Top Jobs and Career Trends

Whether you’re about to graduate from high school or are a working adult looking for a career change, choosing a college major can be confusing. It can be challenging to select a career path that can match up with your personal passions while still putting food on the table. However, understanding the state of the job market and how it is predicted to change over the next several years can help narrow your search.

Using data compiled from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics and from major newspapers and magazines, we’re here to give you our predictions on the major players in the job market for 2014. We hope this can help you choose your career education wisely.

Top Ten Jobs for the Next Decade and Beyond

1. Computer Programmer

Even though many American companies actively recruit overseas workers for programming jobs, there is still plenty of work for qualified computer specialists right here in the United States. Security breaches and concerns about potential terrorism have heightened security at many companies. Because “offshoring” computer programming work poses so many security risks, many large employers have reverted to using in-house teams of programmers who can be monitored more carefully. A degree in computer forensics would allow you to become one of the monitors.

In addition, the development of new operating systems and common code bases has allowed many more industries to develop custom software solutions. A decade ago, many companies from wildly different fields might have used the same spreadsheet program. Today, developers with unique backgrounds build specialized applications like databases, point-of-sale systems, and customer relationship networks.

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2. Day Care Provider

Sad to say, many day care providers have struggled with low wages, high stress and poor job security. However, as many parents become more willing to pay higher premiums to facilities with excellent reputations and strong learning programs, many facilities are beginning to look for more professional candidates to employ. A professional in this industry may be in a better position to bargain for the working conditions they deserve if they have earned an early childhood education or child development degree.

View Related Career Training Programs:

  • Child Development Degree
  • Early Childhood Education

3. Elder Care Specialist

The parents of Baby Boomers typically relied on large families to share the burden of caring for elderly loved ones. With fewer children to care for them, Baby Boomers are turning, in record numbers, to professionally operated assisted living facilities. A far cry from much-maligned nursing homes of the past, senior communities often integrate luxury amenities like four-star dining, golf and live entertainment.

These facilities typically rely on teams of qualified health care specialists to look after the needs of residents. With government and consumer scrutiny of elder care facilities at an all-time high, facilities are looking for job candidates with proven skills and positive attitudes. Earning a degree in health information technology or a similar field may be useful to catch an employer’s eye.

View Related Career Training Programs:

  • Gerontology Degrees
  • Health Care Administration Degrees
  • Medical Assisting Courses

4. Employment Specialist

Caught between the demands of child care and elder care, more Americans have turned to employment agencies to arrange short term or flexible employment relationships. Likewise, companies that need to scale up or scale down their operations to comply with seasonal customer demand have outsourced their staffing needs to a growing number of professional agencies.

For people with strong interpersonal skills and a wide range of interests, this position offers the opportunity to connect eager employers with qualified workers. Not only does this career offer significant job satisfaction, it usually pays a commission on the income of placed workers. Therefore, a busy employment specialist can earn a significant income by using her natural matchmaking talents.

View Related Career Training Programs:

  • Human Resources Management Degrees
  • Human Resource Training

5. Environmental Engineer

With the rapid growth of previously small communities all across the country, many local governments and private developers must wrestle with the challenges of rising populations. At the same time, many of our country’s more established cities and towns must cope with crumbling infrastructure, such as outdated water and sewer lines or failing electrical supplies.

Environmental engineers play an important role in every community. They oversee new construction and renovation, assuring the preservation of natural resources and the safety of residents. With more stringent regulations on the books, many environmental engineers now work for developers and corporations that want to take a proactive approach to their business. By acting in the public interest, these companies can build strong relationships with customers while avoiding damaging fines or even prosecution.

View Related Career Training Programs:

  • Environmental Engineering Degrees
  • Environmental Science Degrees

6. Home Health Aide

Many aging Baby Boomers intend to live in their own homes for as long as possible. Likewise, many people who suffer from injuries or illness can avoid the huge expenses of a long hospital stay by recuperating at home. Both of these populations rely heavily on the work of home health aides to maintain their well being.

In many cases, home health aides are nurses who prefer to work in patients’ homes instead of in the stressful environment of a hospital or an assisted living facility. Frequently, home health aides benefit from flexible scheduling and short commutes, making this a solid career choice for parents of young children. Some aides can assist licensed professionals without holding a license themselves, offering excellent opportunities to earn income while still completing their degree program.

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  • Nursing Degree Programs
  • Medical Assistant Courses

7. Management Consultant

A growing number of companies prefer to seek outside help with specialized problems or challenges, rather than attempt to keep experts on their own staffs. As a result, consultants who build reputations for solving client problems can earn significant income by dropping in on clients around the world.

Once dominated by road warriors, the consulting arena has opened up to a variety of professionals, thanks to new networking technology. With qualifications and insight earned from years of experience and study, a consultant might work from home while helping clients all over the world.

Many professionals who have grown bored with their companies or with their careers can shake things up by setting up shop as a consultant. In fact, many consultants launch their practices while still holding down a day job or completing an advanced degree program.

View Related Career Training Programs:

  • Management Degrees
  • Business Management Courses

8. Networking Specialist

Unlike a traditional computer programmer, who focuses on solving problems with software, a networking specialist must figure out how to keep all of the various devices in an organization connected to each other. As networking grew from an offshoot of computer engineering into its own specialty, many professionals learned how to efficiently manage a company’s information flow through hidden cables and routers.

Technology continues to advance, so new and different jobs are constantly emerging. Today’s networking specialist, for example, must integrate wireless devices like phones, laptops, and pagers into their data structures. Whether working for a private employer, an Internet service provider, or a government agency, networking specialists must work on-site to install and maintain highly specialized equipment. With new generations of networking hardware emerging every few years, this is a professional role that can never be delegated to overseas workers.

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9. Physician’s Assistant

Students who enjoy medicine but do not wish to pursue a full medical degree have other options available to them, some of which are showing great potential. The career of physician’s assistant is one of these. These professionals perform tests, file reports and handle other routine tasks, freeing up doctors to spend more time diagnosing illnesses and researching cures. In some states, physician’s assistants can even prescribe medication. A physician assistant master’s degree program — a program that is generally less time-intensive, stressful and expensive than med school — can be sufficient for a role in this field.

View Related Career Training Programs:

  • Physician Assistant Degrees
  • Medical Assistant Programs

10. Social Services Coordinator

With more senior citizens applying for government benefits and many families leaving large cities for smaller towns, many government agencies and non-profit organizations seek qualified social services coordinators. These specialists work to ensure that residents of a community can take full advantage of assistance programs. They also monitor the safety and wellness of individuals, especially young children and older adults that could become the victims of abuse, crime, or fraud. An online social work degree can qualify you for this rewarding career.

View Related Career Training Programs:

  • Social Services Degrees

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