Five Recession-Proof Careers for a Tight Economy by hkksew3563rd


									?The news keeps coming in, and it's not encouraging. Declining home prices and the
resulting slowdown in the American economy have put manufacturers, investment
bankers, and retail employees out of work. With less to spend on luxuries--and less
credit from banks and lenders to draw on for large purchases--less money is
circulating through the market. Industry analysts fear that this cycle could have long
ranging effects on the U.S. job market. Fortunately, there's a light at the end of the

Ethan Harris, chief United States economist for Lehman Brothers, describes the U.S.'s
current economic woes as a "slow-motion recession." According to Harris, "In a
normal recession, things kind of collapse and you have nowhere to go but up. But
we're not getting the classic two or three negative quarters. Instead, we're expecting
two years of sub-par growth."

In the meantime, job seekers can look to other parts of the economy for career security.
According to outplacement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas, at least five areas
should see steady growth and offer excellent career prospects in the coming years.

Recession Proof Career # 1: Healthcare
Health care is one area of the economy where growth has been little affected by the
credit crunch. Employment of nurses has remained especially high: currently the
largest healthcare occupation (employing 2.5 million), nurses are expected to add
another 587,000 new jobs to the workforce by 2016. In 2007, registered nurses earned
a median salary of $60,010.

The need for new applicants has grown at such an alarming rate that many employers
are recruiting workers laid off in other sectors of the economy. Faced with a growing
patient population, Clair Young, chief nursing officer at the Cleveland Clinic, wants to
add 300 new nurses to her staff of 3,800. The applicants are being lured from other
parts of the economy with tuition reimbursement and flexible schedules.
"Unfortunately," says Young, "one of (our) strategies is capitalizing on the recession."

Recession Proof Career #2: Energy
With high demand for fuel causing widespread uproar, energy companies have
generated tremendous profits and may need to expand their workforces. In February,
Exxon Mobil posted the highest profits ever recorded by a company, with net income
rising 3 percent to $40.6 billion (The company's $404 billion in sales exceeded the
gross domestic product of 120 countries). Reacting to backlash from groups disgusted
at the high profits, Exxon revealed the scope of its investment in discovering and
developing new sources of energy: more than $80 billion between 2002 and 2006, and
an additional $20 billion in 2008.

The turmoil of gas prices and the effort to implement alternative fuel sources have
spawned tremendous growth in environmental engineering. According to the Bureau
of Labor Statistics (BLS), environmental engineers should expect employment growth
"much faster than average" through 2016, with an estimated 25 percent more jobs to
open in the field. Job seekers can take advantage of these projected openings by
earning a bachelor's degree in environmental engineering. And if tuition costs have
you pondering the decision, keep in mind that environmental engineers earned a
median salary of $72,350 in 2007.

Recession Proof Career #3: Education
Over the coming decade, careers in education--higher education in particular--are
expected to remain stable. Fred Crowley, economist of the University of Colorado at
Colorado Springs, notes that UCCS typically enrolls more graduate students during a
recession. And though during the last recession the university coped with hiring
freezes and frozen wage increases, Crowley noted, "No one actually lost their jobs

In K-12 education careers, opportunities are likewise expected to remain welcoming.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, increased retirement, higher
student enrollment, and teacher turnover should add 2.8 million teachers to the
workforce over the next eight years, with the greatest gains at the preschool and
kindergarten levels. Though surprising to some, kindergarten teachers earned a
median salary of $45,120 in 2007.

Recession Proof Career #4: Security
Though the economy may have its ups and downs, the importance of local and
national security personnel remains constant. The Department of Defense and the
Department of Homeland Security may need to fill an additional 83,000 jobs over
2008 and 2009. In order to help train new applicants, many universities and colleges
are offering associate's degrees and bachelor's degrees in homeland security, as well
as certificate programs in security.

Additionally, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment of police
officers and detectives to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations--7 to 13
percent--between 2006 and 2016.

Recession Proof Career #5: International Business
Although the recent banking and credit crunch has sent painful shockwaves through
the world economy, a few international business careers should remain stable, even
during a recession--in particular, finance and accounting careers. Steve Birkshire,
Regis University professor explains, "(b)ecause of the issues with Enron and all new
requirements--combined with the shortage in the field--that's going to keep
accountants in business. They're really protected." According to the BLS, job
openings for accountants will increase by roughly 18 percent through 2016, with the
best prospects for those with a college degree and/or CPA certification.
A Golden Opportunity
Job hunters may wonder what it will take to land a job in the new economy. Experts
advise job seekers to keep an open mind. Nelson Bolles, author of What Color is Your
Parachute, advises job hunters to grow comfortable working "in the service of new
technologies." Staying involved in continuing education is also important. Relevant
coursework in new job skills--especially computers and software applications--are a
must-have for today's job hunter, and many recession-resistant jobs require extensive
postsecondary education. Most importantly, however, job seekers should maintain a
positive attitude.

Kelli Smith is the senior editor for is a career education
directory for finding colleges and universities, training schools, and technical

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