For anyone entering the labor market, or worst – looking for a new job after having lost one – this can be a daunting time. Not only do you need a job, you need one that will last. This means finding a job in a recession-proof career. Where are your best prospects for finding a job that will always be in demand?
This is a topic that cries out for an Internet search. One of the best on-line sources of information is the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. A search for “Recession-proof careers” didn’t produce any results on its website, but there is a table of the “Fastest Growing Occupations, 2008 and Projected 2018” (http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_table_103.htm). This table was first published in the “November 2009 Monthly Labor Review” and was last modified on December 8, 2010. Thirty occupations are listed; the top ten are:
– Biomedical engineers
– Network systems and data communications analysts
– Home health aides
– Personal and home-care aides
– Financial examiners
– Medical scientists (except epidemiologists)
– Physician assistants
– Skin-care specialists
– Biochemists and biophysicists
– Athletic trainers
An analysis of these ten occupations shows that six are related to health care (biomedical engineers, home health aides, personal and home-care aides, medical scientists except epidemiologists, physician assistants, skin-care specialists), two are business-related (network systems and data communications analysts, financial examiners), one is scientific (biochemists and biophysicists), and the final occupation involves fitness (athletic trainers).
However, a disclaimer is in order: these ten categories provide the fastest growing occupations, not necessarily the most plentiful. For example, the athletic trainers field is projected to grow at 36.95%, but will provide only 6000 new jobs during the projected period.
A second information source is “Recession Proof Careers” at eHow.com (http://www.ehow.com/info_7736902_recessionproof-careers.html). Dated January 6, 2011, this article lists:
– Health care, “…traditionally one of the most recession-proof industries.” We always will need health care, especially if President Obama’s legislation adds tens of millions of uninsured Americans to the current system.
– Security services, also always be in demand, possibly even more so when other segments of the economy turn down.
– Sales, a field that might not readily come to mind, but eHow says “Companies rarely want to let go of employees who make them money. A good salesperson is an asset, not a liability, during hard times.”
– Computer science, still growing and “There is no end to the demand for new software, and hackers guarantee that companies will continue to need knowledgeable people to protect the integrity of their computer networks and maintain public trust.”
– Energy, where jobs are expected to increase, especially for green energy.
Another list, albeit a bit older (March 26, 2008), can be found at Kiplinger (http://www.kiplinger.com/columns/starting/archive/2008/st0326.htm). This list also starts out with health care and includes security, but also mentions the following fields:
– Education, “Just as everyone will always need a doctor, the need for teachers isn’t going away either.”
– Environmental sciences, where “environmental careers, including ecologists, hydrologists, environmental chemists and others, is expected to grow 25% over the next decade – much higher than the average for other occupations.”
– Government, especially the federal government, which hires across a broad range of disciplines and provides unusually stable employment.
Plus Kiplinger includes some ideas for people without college degrees. The best bets here are the hospitality, retail, electrician, and auto-mechanic fields.
There is one more strategy none of these sources mention that’s worth considering: create your own job! Many a person has been able to save themselves from financial oblivion by starting their own business. And best of all, your boss will never fire you!