There's a lot of talk about how students and job hunters should train for the "hot jobs." So, what are they? Too bad there's no easy answer. "Hot" can change quickly, even while pursuing a "hot" degree. "Hot" also can be in a beholder's eye. Utility companies, for example, need more workers to climb utility poles. If you're not able to do that, it doesn't matter if the field is open. Here's a field, though, that has possibilities for just about anyone: health care.
We're not talking medical school to become a physician, although more doctors are needed. We're talking an array of hands-on jobs, ranging from entering patient information into computers to drawing blood to checking in patients in doctors' offices to mopping floors at the end of the day.
Two of the hottest jobs in health are in nursing.
One involves direct patient care — of old people. More nurses at all levels of training are needed in geriatrics, partly because the baby boom generation is creating more old people and partly because they're living longer but aren't necessarily healthier.
The other booming area of nursing is in health informatics. That's where health care knowledge marries information technology to develop and use health information systems.
The particularly good news for health informatics is that training opportunities are plentiful at community colleges and for-profit schools. It's also a good career step for nurses who are burned out on direct patient care but can still apply their health care knowledge.
If patient care or computer work isn't your thing and never will be, you still can work in the health care sector.
Remember: Jobs in health care echo jobs in every industry — sales, marketing, communications, custodial, management, human resources, manufacturing and more.
Whatever you're doing now likely involves skills that are transferable to health care.
You have only to look at the job creation statistics throughout the recession and slow-growth recovery. When other industries were losing jobs, health care continued to be the big gainer.