According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in technology and computer-related fields and health care are just a few of the industries expected to see large growth in the coming year.
With more companies dependent on technology, employees who are well versed in, and understand, digital technology concepts will have a leg up on their competitors.
According to the report “Kentucky Occupational Outlook to 2014,” many factors help to determine one’s success in the future workplace in Kentucky. However, education continues to be one of the most critical factors in gaining employment in a chosen field in the commonwealth. While there are many reasons other than money for selecting a career, traditionally, the more education you have the more money you can earn. In fact, the value of education has increased during the past 20 years, the report said.
Other observations from the report:
• The Kentucky economy is expected to average over 70,000 job openings annually between 2004 and 2014.
• Over the 2004-2014 decade, total employment is projected to increase by 235,900 jobs, or 12.2 percent.
• Obtaining a postsecondary degree offers increased job security and a greater potential for financial gain.
• A bachelor’s degree provides the largest number of job opportunities for those seeking postsecondary education.
• Occupations requiring short-term, on-the-job training account for almost one-third of the total average annual job openings.
The National Association of Colleges and Employers’s Job Outlook 2012 suggests that employers plan to hire nearly 10 percent more new college graduates in 2012 than they did in 2011.
The 2012 report is based on responses from 244 organizations that include General Electric Company, Ernst & Young and Raytheon Company.
That report lists the top five hot careers for 2012, and the labor department provides more information about each job or career.
1. Medical and health services manager
The hiring growth for medical and health services managers is projected to hit 16 percent between 2008 and 2018, according to the Department of Labor.
A master’s degree in fields like health services administration, health sciences, public health, or public administration could prepare you for this career. A bachelor’s degree might be sufficient for some entry-level positions in smaller facilities and departments.
Average salary: $93,670
The job growth for elementary school teachers is projected at 16 percent between 2008 and 2018.
Earning a bachelor’s in education and obtaining a teaching license may qualify you for most public school teaching positions.
Average salary: For elementary school teachers is $54,330
The accounting field is projected to increase hires by 22 percent between 2008 and 2018. A bachelor’s degree in accounting is considered the most common route of qualifying for entry-level accountant positions.
Average salary: $68,960
4. Network and computer systems administrator
From 2008 to 2018, the labor department projects a job growth of 23 percent for network and computer systems administrators.
Individuals might consider earning a bachelor’s degree in a computers or information technology (IT) program to qualify for most entry-level positions as a network and computer systems administrator.
Average salary: $72,200
5. Social worker
The job growth for social workers is projected to increase by 16 percent between 2008 and 2018. Those interested in a career as a social worker should consider pursuing a bachelor’s degree in social work, psychology or sociology.
Average salary: $52,270
The great news for local residents is that western Kentucky has a vast array of quality postsecondary educational opportunities available at institutions such as Murray State University, West Kentucky Community & Technical College and Mid-Continent University.
The beginning of the year is the perfect time to re-evaluate one’s education and job skill level to assure continued and future workplace success.
Additional source: National Association of Colleges and Employers, “Job Outlook 2012”
Janett M. Blythe, a former reporter for The Paducah Sun, has been director of public relations at West Kentucky Community & Technical College for 19 years.