business

Where the Jobs Are in 2014 – and Beyond

These professions are expected to see growth in employment.

It looks like 2014 may be a better year for job seekers. Kiplinger’s expects better economic growth this year that will be accompanied by more job creation. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently reported that employment increased in 43 states toward the end of 2013 and expects it to continue growing at a steady – albeit slow – pace through 2022.

So in which fields and professions will these increases occur? The BLS projects that occupations and industries related to health care will add the most jobs. And it reports that 19 of the 30 occupations projected to grow fastest from 2012 to 2022 typically require some form of post-secondary education.

A report by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas backs this up. Several of the fields in which the company expects to see the most growth are related to health care and all require post-secondary education from a trade school, community college, university or graduate school.

To increase your chances of employment this year and beyond, consider one of these seven professions that Challenger, Gray & Christmas expects to experience strong gains:

Athletic trainer/physical therapist. An aging baby boomer population is driving growth in demand for physical therapists, while an increase in competitive sports and fitness activities is creating demand for trainers. And this sort of "in-person job," as Challenger, Gray & Christmas CEO John Challenger calls it, can’t be outsourced to another country. So this field will continue to grow, as will other in-person professions such as teachers, nurses, finance and accounting professionals, and contractors including electricians and plumbers.

Data analyst. Companies – especially those related to health care – are collecting massive amounts of data and need people who can analyze it for strategic planning, says Challenger. Those with a background in information systems, statistics and economics will be hired for these positions, he says.

Human factors engineer. This developing field also goes by other names such as organizational development and change management. For the most part, it’s a human resource position that helps companies adapt to their changing workforces. People with these types of jobs, for example, will specialize in improving communication among employees that telecommute or are spread out across the country rather than concentrated in a single office. Challenger expects long-term growth in this field.

Medical technician. With hospitals and medical centers using more and more technology, the need for people to operate that equipment is growing. Often these positions don’t require a college degree, Challenger says. Certification from a trade school or community college will suffice.

Research and development specialist. With industries ranging from health care to renewable energy to home construction striving to make technological advancements, the demand for people who can facilitate those developments and breakthroughs will continue to grow. Jobs in research and development typically require an educational background in biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering or math. College graduates with those skills will find ample job opportunities, Challenger says.

Sales and marketing specialist. In periods of economic growth – which Challenger expects to see in 2014 – companies tend to boost their sales and marketing forces. Industries that are expected to grow this year will need people to increase demand for their products and services.

Veterinarian. The growing popularity of pets has led to increased demand for people to provide medical care for them. The BLS projects that the demand for veterinarians will increase 36% by 2020.

For more fields with employment opportunities, see the BLS list of occupations with the most job growth.

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