Globalisation, competition, customer preferences and the economy change employment conditions for men and women of all ages and from different regions. Technology has allowed companies to create multinationals virtually overnight and hire people from all over the world without having to build expensive offices or maintain large operational staffs. However, one thing has remained constant: people will always need jobs to earn a living. The most common jobs are in management, information technology, administration and health care.
IT plays a critical role in almost all industries, which is why technology-based jobs are so common. Network system analysts design and maintain computer networks that are at the heart of global communications, including the Internet and corporate intranets. Software engineers design office productivity and enterprise planning tools that help businesses streamline their processes. Database administrators design hardware and software tools to manage and secure the vast amounts of data that flow through organisations every day.
Businesses create most of the jobs in the economy and require managers at different levels to supervise staff and oversee operations. General managers run departments, financial managers lead accounting and finance staff, and chief executives run companies and assume ultimate responsibility.
Administration and support
Businesses and government departments would cease to function without their secretaries, office managers and executive assistants. Administrative staff bring order to chaos and keep meetings, appointments and schedules on track. Support staff take care of logistical details as well as equipment and facility maintenance.
Sales and advertising
Sales and advertising professionals are responsible for driving sales growth. Sales representatives seek out potential customers, find out their requirements and help close deals. Advertising professionals design public relations and marketing strategies to increase awareness of the company's products and services.
Thousands of call centre jobs have been outsourced to low-cost locations. However, thousands more have been created at home for generating sales leads, providing customer support and conducting opinion research surveys.
Physicians and medical assistants
The ageing population, emergencies and the usual seasonal ailments mean that physicians and surgeons are always in demand. Doctors diagnose illnesses and prescribe medication. Medical assistants and health information technicians help doctors with diagnostic, therapeutic and administrative services.
Nurses provide comfort to the sick and solace to the dying. Nurses with specialised skills often take care of the terminally ill, the disabled and the mentally ill.
Pets are almost family and, for many, their only family. Vets perform routine tests and treat medical conditions in cats, dogs and other pets.
Teachers nourish the soul and shape the mind. They train the chief executives, astronauts, public servants and athletes of tomorrow. Some have specialised training for attending to students with special needs.
Pharmacists work with patients to fill their prescription requirements. They explain medication details, such as how many pills to take and when, and they also explain some of the possible side effects of drugs.