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top 20 fastest growing occupations in the US

Randall Twede
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 21, 2000
Posts: 4347
    
    2

maybe i didnt choose the "wrong" occupation after all.
from the fall schedule at my community college, they site the US Department of Labor Statistics as the source:
1. computer software engineers, applications
2. computer software support
3. computer software engineers, systems software
4. network and computer system administrators
5. network systems and data communications analysts
6. graphics designers
7. database administrators
8 personal and home care aids
9. computer systems analysts
10. medical assistants
11. social and human service assistants
12. physician assistants
13. medical records and health information technicians
14. computer and information systems managers
15. home health aides
16. physical therapists
17. occupational therapists
18. physical therapist assistants
19. audiologists
20 fitness trainers and aerobics instructors
[ August 04, 2003: Message edited by: Randall Twede ]

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Roy Tock
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 16, 2001
Posts: 83
Here's a later set of statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics: Top 20 fastest growing occupations in the US.
You can find more cool info in the BLS's Occupational Outlook Handbook.
frank davis
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 12, 2001
Posts: 1479
From the same site :
"The BLS projections were completed prior to the tragic events of September 11. While there have been numerous immediate economic impacts, the nature and severity of longer-term impacts remains unclear. At this time it is impossible to know how individual industries or occupations may be affected over the next decade. BLS will continue to review its projections and as the long-term consequences of September 11 become clearer will incorporate these effects in subsequent releases of the industrial and occupational outlook."
I believe the original projections were done around the year 2000. I think most of us know things have changed drastically for the worse in the IT industry since then. See the recent news about outsourcing where it is predicted to be a 10% reduction in IT jobs in 2004 due to outsourcing. This trend will increase as time goes on as Russia, China, and Phillipines develop their software industries. India, of course, has no plans to de-accelerate its growth in IT either. Hardly a week goes by when I don't hear about outsourcing displacing US jobs. Also see our Javaranch Discussion forum.
I think its irresponsible to be printing, posting, distributing and/or repeating the distortions/lies in the projections that started this thread.
[ August 05, 2003: Message edited by: herb slocomb ]
Anonymous
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Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
Any suggestion for herbal farming
Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 16303
    
  21

Originally posted by <Sameer Jamal>:
Any suggestion for herbal farming

You are making joke? I have seriously considered taking my herb garden commercial when I have to give up on Java. Soil around here grows wonderful hot peppers and very sweet basil. The sweet onions of Vidalia Georgia are world-famous, and they grow them commercially around here, too (though they're no longer allowed to use the Vidalia name).


I think "lies and distortions" is a bit harsh. But it's true - I wouldn't believe stale job projections. Things have changed too much.
Besides, there's the "need for skills" vs. "job openings". World-wide, IT demand is rising. It's just that in the US the hiring has flatlined.


Customer surveys are for companies who didn't pay proper attention to begin with.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Of course, anyone who blindly looks at the list (any version) and picks a new profession deserves to be laid off (although I'm sure Randall isn't one of those people--I post this for others who might peruse this forum). The list only projects out 10 years. Hell, I'm sure software jobs were very well ranked during most of the 90's, and probably for much of the 80s, too. Their statistics don't go out past 10 years. If you simply pick a profession based on those numbers, in 10 years you might find yourself back in the unemployment line when the wind shifts. In short, there is no special list providing "safe jobs."
--Mark
frank davis
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 12, 2001
Posts: 1479
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:
Of course, anyone who blindly looks at the list (any version) and picks a new profession deserves to be laid off (although I'm sure Randall isn't one of those people--I post this for others who might peruse this forum). The list only projects out 10 years. Hell, I'm sure software jobs were very well ranked during most of the 90's, and probably for much of the 80s, too. Their statistics don't go out past 10 years. If you simply pick a profession based on those numbers, in 10 years you might find yourself back in the unemployment line when the wind shifts. In short, there is no special list providing "safe jobs."
--Mark

This list was distributed/posted at a Community College and students ARE influenced by such lists in choosing amongst various careers. Using that list, published under the authority of the US government, to help in the career decision making process is not irresponsible of a student, but rather being responsible. Who else is the students going to trust - the even more outrageous lies propounded by various IT/Tech schools? We in the IT field know better and those at the career guidance center at the schools should know better, but we can't expect every student to know the actual and seemingly bleak future of the IT industry. That list is a distortion and should not be distributed at this point in time.
Ashok Mash
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 13, 2000
Posts: 1936
Originally posted by herb slocomb:

.. but we can't expect every student to know the actual and seemingly bleak future of the IT industry.

I agree. I know someone who tooks Maths major, just because it was the FIRST of the four groups! No kidding!!


