Jun 15, 2012
Whether you're just entering the job market or you want to jump-start your current profession, we invite you to check out the 10 hottest careers for 1999 and beyond. The selection taps into a variety of interests, skills, experience requirements and job levels. Salaries, which largely depend on experience and geographical location, range from the low $20s to more than $100,000 annually.
Three of the 10 entries made the fastest growing occupations list published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This agency collects, processes and analyzes all employment data for the Department of Labor. According to the BLS, the total number of jobs in the United States is expected to increase by 18.6 million between now and 2006. The fastest growing occupations are concentrated in service sectors such as business services, healthcare and social services. The rapid growth in the business services sector is being led by technology-based jobs, especially those in computer and data processing services. As a result, these positions are projected to grow significantly more than the 14% average. Although employment growth is predicted to cross all levels of education and training, jobs usually requiring an associate degree or higher are expected to grow faster than average. Those requiring less education or training are predicted to grow more slowly than average; however, they will account for more than half of overall employment growth. The remaining careers were culled from an analysis of jobs across a spectrum of industries where the expected demand will far exceed the pool of qualified personnel.
The following listing should be used as a resource by junior and high school students as well as by college students and experienced employees. In this dynamic labor market, your success depends on your ability to make informed decisions. The key to a fruitful professional career is in your hands. It's your move.
The BLS projects a more than 30% increase in job openings for accountants. The blossoming opportunities for the occupation are a result of the increasing complexity of financial transactions and the relative low turnover in the profession. Earnings depend on the type of firm as well as the specialty. Those in internal auditing and tax accounting generally earn more than their counterparts in public, general and cost accounting. Also, petroleum manufacturers offer higher starting salaries than public accounting firms or the government. Major growth areas include management consulting, international business, internal auditing, investigative, environmental and cost accounting and estate planning.
To practice, you need only a bachelor's degree in accounting. However, to increase marketability, certified public accountants (CPAs), certified management accountants (CMAs) and certified internal auditors (CIAs) must obtain additional experience and pass a four-part examination.
Entry level: $30,122-$36,905 Mid level: $34,898-$41,200 Executive: $39,165- $47,317
National Association of Black Accountants Inc. (NABA), 7249-A Hanover Parkway, Greenbelt, MD 20770. 301-474-NABA
The evolution of the banking industry has spawned the emergence of the relationship manager. These professionals now advise clients on investments, cash management, insurance selection, security purchases and credit issues. Thanks to deregulation of the financial services industry in the 1980s, the products offered by banks, insurance companies and brokerage firms overlap. In 1986, banks held 46% of consumer assets, primarily in checking and savings accounts. By 1996, the proportion of consumer assets in these accounts dropped to 38% as customers moved their money into stocks, bonds and retirement funds. Today's banks offer a wide selection of services that were traditionally limited to other financial institutions.
Sales experience and customer service skills are a must. Professional affiliations are helpful. An M.B.A. is a plus.
Entry Level: $40,000-$55,000 Mid level: $56,000-$75,000 Executive: $76,000-$110,000
National Association of Urban Bankers, 1801 K St. NW, Suite 200A, Washington, DC 20006.
Special Education Teacher
Job opportunities for special education teachers--educators who design and modify instruction to meet the needs of disabled or gifted students--are expected to significantly increase, as indicated by the BLS. This growth is driven by an increase in the number of students, government legislation requiring training and employment for individuals with disabilities and heightened public interest in the special needs area as well as educational reform. High turnover and a declining number of special education teaching graduates also contribute to a favorable job market.
In general, most states require at least a bachelor's degree in special education along with certain examinations in order to be licensed. Some states insist that special education teachers obtain a master's degree in a specialized education field.
Earnings for special education teachers coincide with the pay scales of general education teachers. The 1996-97 U.S. average was $38,436.
National Clearinghouse on Careers and Professions Related to Early Intervention and Education for Children with Disabilities, 1920 Association Dr., Reston, VA 20191-1589. 800-641-7824
According to the BLS, marketing, advertising and public relations managers can expect significant increases in their professions through the year 2006. Brand managers administer budgets, generate profit and loss statements as well as work with colleagues to ensure that a product is effectively marketed. Contrary to popular belief, brand loyalty is still widely practiced throughout the U.S. and competition in the consumer packaged goods industry is fierce. The challenge of competing for market share requires these marketing professionals to continuously develop new ways to facilitate growth.
At a minimum, a four-year business degree is required. Experience through internships is a plus. M.B.A. graduates typically enter at higher job levels.
Entry level: $65,000-$70,000 Mid level: $85,000-$95,000 Executive: $97,000-$110,000
National Association of Market Developers, P.O. Box 2936, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163. 212-561-0598
Food science was recently named a critical-needs area by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and personnel shortages are projected for the next 10 years. Declining national student enrollment in food science indicates that there won't be enough graduates to meet the growing demand in this area. Food scientists use science and technology skills to develop, process, package and distribute food products. They oversee nutritional value, quality assurance, food plant management, food safety and new product development as well as study the analysis and processing of horticultural, agronomic and animal products.
