National job outlook focuses on information technology, health care, engineering

2013-01-06T00:00:00Z National job outlook focuses on information technology, health care, engineeringBy Bob Moulesong Times Correspondent
January 06, 2013 12:00 am  • 

For most people, the New Year comes with resolutions – to lose weight, exercise, find a partner, etc. From a career perspective, many people make resolutions to either find a job, or find a better job, or change their career path entirely.

Having a feel for the 2013 job market is critical for those who plan to improve their career standing. Job candidates want to know where the jobs might be found. Those who want to change careers want to know what fields are growing. College and high school students are looking for pertinent information that can help them plan accordingly.

According to reports recently released by the U.S. Department of Labor, and the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), the best national jobs for growth, advancement and salary increases in 2013 are in the fields of informational technology, engineering, health care, finance, construction, and management.

Below is a list of job categories that are projected to see above average national growth over the next several years. The U.S. Department of Labor projections are generally 6-10 years in reference.

· Information Technology. With an explosion of social media, new devices, such as tablets and smart phones, and increased Internet usage, companies are increasing their IT staff. In addition, many new businesses are seeking more programmers and designers. Data security concerns continue to grow. The field of Information Technology covers a wide range that includes database management, web development, system analysis, information security, and more. Job growth is estimated at 53 percent by 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Salaries in many IT jobs are expected to climb by 4 to 6 percent.

· Management. Demand is surging for managers who can motivate teams and help companies launch new initiatives and projects. The U.S. Department of Labor projects an overall 11 percent job growth through 2020 in general management jobs. Sub-categories include contract management, cost estimating and pricing, IT management, project management, and supply chain management.

· Engineering. The vast range of engineering needs continue to grow nationally. Corresponding salaries continue to climb for graduating students with engineering degrees. Chemical, electrical, and mechanical engineering programs continue to have high demand, and competition to enter those programs is tough. Relatively new engineering specialty areas such as sustainability continue to see growth as green practices multiply among businesses.

· Financial Planning. The U.S. Department of Labor projects a 30 percent growth in the field of financial planning through 2020. Economic growth is generating more income, and a growing population is looking to save for college or retirement. Salaries are anticipated to grow 3 to 5 percent annually.

· Health care. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, opportunities for medical and health services specialists overall are projected to grow by 16 percent through 2020. One-third the 20 fastest growing careers projected are in the health care field. The federal government’s push to computerize all medical records will result in job growth in fields such as medical records technology.

· Counseling. Mental health and substance abuse counseling expects to see a 36 percent increase by 2020. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the growth in this field includes patient advocacy and health care management. The aging of America is contributing to the growth in all medical fields.

· Paralegal. A paralegal is a person trained in subsidiary legal matters but not fully qualified as a lawyer. The U.S. Department of Labor projects an 18 percent growth in paralegal jobs through 2020. College programs to train paralegals have consistently been full to capacity.

· Construction. Even though the economy is still struggling with a rebound, the projections for commercial and residential construction look promising. Homebuilding is on the rise, albeit a slow rise. Post-storm rebuilding in the Northeast has helped both commercial and residential construction increase. The national attention toward energy efficient buildings has also contributed to strong job growth. Ripple effect programs such as plumbing and heating have seen increases as a result.

· Auditing. New federal laws such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act have led to a significant increase in the need for businesses to audit their financial and I.T. systems. The U.S. department of Labor projects auditing to grow by 18 percent by 2020. These changes are fueled by additional recent changes in financial laws, accounting regulations, scrutiny of company finances, and a new focus on ethical accounting practices.

Many current workers who want to change their career, or enhance their current career, will look into attending classes for certifications in their particular field. The ripple effect of this will increase the need for teachers at community colleges, and trainers at organizations who provide certified training.

The desire for formal certifications by workers will spawn more competition for those seeking employment. Hiring managers will be able to request that candidates meet tougher requirements than in years past. Experience will still count, but it will be coupled with an emphasis on education.

What about locally? Next week, JobsSunday will examine job projections at a more local level – Indiana.

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