Following job trends has some advantages. I report on U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Careers” article every year. (This year, I am excited to announce that I’ve been invited to join U.S. News’ team of career bloggers — starting in mid-January!) In my many years following this report, categories often do not change very much from year to year. That is a good thing for anyone using the list to make a career choice!
For example, the article notes that “All of the healthcare jobs on last year’s list have made the cut again this year, plus two new positions: massage therapist and athletic trainer. While the field of athletic training doesn’t offer the sheer number of positions as nursing or dental hygiene, it outranks nearly all other healthcare occupations for expected job growth.”
It’s important to remember that jobs on this list are not necessarily easy to land! Although jobs are cut from the list if they have a higher-than average unemployment rate, the article notes that, with 9.6% unemployment, there are still (statistically) five unemployed people for every job, compared to an average of 1.7 people for every job in the three years before the recession.
Do Your Research
Every job seeker should keep an eye on his or her industry and make plans for the future with an informed outlook. I like to remind readers that itâ€™s a good idea to set a Google alert for organizations and fields of interest to you so youâ€™ll be aware when there are newsworthy ups and downs in your market. Clearly, there are trends in industries. While there are no guarantees, keeping an eye on these surveys and data should help direct those seeking career change make their plans.
Learn what you can about the number of job opportunities, salary expectations, educational requirements, job satisfaction — make a list of what is important to you and conduct a personal analysis to determine a good direction for your career.
Luckily, there are more and more resources every day to help you with your research.
You can go “old school” and talk to people you know or people they know via informational interviews. Or, expand your networking circle by using Twitter to research your job, LinkedIn to connect with new colleagues, Facebook (via BranchOut or Jibe) and Quora to meet new people who may have advice, information or recommendations for you.
Learn what blogs are popular and respected in your niche (I like to use Alltop.com as a great resource) and find out what your mentors are saying. Find them on Twitter (WeFollow.com is my favorite list for Twitter) and learn who they talk to, what conferences they attend (and what they think of the speakers).
Hop on a Twitter chat to connect with people in your targeted industry. Before you know it — with skill and persistence — you can become one of them! (Read this story of someone who has decided to lead the way in his industry, even if his colleagues are not already joining him on social media.)
Clearly, there are many, many ways to learn what everyone is saying and — most importantly — to insert yourself into the conversations (via participating in social media, meeting local colleagues, attending professional conferences, etc.) to really get to know about a field.
Here is U.S. News & World Reportâ€™s list of top jobs for 2011, broken down by categories considered promising growth fields:
Science and Technology
Business and Finance
Creative and Service
Be sure to review U.S. Newsâ€™ entire, informative article outlining the various opportunities and their methodology.
Please comment if you know anything about these professions! Would you recommend them? What are your experiences? Share in the comments!
Donâ€™t forget that clear, concise, optimized job search materials AND a strong, well executed plan are key for job search success! I can help with every part of your job hunt! Need a great resume? Tips to use social networking? Interview coaching?Â If you need help mobilizing your networks and your job search plans, learn more about how I can help you! While youâ€™re at it, donâ€™t forget those social networks! Be sure to become a fan of Keppie Careers on Facebookâ€¦Iâ€™d be thrilled to have you as part of the community! Since weâ€™re on the subject of doing something newâ€¦Are you on Twitter? Jump on and touch base with me @keppie_careers.
photo by Court reporter