 2018

Salary: $76,560 mean; $99,000 in top industries (rail transportation, natural gas); $105,000 in tech corridors like San Jose and Santa Clara, Calif.

The Field: Analysts handle the virtual nuts and bolts of an I.T. department — designing, building, testing and maintaining information systems, internal or Internet-wide. They also know network and data communications hardware and software.

Why It’s Growing: The mobile data trend (smartphones, tablets) and “cloud computing” (subscription-based or pay-per-use services like apps and data storage) mean companies that scaled back I.T. departments in the 2008 economic downturn are hiring again. As Jonathan Hill, assistant dean of Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science, says, just about every organization needs someone with these skill sets. “If you have the degree, you can work at Sloan-Kettering, the F.B.I., PNC Bank or the New York City Ballet,” he says. “If you are good, you will be employed.”

Training: A background in computer science is not necessary — “These are very teachable skills,” Mr. Hill says — though students going back to school may need to complete prerequisites. At Pace, students come from across the spectrum, from philosophy majors to working adults “pulled to the tech end” of their company’s operations. Certificates are useful for career changers, and many colleges will apply those credits toward a master’s. Curriculums typically cover networking, database and Web design, mobile technology and Internet architecture.

3. HOME HEALTH AIDE

Job Growth:  50 percent, or 461,000 new jobs by 2018

Salary: $21,620 mean; up to $40,000 in affluent metropolitan areas

The Field: Home health aides assist the infirm in their homes or at an assisted-living or nursing home facility, preparing meals, doing light housekeeping and bathing patients. These licensed workers also take vital signs, administer drugs and operate medical equipment.

Why It’s Growing: With our aging population, this field’s high rank should be no surprise. Demand already outstrips supply, says William Dombi, vice president at the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, and that seems unlikely to change. “Low pay and tough work,” he says, mean burnout, turnover and continual recruitment. But the job has its rewards for those with the desire to help people and the physical and emotional constitution to do it. It is also a way to test the waters for nursing school.

Training: Community colleges, hospitals and home health care agencies provide programs for licensure — usually 75 hours of training (some states require up to 120 hours). At Bergen Community College in Paramus, N.J., a new 76-hour course teaches the basics. Watch that programs actually fill licensing requirements.

4. PERSONAL AND HOME CARE AIDE

Job Growth: 46 percent, or 376,000 new jobs by 2018

Salary: $20,280 mean; psychiatric sector and government agencies pay the most.

The Field: Same duties as home health aides, minus the medically oriented tasks. No license required.

Why It’s Growing: See No. 3.

Training:  On the job, though certificates from vocational schools may enhance employment opportunities.

5. FINANCIAL EXAMINER

Job Growth: 41 percent, or 11,000 new jobs by 2018

Salary: $71,000 mean; the federal executive branch pays the most.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=39a0527c04e8543b02c21fc748a1788c

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