One of the biggest factors when choosing a career or considering a career change should be the availability of jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes a report of the top 30 fastest growing occupations every year in their Occupational Outlook Handbook. Computer-related jobs and careers in the health care industry are considered to be most likely to grow between 2006 and 2016.
Network systems and data communications jobs are expected to increase by 53.4 per cent between 2006 and 2016. These analysts, also known as network architects, design and maintain local area networks, wide area networks and other network systems. The majority of these jobs require a bachelor's degree in computer science or management information systems.
Continuing technology will increase the need for computer software engineers whose salaries are just under £65,000 per year. At least a bachelor's degree in computer science or computer engineering is required, and a master's degree is desired. This field is expected to increase by 44.6 per cent between 2006 and 2016.
The Medical Field
More than 750,000 additional personal and home care aid jobs are expected to be added between 2006 and 2016. The population of senior citizens will increase as baby boomers age, and more people will require home care. On-the-job training is typical, though some workers have associate's degrees in this field.
Another health care career requiring little training is that of medical assistant. A one-year certification program, or two-year associate's degree is needed. Medical assistants work in physicians' offices completing a variety of tasks, including administrative work, preparing patients for examination and collecting and preparing lab samples. 148,000 new jobs are projected.
Veterinarian technologists and technicians require only an associate's degree and a state certification. Hours are long and pay is fairly low (between £6 and £10 per hour), but people who enjoy working with animals may find great satisfaction in this career. Increased demand by pet owners for quality veterinarian care, along with a low graduation rate (around 3,000 graduates per year) make this career very fast-growing. Growth is expected to be 41 per cent.
Veterinarians are a few slots below technologists on the list, but this field is expected to grow 39.8 per cent. Veterinarians diagnose and treat animals and earn salaries in the £39,000 per year range. This career requires a doctorate in veterinary medicine, successful completion of board testing and a state license.
A few careers in the financial sector are projected to grow significantly. Personal financial advisers work with individuals to provide guidance with savings plans and retirement funds. As the baby boomer population approaches retirement, more advisers will be needed to meet demand. A bachelor's degree in finance or business is required; job growth is projected to be 41 per cent.
Financial analysts also acquire bachelor's degrees. This career is very similar to that of personal financial adviser, but these analysts work with companies and foundations instead of individuals. 75,000 new jobs are expected between 2006 and 2016.
Substance abuse and behavioural disorder counsellors are careers that will experience a 34.3 per cent increase. These counsellors assist people with personal, mental health and addiction problems. These jobs require a master's degree in psychology and a state license.