Food science graduates at the bachelor's and M.B.A. levels qualify for entry-and mid-level positions in product development, production and operations management, technical sales, customer service, quality control and assurance. Doctoral food science graduates fill positions in academic research and teaching. Chemistry, biology and engineering graduates with a minor in food science also qualify for employment in the field.
Entry level: $26,000 Mid level: $70,000-$80,000 Executive: up to $150,000
Institute of Food Technologists, 221 N. LaSalle St., Suite 300, Chicago, IL 60601-1291. 312-782-8424
Analysts predict an additional 250,000 engineers will be needed in the U.S. over the next 10 years. According to BLS projections through 2005, computer engineers and engineering consultants will continue to be in strong demand. Engineering managers and biomedical engineers are also highly regarded. Alternatively, civil, mechanical and chemical engineers face a slower growing market but job turnover will result in significant employment opportunities. As the government continues to cut back in spending, defense-related engineering jobs will show the slowest growth. The number of future engineering graduates isn't expected to meet increasing demand because American college students lack interest in the area. Additionally, African American enrollment has declined nearly 10% since its peak in 1993 and is expected to decline further through 2000.
Engineering degrees must be obtained from a university qualified by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. To become licensed, engineers must have a degree from an accredited university, three to five years of work experience and pass a state-sponsored professional engineer examination.
Entry level: $37,905-$51,201 Mid level: $54,190-$70,413 Executive: $83,820-$155,974
National Society of Black Engineers, 1454 Duke St., Alexandria, VA 22314. 703-549-2207
As people live longer, the need for improved medications and highly trained pharmacists will increase. In addition, new technology has greatly enhanced the ability of researchers to treat and remedy diseases once considered incurable. Pharmacists can also capitalize on the emerging job opportunities at medical care insurance companies and in state drug utilization programs.
Pharmaceutical companies also employ pharmacy majors in research and development positions as well as in sales and marketing.
The earning potential for pharmacists is high and impressive, with salaries tending to be higher on the East and West Coasts.
A bachelor of science in pharmacy or the professional Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm D). Pharmacists also need to pass the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) to become registered and practice pharmacy. California has its own licensing exam. Additionally, some states require pharmacists to pass a laboratory exam or a "wet test." In the year 2000, the American Council on Pharmaceutical Education will only accredit Pharm D degree programs in pharmacy.
Entry level: $28,000-$44,000 Mid level: $42,700-$52,054 Executive: $61,750-$73, 935
*Represents pharmacists employed by the federal government. Private firms pay significantly higher.
American Pharmaceutical Association, 2215 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20037. 202-628-4410
Employment of correction officers is expected to grow by 50% through the year 2005. Unfortunately, the expected expansion and new construction of correctional facilities will require additional officers for the growing number of inmates. Correction officers oversee incarcerated individuals. They also ensure the safety and security of prisoners and work in conjunction with psychologists, social workers or other mental health professionals.
Must be at least 18 (21 in some areas) with a high school diploma. College education preferred. Most states require candidates to successfully complete academy training within the first year of employment. This training includes intensive study and some physical fitness activities.
Salaries vary by state. They start as low as $12,000 in Arkansas and as high as $35,000 in New Jersey. The average is $23,000.
The Corrections Connection--the largest online resource for news and information in corrections.
Legal Nurse Consultant
Legal nurse consultants use medical knowledge and paralegal training to assist in personal injury and civil law cases. According to the Department of Labor, the paralegal profession is one of the five fastest growing occupations in the U.S., and the employment outlook for legal nurse consultants reflects this growth. Recently, firms specializing in personal injury, medical malpractice and general litigation law as well as insurance companies and corporate legal departments are using legal nurse consultants instead of expensive consulting physicians. The addition of legal nurse consultants has become an integral part of a firm's legal team.
A registered nurse's license is required and a bachelor of science degree in a related field from an accredited college is recommended. The American Nurses Association also recommends that nurse legal consultants pass a certification exam to increase marketability.
Entry level: $28,000-$38,000 Mid level: $41,000-$46,000 Executive: $50,000 and up
(*) Estimates provided by the Rochester, New York, Legal Nurses Network.
American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (AALNC), 4700 W. Lake Ave., Glenview, IL 60025-1485. Request the brochure "What Is A Legal Nurse Consultant?" 847-375-4713
According to the federal government, an average of 95,000 computer scientists, systems analysts and programmers will be needed every year between now and 2005. Programmers skilled in database software made by Oracle, C, C , Visual Basic and Java are the hottest commodities and will continue to be highly desired in upcoming years. Computer professionals with both UNIX and Window NT operating system know-how are also high on the list. In addition, companies demand experts in the older COBOL and FORTRAN languages to tackle the world's Year 2000 (Y2K) computer problems.
Computer science degrees at any level (B.S., M.S. and Ph.D.) are highly desired. However, almost 2% of 1997's nontechnical graduates ended up in computer programming spots. Companies also want candidates with excellent communication skills as well as real work experience--whether it's from summer internships, co-ops or part-time jobs.
Entry level: $30,588-$43,860 Mid level: $42,580-$61,799 Executive: $59,590-$88,566
Black Data Processing Associates Thought Leaders (BDPA), 1111 14th St. NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20005. 800-727-BDPA
So there you have it. Of course, there are so many more positions, but this is what one study shows. We wish you well! And do let us know how it goes.