Understanding Your Opportunities
Making informed career decisions requires reliable information about opportunities in the future. Such opportunities result from the relationships between the population, the labor force, and the demand for goods & services.
Changes and shifts in the population influence the demand for goods & services. For example, the Baby Boom generation (b. 1945-1965) which represented the largest birth-rate the U.S. had seen prior in its history created a huge segment in our population (roughly 80 million Americans are now between the ages of 40 and 60, or over 25% of the U.S. population. Such a dramatic shift in population has impacted our economy since the 1940's. Today, as this generational group ages, there is a corresponding increased demand on our healthcare system. This means more jobs. The effects of population growth on various occupations will differ. The differences are partially accounted for by the age distribution of the future population.
The Labor Force
Population is the single largest determining factor in the size & composition of the labor force (people who are either working or looking for work). The total civilian (or non-military) labor force is expected to increase by 14.7 million over the 2004-2014 ten-year period. This represents a 10% growth in the overall labor force to 162 million people. Furthermore, the labor force is expected to become more diverse. Non-Hispanic Whites made-up 70% of the work force in 2004; this is expected to fall to 65.6% by 2014. Despite the relative slow growth whites will experience, they will still remain the largest group in the labor force in 2014 (as well as the largest group in the overall U.S. population). Hispanics are projected to be the fastest growing group of the four primary groups (those being Whites, Asian, Black & Hispanic) - growing by 34%. Blacks in the labor force are expected to grow by 6% and Asians by 18%. Women will grow at a faster rate than men, at a rate of 11% vs. 9%, respectively. Workers aged 55 and over are expected to increase due to the aging of the baby-boom generation. The age distribution of the labor force in 2014 is expected to look like this: 14% ages 16-24; 65% ages 25-54 (the primary working age group); and 21% in the 55+ age group.
The Demand for Goods & Services
Over 19 million jobs will be added between 2004 and 2014. Total employment is expected to increase from 145.6 million to 164.5 million (13%) between 2004 and 2014. These 19 million additional jobs will not be evenly distributed across major industrial and occupational groups. This nation's long-term shift from goods-producing to service-producing employment is expected to continue, and service producing industries are expected to account for over 98% of the new 19 million wage/salary jobs generated over the 2004-2014 period. Key service-producing industries that are projected to see strong growth over this period:
- Education & Health Services
This industry is expected to grow faster (30%) and add more jobs than any other sector. About 3 out of every 10 jobs created in the U.S. economy will be in either the healthcare & social services or private educational services sectors. Private hospitals, nursing and residential care facilities, and individual & family services will add 4.3 million new jobs over the 2004-2014 ten-year period. The combination of the aging population and longer life expectancies will drive the employment growth in healthcare & social assistance. Also, as more women enter the labor force, the demand for childcare services is expected to grow. Private educational services will add nearly 1 million jobs through 2014 with the rising student enrollments at all levels of education. Click here to search for Education Degrees; Healthcare Degrees; Human Service Degrees or Nursing Degrees.
- Professional & Business Services
This industry super-sector includes some of the fastest growing industries in the U.S. economy, and is projected to add 4.5 million new jobs by 2014. Employment services are projected to contribute almost two-thirds of all new jobs in administrative & support, waste management and remediation services. Employment services ranks among the fastest growing industries in the Nation and is expected to be among those that provide the most new jobs. Employment in professional, scientific & technical services will add almost 2 million new jobs by 2014. Half a million jobs will be added in computer systems design and related services with the increasing reliance of businesses on information technology and the continuing importance of maintaining system & network security. Management, scientific & technical consulting services is expected to grow 60% over the 2004-2014 period, spurred by the increased use of new technology and computer software compounded by the growing complexities of business. Management of companies & enterprises will grow by 11%. Click here to search for Business Degrees or Technology Degrees.
Information contains some of the fast-growing computer-related industries such as software publishers; Internet publishing and broadcasting; and Internet service providers, Web search portals, and data processing services. These industries are expected to grow by 68%, 44% and 28%, respectively. Overall, the Information super-sector is expected to grow by 12% and also includes: telecommunications, broadcasting, and newspaper, periodical, book & directory publishers. Increased demand for residential & business land-line and wireless services, cable service, high-speed Internet connections and software will fuel job growth among these industries. Click here to search for Technology or Design Degrees.
