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The Workforce of Tomorrow - Which Will Be The Best Jobs?

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Many criteria are used for determining job quality. Occupational characteristics generally accepted as a measure of future job quality include whether the number of jobs in that field will increase, how much the position pays, and whether a high percentage of those in that field are unemployed. In addition, individuals have personal desires and values that bring other factors into play in determining job quality, such as opportunities for self-employment for those who want to be their own boss or the opportunity to travel.

Figure 5.16 shows twenty high-paying occupations generally requiring a bachelor's degree or higher that are predicted to have the fastest projected employment growth over the 2004 to 2014 period. Most of these high-growth occupations have high earnings and low unemployment rates, although employment opportunities, especially in fields like education, will vary from state to state depending on population trends.

Workers who responded to a Gallup survey in August 2005 cited various reasons they liked or loved their jobs, giving insight into the attributes that can make a job satisfying. According to the poll, of people who said they "loved" their jobs, 19% reported that they like what they do or that the job is what they FIGURE 5.12 Change in employment in the top 20 large-growth occupations that often require a bachelor's degree, projected 2004–14 "Numeric Change in Employment in the Top 20 Large-Growth Occupations that Often Require a Bachelor's Degree, Projected 2004–14," in "Occupational Employment," in Occupational Outlook Quarterly, Winter 2005–06, http://www.bls.gov/opub/ooq/2005/winter/art02.pdf (accessed February 7, 2006)wanted to do; 14% loved their jobs because of their co-workers; 14% reported that they loved their jobs because they involved working with children; 13% cited helping the public as the reason they loved their jobs; and 11% loved the variety of tasks involved in their jobs. For those who "liked" their jobs, the top FIGURE 5.13 Change in employment in the top 20 large-growth occupations that often require an associate degree or post-secondary vocational award, projected 2004–14 "Numeric Change in Employment in the Top 20 Large-Growth Occupations that Often Require an Associate Degree or Post-Secondary Vocational Award, Projected 2004–14," in "Occupatoinal Employment," in Occupational Outlook Quarterly, Winter 2005–06, http://www.blso.gov/opub/ooq/2005/wienter/art02.pdf (accessed February 7, 2006)FIGURE 5.14 Change in employment in the top 20 large-growth occupations that often require work experience or long-term on-the-job training, projected 2004–14 "Numeric Change in Employment in the Top 20 Large-Growth Occupations that Often Require Work Experience or Long-Term on-the-Job Training, Projected 2004–14," in "Occupatioinal Employment," in Occupational Employment," in Occupatinal Outlook Quarterly, Winter 2005–06, http://www.bls.gov/opub/ooq/2005/winter/art02.pdf (accessed February 7, 2006)reasons were that they liked what they do (18%); they liked working with their fellow employees (12%); they enjoyed helping the public (12%); they liked interacting with or meeting people (10%); they liked the flexible schedule (9%); and they liked the pay (9%). Of those who loved their jobs, only 4% said it was because of the pay.

FIGURE 5.15 Change in employment in the top 20 large-growth occupations that often require short- or moderate-term on-the-job training, projected 2004–14 "Numeric Change in Employment in the Top 20 Large-Growth Occupations that Often Require Short-or Moderate-Term on-the-Job Training, Projected 2004–14." In "Occupational Employment," in Occupational Outlook Quarterly, Winter 2005–06, http://www.bls.gov/opub/ooq/2005/winter/art02.pdf (accessed February 7, 2006)

Employment Prospects

According to BLS projections, the professional and business services sector will add about 4.6 million jobs between 2004 and 2014. Among the occupations within this sector, computer engineers and systems analysts jobs are expected to grow rapidly in order to satisfy expanding FIGURE 5.16 Change in employment in the top 20 large-growth occupations that often require a bachelor's or graduate degree, projected 2004–14 "Numeric Change in the Top 20 Large-Growth, High-Paying Occupations that Often Require a Bachelor's or Graduate Degree, Projected 2004–14," in "Occupational Employment," in Occupational Outlook Quarterly, Winter 2005–06, http://www.bls.gov/opub/ooq/2005/winter/art02.pdf (accessed February 7, 2006)needs of scientific research and applications of computer technology. Many employment opportunities will arise during the next decade from the creation of new jobs in the health care and social services sector. This sector will add 4.3 million jobs by 2014, with personal care aides and home health aides in great demand to provide care for an increasing number of elderly people and for people who are recovering from surgery and other serious health conditions. Employment of registered nurses, too, is expected to increase by more than 700,000 jobs.

However, employment prospects are influenced by more than the rate of growth within an industry. New workers are also needed to replace those who leave an FIGURE 5.17 Job openings by major occupational group, projected 2004–14 "Job Openings by Major Occupational Group, Projected 2004–14," in "Occupatioinal Em ployment," in s, Winter 2005–06, http://www.bls.gov/opub/ooq/2001/winter/art03.pdf (accessed February 7, 2006)occupation. Between 2004 and 2014, it is expected that the need for replacement workers will create more jobs than will the addition of new positions to the labor market. (See Figure 5.17.)

For example, although production industries are not expected to add more than 385,000 new jobs to the labor market, there will be a need for more than 2.5 million workers to replace those who retire or leave the industry. That accounts for a total of more than 2.9 million jobs, even in a low-growth industry. In the service occupations sector, where almost 5.3 million jobs are expected to be added to the labor market by 2014, there will also be nearly eight million jobs available to replacement workers.

LARGEST DECLINE IN EMPLOYMENT

An occupation's employment total can decline because it is concentrated in a declining industry or because of changes to occupational staffing patterns. Office automation and other technological advances, declining industry employment, and changing legislation have adversely affected the occupations with the largest projected employment declines. According to the BLS in Occupational Outlook Quarterly (winter 2005–06), production and agriculture-related jobs, such as sewing-machine operators (−93,000 jobs) and farmers (−155,000), are examples of occupations that will lose employment between 2004 and 2014 due to declining needs in some goods-producing industries. Employment among such traditional administrative occupations as file clerks (−93,000 jobs), order clerks (−63,000 jobs), secretaries (−48,000 jobs), and typists (−30,000 jobs) will decline dramatically because of productivity improvements in office automation and the increased use of computer technology by professional and managerial employees. (See Figure 5.18.)

FIGURE 5.18 Decline in employment by occupation, projected 2004–14 "Numeric Decline in Employment, Projected 2004–14," in "Occupational Employment," in Occupational Outlook Quarterly, Winter 2005–06, http://www.bls.gov/opub/ooq/2005/winter/art02.pdf (accessed February 7, 2006)

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over 9 years ago

You reference Figure numbers such as 5.18 but there does not seem to be any access to these figure which I was hoping was charts for lists. Is there a way of seeing these figures referenced?