Friday, November 12, 2010

Hot Careers Through 2018 and Beyond

Find out which careers are expected to experience fast growth and offer plenty of opportunities.

By Yahoo! Education Staff

What are your top priorities for a new career?

-Good pay?
-Job security for the foreseeable future?

If a combination of all three is what you're looking for, you're in luck. Even in a tough job market, there are plenty of industries and jobs experiencing fast growth through 2018 - and beyond.

You can qualify for many of these jobs quickly with a degree or certificate program. Even better, you may not even have to leave your current job to do it, since many training programs are available online or on a part-time basis.

Are you ready to learn about some of the hottest careers? Check out these hot job opportunities through 2018 and beyond... then see how you can get started.

Hot Career #1: Accountant/Auditor

Accountants keep finances in order by taking care of things like overseeing cash flow and filing tax paperwork. Auditors analyze finances to ensure everything is being done according to the law.

Hot factors:

  • There were 1.3 million accountant and auditor jobs in 2008...
  • And the Department of Labor projects about 279,400 new positions to be added through 2018.
  • Changing financial laws, evolving regulations, and more detailed scrutiny of company finances mean fast job growth for accountants.

Training options:
Bachelor's degree in accounting
Bachelor's degree in finance

Median salary: $59,430

Hot Career #2: Medical Assistant

As a medical assistant in the growing health care field, you'll work to keep a hospital, clinic, or doctor's office running smoothly by keeping records and/or taking patients' vital signs.

Hot factors:

  • Medical assistants held a whopping 483,600 jobs in 2008, and that number is projected to grow...
  • In fact, medical assisting is one of the fastest growing jobs out there. The Department of Labor projects a 34 percent growth rate from 2008-2018.
  • More health care facilities are employing people who can do administrative as well as clinical work, which means more opportunities for medical assistants with the right training.

Training options:
Associate's degree in medical assisting
Medical assistant certificate program

Median salary: $28,300

Hot Career #3: Financial Examiner

As a financial examiner, you'll make sure that businesses follow financial laws and regulations. After recent financial scandals, there's lots of demand for workers who can help keep organizations finances in order and follow current regulations.

Why it's hot:

  • This job should grow much faster than average (41 percent more job openings) over the next few years.
  • Businesses are increasingly aware of the need to follow financial regulations.
  • More government oversight of the financial sector means more jobs.

Training options:
Bachelor's degree in accounting

Median salary: $70,930

Hot Career #4: Dental Assistant

Dental assistants should find lots of opportunities in this growing field to help patients care for their teeth and help the dentist with paperwork and equipment.

Why it's hot:

  • This in an in-demand job with 36 percent more openings predicted.
  • Population growth and increasing dental health for older people will drive the need for dental workers.
  • Dental patients are demanding flexible hours, so evening and weekend appointments mean more assistants will be needed.

Training options:
Associate's degree in dental assisting
Dental assistant certificate

Median salary: $32,380


Hot Career #5: Physical Therapist Assistant

If you want a stable career with rewarding work, this may be just the right fit for you. Assistants help patients recover after an injury or illness. They work directly with patients and perform support tasks like record-keeping.

Why it's hot:

  • As the baby boomers age, there will be more demand for physical therapy to recover from illness and injury.
  • Insurance companies are starting to cover more procedures, so more workers will be needed.
  • In fact, the Department of Labor expects to see fast growth in job openings for this position.

Training options:
Associate's degree in physical therapy
Physical therapy certificate

Salary: $46,140

Hot Career #6: Registered Nurse

Working in hospitals, clinics, and doctor's offices to keep patients healthy and treat illnesses and injuries is a job that's lucrative and fulfilling.

Why it's hot:

  • More emphasis on preventive care and aging baby boomers will drive demand.
  • Health care reform means more people will be insured, so more nurses will be needed.
  • Half a million new nurses will be needed by 2018.

Training options:
Associate's degree in nursing
Bachelor's degree in nursing
Nursing diploma

Median salary: $62,450


Hot Career #7: Computer Software Engineer, Applications

Designing and creating programs to run on digital devices - from laptops to cell phones - is a booming business. This field is expecting even further growth, especially in the mobile arena.

Hot factors:

  • It's one of the fastest growing careers... and with technology continually evolving, that's no surprise.
  • The Department of Labor predicts a 34 percent increase in jobs between 2008 and 2018.
  • They number of new jobs to be created: 175,100.

Training options:
Bachelor's degree in computer programming
Bachelor's degree in computer engineering

Median salary: $85,430

All salary data is from the U.S. Department of Labor, May 2008.

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