[ flickr ]
Matt Cao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 715
Hello,
Specially today students, if they blindly follow what others said without knowing ways to cross check information, they are lost touches with their generation -- internet savvy.
Hi Tim,
I met an unemployed engineer in Texas about 15 years ago, he grew green bean sprout on air without touching the soil sold his idea to American company for closer to million dollars. He did not tell me how much he invested in the idea.
Do some research related to herbal garden, you may hit the jackpot too.

Regards,
MCao
[ August 05, 2003: Message edited by: Matt Cao ]
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by herb slocomb:

This list was distributed/posted at a Community College and students ARE influenced by such lists in choosing amongst various careers. Using that list, published under the authority of the US government, to help in the career decision making process is not irresponsible of a student, but rather being responsible.

Read my posting carefully, I wrote "anyone who blindly looks at the list..." It is important to do research; but it is even more important to know the limits of that research. This list is not an oracle. It is merely the best estimates of job growth sectors. Sometimes estimates are wrong; understanding how those estimates are derived is important.
Even more important is taking the long term view. This is a mistake I believe many have made recently. Thousands of recent grads felt mislead when the IT market turned sour. Very few industries boom for more then a decade. Even the most promising industry may be depressed 20 years from now. Students should choose wisely, hedge their bets, and constantly reasses economic currents.

--Mark
stara szkapa
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 27, 2003
Posts: 321
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:

Thousands of recent grads felt mislead when the IT market turned sour. Very few industries boom for more then a decade. Even the most promising industry may be depressed 20 years from now. Students should choose wisely, hedge their bets, and constantly reasses economic currents.

If thousands felt mislead don�t you think there is evidence they were mislead. Or maybe you believe in telepathy. Sure students should choose wisely, but is it fare game young people from different backgrounds against governments and schools crying out the economy will crumble because we are short hundreds of thousands of IT workers?
frank davis
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 12, 2001
Posts: 1479
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:

Read my posting carefully, I wrote "anyone who blindly looks at the list..." It is important to do research; but it is even more important to know the limits of that research. .... Students should choose wisely, hedge their bets, and constantly reasses economic currents.

--Mark

No one ever advocates 'blindness', ignorance, or studpidity in any endeavor, let alone career choices, so I'm not sure what we are disagreeing about. My point is simple : Public/governmental agencies should not be distributing misleading information. If we can't agree on that, we will never agree on anything.
The second minor point is that even responsible and relatively wise students may be deceived to at least some extent by such false projections. For one thing it comes from under the authority of the US govt, supposedly with less bias than other organizations who have a more direct profit motive to lie. Also, if one were to investigate in depth every single source of information one receives regardless of the whether the source appears reliable or not, then you become limited simply by time in the number of sources you can consider. The real world requires quantity and quality of information with tradeoffs being made to find an optimal balance between the two. Projections by a governmental agency could reasonably be assumed to be less biased than those by the local Tech Training school and should require less scruntiny accordingly. 18 year olds can make mistakes in evaluating how much to investigate every source of information because they're only 18 years old. Why throw a stumbling block in front of them as they make life changing decisions??? Its a disgrace that community colleges would be doing such a thing.
Regarding the comments of those US projections being limited to 10 years; are there any other projections you know of that are for more than 10 years?
If thats the longest term projection you can find anywhere by anyone somewhat unbiased, wouldn't it be more responsible to give it some more weight than the shorter term projections, all other things being equal??
[ August 06, 2003: Message edited by: herb slocomb ]
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by stara szkapa:

If thousands felt mislead don?t you think there is evidence they were mislead.

No, not at all. No one told them to go into this profession. When schools showed starting salaries and placement rates they were being honest--the numbers really were that good. That's just good marketing. Mislead is when you conceal information or lie. The schools has no more knowledge then the average person on the street as to the future of IT.
Originally posted by herb slocomb:

No one ever advocates 'blindness', ignorance, or studpidity in any endeavor, let alone career choices, so I'm not sure what we are disagreeing about. My point is simple : Public/governmental agencies should not be distributing misleading information. If we can't agree on that, we will never agree on anything.
...
Regarding the comments of those US projections being limited to 10 years; are there any other projections you know of that are for more than 10 years?
If thats the longest term projection you can find anywhere by anyone somewhat unbiased, wouldn't it be more responsible to give it some more weight than the shorter term projections, all other things being equal??

