Career Trends: Looking For A Career Path With A Future? The 5 Fastest Growing Occupations In America

Leon Jesmanowicz, Vice-PresidentCareers, MBTI, Resources, STRONG

Career trends are on the rise in particular jobs sectors, but still falling in others. Picking a career path is one of the most influential decisions we make in our lives.  Over the last three years, the job market has been turned upside down with the highest unemployment figures in decades. Some job types are simply disappearing from existence.  Today’s Great Recession has lead people of all socioeconomic levels to reconsider their career paths.  The questions remain, as the economy slowly recovers, what job sectors will grow and remain valuable?  If you’re planning to commit to a career path, will the jobs be there in the next 5-10 years?  And finally, are those jobs right for you?

To answer the first two questions, we can turn to a report from The Bureau of Labor Statistics listing the top occupations projecting the highest number of new jobs between 2010 and 2020.

  1.  Registered Nurse:  There is a saying that the only thing that is certain is “Death and Taxes”.  I believe we can interpret that to say that people will always get sick and will always consume and spend.  The Registered Nurse career path is expected to add 711,900 new jobs by the year 2020 with a median 2011 pay of $65,950.
  2.  Retail Salesperson: As stated earlier, people will always want to buy products and there will always be a need for qualified salespeople.  The good news is that there is bountiful amount of different sales jobs.  If your personality type suits sales then you may be in luck.  The Retail Salesperson career path is projected to add over 706,800 jobs by 2020 with a 2011 median pay of $21,010.
  3.  Home Health Aides & Personal Care Aides: This decade marks the beginning of the retirement age for the “Baby-Boomer” generation.  This will lead to a much greater need for in-home personal care assistance as this generation ages.  The jobs require minimal educational requirements and are projected to add 706,300 and 607,000 new jobs by 2020 respectively with a 2011 median pay of around $20,000 for each path.
  4. General Office ClerkAnother wide reaching occupation handling a wide range of administrative functions.  A modest educational requirement (high school diploma) combined with a variety of working environments highlight this career path projected to add 489,500 jobs by 2020 with a 2011 median pay of $29,190.
  5. Food and Beverage Serving and Related Work: The strength of this field lies in its low entry requirement and high voluntary turnover rate leading to ample job opportunities.  Most positions are taken on a part time bases or used as a stepping stone.  This industry is expected to add 398,000 jobs by 2020 with a 2011 median pay of $18,570.

The final question to ask yourself is whether these jobs are right for you.  Everyone is predisposed to having an easier time excelling at different career paths based on a number of differentiating personality factors.  The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® Assessment can prove to be an important asset in any career search. During a recession it is easy to be content with any job considering that many people that are currently unemployed or underemployed and would be content with any form of employment.  But it is also important to look down the line and see what will make you happy long term.  The ultimate goal is to have a job that is both in high demand and one that draws on your strengths and interests.

Many people are not sure what they want to do for work or they might not know what type of job best fits their personality and interests.  Others still might be in a position where their career is losing relevance or they simply feel like it is time for a change.  In this case, I would highly recommend that you take the Strong Interest Inventory® test.  It provides a highly personalized report painting a clear picture of how your specific interests and preferences link to various jobs, working environments, and career fields.  You can learn all about the Strong Interest Inventory test HERE.

Based on your results you will be able to more clearly identify your natural career focus.  I have found this test invaluable in my personal development and I hope it leads you to a career that you find both fulfilling and in demand.