August 16, 2010

Digging Deeper Reveals the Truth About "Thriving" Careers

An article titled "Thriving (and Dying) Careers" is typical of the manipulation we're seeing from the media these days when it comes to jobs. It gives a false sense of hope by first mentioning some career areas that actually died years ago (Telegraph operators? Lamplighters? Why not mention buggy whip manufacturers too?), then comparing these antiquated jobs to modern careers that are supposedly good prospects for long-term employment:

Medical assistant: good luck surviving on an average of $14 an hour.

Budget analyst: a 15% growth rate in new jobs for budget analysts sounds impressive, but it works out to only 1,000 new jobs a year.....for the entire U.S.!

Marketing managers make the big bucks, and you usually need an MBA, but that 12% growth rate translates into only 2,190 new jobs per year in a country with 160 million working adults---good luck!

Dental assistants: not such high average pay at $16 an hour, but more opportunity at 10,000 new jobs a year. Probably the best of this sorry list of "thriving" careers.

Medical and Health Services Manager: with an average salary of $80K and only 4500 new jobs a year, your child better have a competitive spirit!

Registered nurse: this has been a favorite on the best jobs lists for several years now, but so many people responded to the demand that there are now more nurses than jobs in many cities.

Special ed teachers: some opportunities and good pay, but as the parent of a special needs child, I can tell you it takes a special person to be a special ed teacher. Most people are not cut out for it.

Computer Network Administrators: decent pay and some opportunities, but the writing's on the wall. This from the BLS itself:

"As computer networks expand, more of these workers may be able to perform their duties from remote locations, reducing or eliminating the need to travel to the customer’s workplace."

Translation: it's just a matter of time before these jobs are off-shored to cheaper labor overseas.

The upshot? Don't believe what you read about the jobs of the future. Dig deeper so you learn the true story, before you direct your children toward supposedly thriving careers.

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