Most of us have heard the conventional wisdom: Become a lawyer, doctor or engineer if you want job security.
But in ever-changing times, that advice is somewhat restrictive and obsolete. There are burgeoning fields in all kinds of industries that are going to need more workers, and many of them don’t even require a college degree.
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We know this because of projections by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which makes predictions about which jobs will flourish and which will flounder over a decade-long period. And we know that the projections are accurate because employees at BLS check their work from past years.
In February, BLS released data on their projections for the fastest-growing occupations between 2006 and 2016, versus the actual rate of growth. For eight of the professions where BLS anticipated major growth, reality exceeded expectations.
For example, BLS projected a 34% growth in skincare specialists between 2006-2016, when in actuality that profession grew by 60%. Mental health counselors were supposed to go up by 30%; instead, they almost doubled that growth rate. BLS calculated that physical therapist assistants would grow by 32%, but in fact, they surged by 47%. The list goes on.
These recently released comparisons of projected versus actual job growth indicate that even during a recession that compromised the economy overall, BLS’ predictions were on the right track and even conservative. Which begs the question: Which professions are projected to grow fastest during this decade?
According to BLS, this honor belongs to solar photovoltaic installers, wind turbine service technicians, home health aides, and others. Between 2016-2026, mathematicians and statisticians are also on the rise, as are bicycle repairers and massage therapists.
Some of these jobs require a bachelor’s or master’s degree, but others only need a high school diploma or equivalent. All of them are expected to grow by at least triple the rate of all jobs, according to BLS.
So if you’re a cashier or secretary and you’re looking for a career change to an industry with job security, check out BLS’ projections. If history is any indication, chances are those are the paths to pursue.
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