The recession is lessening and people are slowly going back to work. That's what analysts are saying. But, it may be a different world of work for most folks. The opportunities for long-lasting and well-paying careers are changing and there are some major areas to focus on. • Because of aging worldwide populations, the fact that women make up half of the U.S. work force, and rapid technological growth, experts predict job growth will be strongest in these areas.
Jobs that focus on a 65-plus population. Health care, at-home health care, people who make medical assist instruments for the ill and elderly, and folks who provide specialized clothing for people with impairments are all going to find a niche. Elder care specialists — including medical doctors and nurses specializing in gerontology, nurse practitioners, nutritionists, psychologists, home health care aides, home health care nurses and technicians — will also be in demand.
Career counselors for people over 65. Many baby boomers have not saved enough for retirement, some have lost their pensions, and others just want to keep on working. Professionals will be needed who can steer these folks into the type of work they will enjoy and are best suited for.
Travel and personal care. Healthy older folks (there are more of them than any time in history) will also make increased demands on the travel industry — especially travel focused on education, adventure and the environment. And baby boomers will continue to try to look young and feel good for as long as possible. Beauty, nutrition, exercise and youthful appearance experts will be needed.
Child care and pre-K education specialists. Large numbers of moms, many single, are working full-time and more of them are well educated, holding demanding jobs. Expectations have skyrocketed and today's parents know that the first years of a child's life can set the tone for that child's educational success. Before-school and after-school care specialists, pre-K teachers, teachers for children with disabilities, and anyone with an expertise in early childhood learning will have an edge.
Technology centered careers. Programmers, people who design and develop computer software, website developers and designers, and defense, medical and other computer specialists, will be in high demand. Also, people with strong computer security skills are going to be sought after.
Biomedical and bioengineering. These folks combine biology with computer science and engineering. For example, there is a growing field for researchers who use biology and computer modeling as they look for which drugs are most effective against certain diseases. Others will be doing genetic research.
Robotic engineers. They will be in demand as the military and commercial industries come up with a myriad of uses for these devices. Environmental scientists and environmental engineers will also see their job opportunities grow globally as the world gets serious about environmental issues.
Sources: Smart Money magazine, Fast Company magazine, Forbes.com
Marie Stempinski is the founder and president of Strategic Communication in St. Petersburg. She specializes in public relations, marketing, business trends and employee motivation consulting. Look for Howtomotivateemployees.org, her new website, to launch in mid-June. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.