“I’m looking for new career paths, but don’t want to persue a field that has a limited number of available positions and opportunities for growth. What are some sectors that are doing the most hiring now?” – Darren from Brunswick, ME
Thanks for your great question, Darren, and I commend you for having the foresight to think ahead about your employment future. When looking for job, it is important to know the current state of employment across the country. You should ask yourself: Who is hiring now? What skills do I need or training can I pursue to help land a job in those fields?
Currently, the following five industries are expanding and hiring more people:
- Health care
- Precision manufacturing
- Information technology
These sectors are broad and offer a full range of jobs from entry-level technician and specialists to positions that require PhDs. The Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW) at Georgetown University (Washington DC) has a great resource for learning more about these sectors and current hiring trends. Georgetown has also just released a hiring forecast report that looks at hiring trends through 2018.
Also, pay attention to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) related career paths, as these sectors are also predicted to grow at high rates over the next five years. The best way to research STEM jobs is to use the U.S. Department of Labor’s career planning website. In the “Find Occupations” box, select STEM Discipline and follow the prompts to explore the careers. This site will show you the specific skills needed and the potential salaries in those fields. Be sure to focus on those that say “bright outlook.”
At the same time, determining which sector is best for you is like the old real estate saying, “location, location, location!” While these are national trends, it is important to remember that all employers hire base on local trends. The best first step is to start reading the online job ads in your community. This will give you an immediate sense of which sectors are recruiting in your area. Are willing to relocate to find work? Look at the job opportunities available in areas where you could move.
I recommend looking for jobs at Indeed. This site picks up listings from several employment web sites and offers you the option to sort by state, town and type of employment. Look through the jobs every day for a few weeks – you will quickly learn about your local job market and whether or not you have the skills for those job opportunities. If you are willing to relocate, this site can also help you see if a community has the jobs you want.
Finally, I encourage you to contact your local Goodwill headquarters – many Goodwill agencies have workforce development and training opportunities targeted at fast-growing career fields in their communities. Visit http://locator.goodwill.org to get the name and number of the headquarters nearest you.