- Leisure & Hospitality
Overall employment will grow by 18%. Arts, entertainment and recreation will grow by 25% and add almost half a million new jobs by 2014. Job growth will stem from public participation in arts, entertainment & recreational activities, reflecting increasing incomes, leisure time, and the awareness of the health & physical fitness benefits. Accommodation & Food services is expected to grow by 17% and add 1.8 million new jobs through 2014. The concentration will be in food services and drinking establishments, reflecting increases in population, dual-income families, and dining sophistication. Click here to search for degrees and programs in Culinary Arts; Hotel & Hospitality; Design or General Studies.
- Financial Activities
Employment is projected to grow by 11% overall, adding millions of jobs. In areas such as finance, insurance, securities, commodity contracts, and other financial investments and related activities is expecting strong growth as the baby boom generation enters into their peek earnings and savings years. Activities relating to real estate will grow by over 30% reflecting the increased demand for housing with the growing population as well as the housing boom that still persists in the U.S. Click here for Business and related degrees.
- Trade, Transportation & Utilities
Overall employment in this industry super-sector is expected to grow by 10%. Industries included are transportation & warehousing (12% expected growth); truck transportation (10%); and warehousing & storage is projected to grow rapidly (25%). Demand for truck transportation and warehousing services will expand as many manufacturers concentrate on their core competencies and contract out those other functions. Employment in the retail trade is expected to add 1.7 million new jobs through 2014 and wholesale trade is expected to add 400,000. Increases in population, personal income and leisure time will contribute to employment growth in the trade industry. Employment in utilities is expected to decline slightly. Despite increased output in electric power generation, transmission and distribution (as well as natural gas distribution), technology has been able to increase worker productivity lessoning the demand for more jobs. However, water, sewage and other systems is projected to grow by 21%, as these jobs are not easily eliminated by technological gains as they are very labor-intensive activities. Search here for Business Degrees representing many applicable concentrations.
Government employment is expected to add 2.2 million jobs, or show a 10% growth. This will be fueled at State and local educational services and a shift in the responsibilities away from the federal government to the state and local level. Jobs will be added in Education; Criminal Justice disciplines and Healthcare and Human Services.
The healthcare field will see the highest percent growth. With the aging baby boom population, more medical professionals will be needed to manage the health and related administrative needs of this generation.
Teachers, teacher assistants or those in the Education industry in general will see a strong demand due to the growing population in the younger generation being born over the past ten years. Registered Nurses and Medical Assistants are expected to add almost one million jobs alone. Business, management and finance degrees are always one of the most practical postsecondary forms of education since their applications are so far-reaching.
While strong supply and high average salaries are important factors in determining the quantitative value of a job, there are also many other factors people consider strongly in selecting or staying within their careers of choice. Interestingly, Money Magazine conducted a survey and unveiled a list of the 50 Best Careers which considered other qualitative factors such as: growth and advancement potential, stress, job satisfaction, and flexibility. Here are the Top 10:
- Software Engineer
- College Professor
- Financial Advisor
- Human Resources Manager
- Medical Assistant
- Market Research Analyst
- Computer/IT Analyst
- Real Estate Appraiser
Notably, almost all of these careers require some form of postsecondary education. This reinforces the notion that those with college degrees enjoy a higher standard of living (not just financially) than their high school graduate counterparts.
It further supports the In preparation for your educational decisions as they relate to your current chosen career, or for changing your career altogether, you want to make sure you are focused on the right course of study. If you know you want to go into Accounting, then obviously you'll want to seek an Associate's or Bachelor's Business Degree with a concentration in Accounting. When the Enrollment Counselors contact you, ask them to recommend the best course of study for you depending on what career you envision yourself in after you earn your degree. The important thing is that you make your decision based on your preferences or what is most important to you. It could be high earning averages in that profession, it could be high rates of growth and strong job security, or it simply could be an area that you a very passionate about. Most likely, it will be some combination of these factors. Whatever your choice, we wish you a happy and prosperous life!
Information Sources: Information Sources: The information we provide herein is obtained through a variety of government sources (e.g., Department of Education, Department of Labor, the United States Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Center for Education Statistics, and The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System among others). We take great strides in accurately presenting this information which is available in the public domain. In most cases, we used the latest data available which generally is up to 2005. This information is presented without warranty.