There’s no crystal ball that can reveal which fields and occupations will die or thrive in the years to come—but that doesn’t mean there’s a lack of knowledge about what to expect from the future job market. Every day, occupational experts like Laurence Shatkin analyze trends in the labor market and interpret how these trends might affect people’s careers—now and in the future.
In the recently released tenth edition of Top 100 Careers Without a Four-Year Degree, Shatkin identifies these labor market trends and explains how they can have a profound effect on a person’s success in the job search and their career:
Education pays: It’s no secret that people who have more education and training generally earn more than those with less, but the advantages don’t stop there. According to Shatkin, “Jobs that require education and training beyond high school are projected to grow significantly faster than jobs that do not. People with higher levels of education and training are less likely to be unemployed, and when they are, they remain unemployed for shorter periods of time. There are always exceptions, but it is clear that more education results in higher earnings and lower rates of unemployment.”
Knowledge of computer and other technologies is increasingly important Shatkin explains that in all fields, people without job-related technical or computer skills tend to have a more difficult time finding good opportunities because they are competing with others who do have these skills. “Employers hire people who have the skills they need, and people without these abilities won’t get the best jobs. So, whatever your age, consider upgrading your job-related computer and technology skills if they are not up to date—and plan to keep them current on your present and future jobs,” he adds.
Ongoing education and training are essential According to Shatkin, rapid changes in technology have prompted the requirement for people to continue learning throughout their work life. He says, “Jobs are constantly upgraded, and today’s jobs often cannot be handled by people who have only the knowledge and skills that were adequate for workers a few years ago. To remain competitive, you will need to constantly upgrade your technology and other job-related skills. This may include taking formal courses, reading work-related magazines at home, signing up for on-the-job training, or participating in other forms of education.”
Career planning is more important than ever “Most people spend more time watching TV in a week than they spend on career planning during an entire year. Yet most people will change their jobs many times and make major career changes five to seven times. For this reason, it is important for you to spend time considering your career options and preparing to advance,” explains Shatkin.
In addition to covering these labor market trends and many others, Shatkin provides a wealth of other occupational information throughout Top 100 Careers Without a Four-Year Degree, Tenth Edition. The book overviews 100 careers that do not require a bachelor’s degree. These job descriptions include information about each job’s pay, outlook, education requirements, skills needed, and much more. The book also includes checklists and a “Job-Match Grid” that helps readers assess their skills and match them to the occupations in the book. A bonus section gives readers results-oriented career planning and job search advice. Readers will learn how to develop a “skills language,” take advantage of the most effective job search methods, prepare for interviews, and more.
About Laurence Shatkin, Ph.D. Laurence Shatkin, Ph.D., has 30 years of experience in the career information field, presents and blogs on career issues, and is the author of dozens of career books. As a leading occupational expert, he has shared his knowledge on national news programs and in hundreds of print publications and online articles.
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About this Examiner: Kathryn Marion is the award-winning author of GRADS: TAKE CHARGE of Your First Year After College!, the most comprehensive resource for navigating the world of work and independent living after graduation, as well as host of the book’s companion resource site, www.GradsTakeCharge.com. The print edition of GRADS: TAKE CHARGE is available through Amazon and other online booksellers. The e-book edition is available through e-junkie.
Kathryn also coaches students, graduates, and career changers as well as consults with small businesses and aspiring authors. Follow her other Examiner columns: College-to-Career and Life After College.