I'm nt quite sure what we're disagreeing about either--it seems to be maybe whether or not government reports are misleading. The government did not, to my knowledge, distribute misleading information. Much like the colleges I cited above, they gave their best estimates. If anyone knew the IT market would tank, they probably kept mum so they could short all the tech stocks.
I believe the government generates these reports using the information available and in the interested of public good. As for the 10 year timeframe, I think that's fine. My main point wasn't about the process (since I honestly don't know how the numbers are crunched); but rather that all data has limitations. Even if you assume perfect models, it expires after 10 years. Since most people work for 40 years, they simply cannot view this as a treaure map. They should give it extra weight because the government is unbiased (preumably) and has lots of resources with which to attack this problem. Even so, it cannot predict 40 years into the future. But there are undoubtedly some who will assume they can.
--Mark
frank davis
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 12, 2001
Posts: 1479
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:

The government did not, to my knowledge, distribute misleading information--Mark

The information being distributed at this point in time, given current trends and existing conditions existing in the IT field for programmers in the US, gives an unrealistic (misleading, distorted, lying, inaccurate, etc) depiction. The information is outdated. Their web site even gives some hints of admission that it may be in need of revision since 9/11. My problem is not so much that a Federal govt dept is 2 years tardy in revising their data, but that Community Colleges would be distributing/posting such lists, especially when students may come in for career counseling.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by herb slocomb:

The information being distributed at this point in time, given current trends and existing conditions existing in the IT field for programmers in the US, gives an unrealistic (misleading, distorted, lying, inaccurate, etc) depiction. The information is outdated. Their web site even gives some hints of admission that it may be in need of revision since 9/11. My problem is not so much that a Federal govt dept is 2 years tardy in revising their data, but that Community Colleges would be distributing/posting such lists, especially when students may come in for career counseling.

OK, so I think we both agree that it's not reasonable for the government to immediately update this. Such a report is a very bureaucratic process; it's political, too. It probably takes a few years to put out--assuming they had the funding for it. (It's very hard to shift government funds allocated from one project to another.)
So the question is whether the colleges are right or wrong for doing this. I think they're right for doing it. Personally I don't think 9/11 has that much impact in the list. That is to say, whil security is probably a much bigger field, and maybe airline growth will decline, by and large, occupations 1-5 will still grow much much more then occupations 60-65. nurses, customer care, waiters, etc will all increase. 9/11 is unlikely to change that.
Of course, that's just my opinion, I'm sure others disagree. There's no way we can know how is right because 9/11 was such a unique event--we have no models to work with. So that leaves two options:
1) Scrap the data and tell the students to decide blind.
2) Provide the data, assume students have some clue about the historical impact of 9/11 and let them make their own decision. This goes to my earlier point about understanding the limits of the research. Obviously the research didn't take 9/11 into account. Discount the list as you see fit. In this way, the schools let you decide what information to accept and what to discount.
When you see an ad on TV, do you blindly believe 4 out of 5 dentists really prefer that gum? We know the testing was done over favorable conditions, and we take the report with a grain of salt. On the other hand, when an ad says that it received a government rating of X, we know the test was done more objectively, so we might put more stock in it. Community colleges are advertising just like everyone else.

--Mark
frank davis
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 12, 2001
Posts: 1479
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:.

...
Personally I don't think 9/11 has that much impact in the list.
...

I was unclear. Its not the 9/11 event by itself that was the chief reason for the list needing revision, but that the IT environment has gotten worse post 9/11 for many factors totally unrelated to the 9/11 attack. 9/11 is just a convenient historical marking point of where things got noticeably worse for everyone in IT (except security). Things were going bad before 9/11 and after 9/11, the 9/11 attack just gave a little extra push in the bad direction as well.

...
On the other hand, when an ad says that it received a government rating of X, we know the test was done more objectively, so we might put more stock in it. Community colleges are advertising just like everyone else.
--Mark

As public tax supported institutions, Community Colleges should be more accountable to the public. They should not act or advertise "just like everyone else".
Students, some of whom are just 18 years old, are likely to be unduly influenced by a job list which would seem to have some tacit approval from both federal and state governmental (Community Colleges are usaully regulated by the State to a large degree) insitutions.
Should the list be totally banned from Campus? No, but on the other hand neither should it be distributed without explaination to every student as they walk into a career guidance center. Based on my past experiences, the career center is likely to have a stack of these lists photocopied and prominently placed for students to pick up as they walk in.
frank davis
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 12, 2001
Posts: 1479
Originally posted by Randall Twede:
maybe i didnt choose the "wrong" occupation after all.

from the fall schedule at my community college, they site the US Department of Labor Statistics as the source:

1. computer software engineers, applications
2. computer software support
3. computer software engineers, systems software
4. network and computer system administrators
5. network systems and data communications analysts
6. graphics designers
7. database administrators
8 personal and home care aids
9. computer systems analysts
10. medical assistants
11. social and human service assistants
12. physician assistants
13. medical records and health information technicians
14. computer and information systems managers
15. home health aides
16. physical therapists
17. occupational therapists
18. physical therapist assistants
19. audiologists
20 fitness trainers and aerobics instructors

