Friday, October 29, 2010

A Bright Future Ahead: 6 Careers with Great Job Security

In today's uncertain economy, job security is more important than ever. While it's always important to have a job you enjoy, it's also critical to land a job you can hope to keep even when the economy fluctuates. That's why career changers of all ages are choosing to pursue degree programs and career training that will qualify them for secure jobs in thriving fields like health care and technology. Read on to find out about some top fields for job security, and how you can get your foot in the door.

Government Protection: Job Security in the Public Sector

When it comes to job security, there are few places safer than the nation's largest employer, the federal government. Government careers span the diversity spectrum, with opportunities in almost every field. In a survey of people seeking government gigs, job security was cited as the major pull, with health benefits and advancement opportunities a close second and third. Because competition for these jobs tends to be tougher in times of economic uncertainty, the right career training could be a key factor for your success.

Check out these great careers, with 2009 salaries and 2008-2018 job growth projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):

1. Public School Teacher

Average Annual Salary: $55,150 (secondary school level)
Projected Job Growth:
13 percent

Educating students is one job that can't easily be outsourced, as public school teachers know well. The best opportunities for teachers today are in subject specialties like math and science, or for teachers who work in urban or rural areas. Public school teachers are required to be licensed, which usually means holding a bachelor's degree in teaching.

2. Government Accountant

Average Annual Salary: $67,430
Projected Job Growth:
22 percent

Government accountants keep close records on government agencies' spending, and those who work for agencies like the IRS also audit private businesses or individuals. This is a detail-oriented profession that relies on business and mathematical smarts. A bachelor's degree in accounting is almost always required, and becoming a certified public accountant (CPA) is another factor that employers look for.

Technology Matters: Secure Careers for the Information Age

Careers dealing with computers and information technology are rapidly expanding in today's tech-centered world. Since both private households and companies large and small rely on technology for communications, entertainment, and more, technology has emerged as a vital industry. With the right degree program, you could land a position in a thriving tech niche.

Learn more about these top jobs, with 2009 salary and 2008-2018 growth projections from the BLS:

3. Network Systems and Data Communications Analyst

Average Annual Salary: $76,560
Projected Job Growth:
53 percent

As one of the fastest growing occupations in the U.S., network systems and data communications analysts have a long job title that can include many specialties, such as web development, computer network design, and telecommunications expertise. Most positions require a bachelor's degree in a computer related field, although some positions may be attainable with an associate's degree and relevant experience.

4. Computer Systems Analyst

Average Annual Salary: $80,430
Projected Job Growth:
20 percent

Making good use of their IT know-how, computer systems analysts help organizations large and small develop and maintain their computer systems. A bachelor's degree in an area like computer science or information science is often preferred for this kind of work. Because technology advances so rapidly, continuing career training is also a key component of the job.

Healthy Health Care Careers

By now, you've probably heard the hype about healthcare careers. As one of the largest industries in the United States, health care employs more than 14 million Americans, and is expected to employ 3.2 million new employees during the decade ending in 2018, according to the BLS.

These careers are projected to grow, and growth means job security for those who have already landed the job. Salaries and growth projection from the BLS:

5. Physical Therapist

Average Annual Salary: $76,220
Projected Job Growth:
30 percent

In a 2009 survey by CNNMoney.com, 96 percent of physical therapists reported that their jobs were secure. Physical therapists help patients of all ages who suffer from physical injuries or disabilities. This rewarding work typically requires a master's degree in physical therapy, as well as meeting the licensure or exam requirements of your state.

6. Registered Nurse

Average Annual Salary: $66,530
Projected Job Growth:
22 percent

This is one profession that tends to remain stable regardless of the economy, because sick people will always require qualified medical professionals to take care of them. Registered nurses make up the largest health care occupation, with 2.6 million employed in the U.S. To become an RN, you will need a bachelor's of science in nursing (BSN) or an associate's degree in nursing (ADN).

Whatever your passion, look for a niche in one of these secure fields and enjoy job security for years to come. The right degree program can get you on track to a solid future, so don't hesitate to make your career wishes a reality.

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