Top Jobs for 2009

Fast Company: Top Jobs for 2009
Top 5:
1) Nursing & Medical Services

Perhaps the best bet in 2009: Becoming a registered nurse or medical technician. With over 50,000 new nursing jobs to be created this year alone, med techs and nurses will have their pick of jobs and salaries, the latter averaging about $57,000 per year.

Social services jobs will see a boom too, as a swelling number of retirees check-in for medical care, says the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report. But not all health care jobs will see equal growth. "The growth here will be more about the services and delivery people--nurses and technicians--than administrators," Varelas explains. "Hourly workers interested in changing roles should get into any role that services the elderly," she suggests.

2) Computing & Engineering

Computer-related jobs are projected to grow by more than 20 percent in the next decade, and 2009 will be no exception. Software engineering is particularly in demand, with network systems and data communications analysis also booming. These jobs also had some of the highest median salaries in 2006, according to the BLS, with computer software engineers earning a median income of $79,000 a year.

These positions are expected to grow at nearly double the rate of other types of jobs, but that won't last forever. "As the software industry matures, and as routine work is increasingly outsourced abroad," fewer computing jobs will be available in the next decade, the BLS notes.

But for now, technology workers are still in high demand, says Varelas. Most of the open positions will be found at smaller companies, where employers will be looking for a versatile, multi-faceted worker that can fill more than one role. "You have to be a business person who's also a tech person," to be an ideal candidate, Varelas explains. That could give an advantage to seasoned workers over recent grads.

3) Education

"To a great extent, education is recession proof," says Roy Krause, President and CEO of recruiting and staffing company Spherion. In 2009, roughly 38,000 of our economy's new jobs will be created in colleges and universities nationwide. As more students wait out the recession in college and graduate programs, the need for teachers, administrators, assistants and other staff will expand.

The demand for primary and secondary-school teachers will be booming as well. "There always seems to be a shortage there," says Krause. Some of the most in-demand teaching roles will prepare workers for the most in-demand jobs. "There are literally not enough educational programs to generate the volume of health-care workers we'll need," Varelas explains. As high schools and universities expand to meet demand for nurses, computer engineers and teachers, the demand for teachers and professors will grow commensurately.

Post-secondary teachers can expect a media salary of about $56,000, according to the BLS, while kindergarten through 12th grade teachers can expect between $43,000 and $48,000.

4) Green Jobs

So-called "green" jobs haven't been measured in BLS reports to date, but some experts have predicted they'll shake up the list of the fastest-growing jobs before the end of the decade. "More and more companies are adding dedicated staff to focus their environmental efforts," says Alison Doyle,'s Guide to Job Searching. Green jobs are arriving in two breeds, she explains: some will be at specialized firms that reduce human environmental impact, like environmental consultancies; others will simply be jobs at environmentally-friendly companies looking to improve their eco-image by hiring specialized "green" officers to audit and improve the company's environmental impact.
Do any of these surprise you? Did you see your career on the list?

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