[ August 04, 2003: Message edited by: Randall Twede ]


I still see basically the same list even though common sense and http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=562&e=1&u=/ap/20040914/ap_on_hi_te/tech_job_slump suggest otherwise
Warren Dew
blacksmith
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Joined: Mar 04, 2004
Posts: 1332
    
    2
herb slocomb:

I still see basically the same list

I didn't. I Googled for "BLS fastest growing job categories" and I found a rather different list:



http://www.bls.gov/emp/emptab3.htm

So now I have to agree that the community college in question was being irresponsible by using obsolete information - as are any others publicizing that list without providing the caveats. The above list is more recent, but I think it's more useful as an illustration of how fast the categories can change in just a couple of years than as a projection to believe in - most ten year projections are very fuzzy.

[edits to clean up columns]

[ September 14, 2004: Message edited by: Warren Dew ]
[ September 14, 2004: Message edited by: Warren Dew ]
Billy Tsai
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Joined: May 23, 2003
Posts: 1304
I would hightech weapons companies have lots of opportunity.
in aerospace industry maybE?


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Oracle Certified Master Java EE 5 Enterprise Architect
frank davis
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 12, 2001
Posts: 1479
Originally posted by Warren Dew:
[QB]herb slocomb:I still see basically the same list

I didn't. I Googled for "BLS fastest growing job categories" and I found a rather different list: ...
[QB]


Basically the same list in respect to still listing Computer Software Engineers in the top 10 and also in still giving an unrealistic growth rate ( 45-46%). Projected increases are guesses and we need to give allowances for that, but still, the data over the last 3 years shows a significant negative growth rate (-18%) and that negative rate isn't all fallout from the dotcom bust and therefore likely to be reversed to anything like or near 45%. The fact that this contraction has been occuring over 3 years and with the obvious trend of outsourcing, means that listing software jobs in the top ten is still very irresponsible. Even if the outsourcing trend were to stabilize at current rates (some companies are bringing the work back) instead of wildly increasing (this could happen as China, Russia, and others develop) the 45% is still beyound naive.
Joe King
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 02, 2003
Posts: 820
It'd probably be best not to pick a career from that list, as umpteen million other people probably will do so and flood the market. A similar thing has happened with IT in the UK. During the dotcom boom thousands signed up for IT degrees and now there are too many people applying for too few jobs. As it takes 3/4 years for people to come out of uni, the dotcom boom turned to bust just as all of these budding IT workers came onto the market. I graduated not that long ago, and out of the 50 people who got an IT related degree in that year only myself and one other person managed to get a job in IT (my job was more through luck than anything else).

A better tactic would be to not look for the industry that is currently at the top of its growth, but for the industry that will be in a few years. An even better tactic would be to just get a job in the industry that most matches your skills
[ September 16, 2004: Message edited by: Joe King ]
frank davis
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 12, 2001
Posts: 1479
Originally posted by Joe King:


An even better tactic would be to just get a job in the industry that most matches your skills

[ September 16, 2004: Message edited by: Joe King ]


And if your skills or your industry is on the way to being obsolete? The bulk of all manufacturing based jobs are leaving the US. That cuts across multiple skills, skill categories, and industries. There are also many other examples of technological based obsolesence. So it is not a simple matter of doing what you are skilled at or like.

The crucial issue is always which skills to obtain, or to plan to obtain, in the first place. About 12 years ago I was working in a social worker type position with a meager salary and without much chance of advancement. I simply wanted a modestly better life with a life time career. I was responsible. I read and asked everyone who seemed as if they would know about careers and growth prospects for careers. Nearly everyone pointed to the Occupational Outlook Handbook as if it were the gold standard. There really was and is no other source that is regarded by career counselors and professors in such high regard. I wasn't looking for a career that was booming, I was looking for something that had long term prospects that I could hopefully spend my life in. I was willing to retrain and expend whatever effort was necessary. I had taken a few IT courses previosuly and did have an interest in the field. I did not simply look at a list and pick the #1 career since I wanted to enjoy what I was doing. Yet I also did not want to struggle finding a job for the rest of my life. The list did influence my decision and I see nothing irresponsible in trying to have a lasting career based on the seemingly best information available.

I was lucky perhaps since I did get some breaks and have an IT job now. In my last job I was applying for an entry level position after having had 8 years experience. So in another sense, my luck has not been so great... I remember waiting in the waitng room prior to that last interview. I talked with another applicant who was going for the same position. I asked about his experience. He said he had none and thought he had a chance because it was an entry level position... I feel for that applicant because he may have been just like me. He did do his research and he did ask career counselors. He worked hard in the evenings after his regular job to get re-trained, and now this... Certainly -18% is a far cry from the 45% growth market the experts had lead him to believe.
 
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