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In the USA in 2008, newly elected President Barack Obama signed into a law a hefty stimulus package worth almost one trillion dollars. The goal was simple: stimulate the economy and create jobs. According to the top experts of the administration, spending on shovel-ready jobs and infrastructure would keep the unemployment rate from topping 8%.

The economy is fickle and fragile, however. With private industry still searching for incentives and government unable to nudge trends in a more positive direction, it seems as if we need the perfect storm to make the economy bounce back. Currently, the USA has an unemployment rate of 9.2%, with the underemployment rate reaching estimates as high as 17% according to some experts.

The point here: although we can study the market and predict trends, we can never know with any certainty where the future will take us in terms of employment. That being said, however, there is strong evidence to indicate some career opportunities are gaining significant strength and are prime for expansion going forward.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some career paths are only going to widen, despite the free market’s influence in either direction.

Solid Career Choices for the Future

The current job market has taught us that overall education is not nearly as important as specialization. Meaning, simply, career-minded individuals should study and work toward a specific career instead of unrelated courses. An individual can be far more likely to excel in the job market if they receive the specific training.

We will go over some of the best career choices going forward and speak about the path you can follow to get there.

Registered Nurse

With almost 80 million baby boomers in the country, there will be millions of men and women needing care in 2020. This generation plays such a significant role in America’s health care industry that even the prospect of so many retirees now is causing Social Security to all but bottom out.

In 2008, there were around 2.6 million registered nursing jobs, and this number is expected to grow by almost a million by 2020.

A registered nurse makes a median salary of $62,500 and the minimum educational requirement is an Associate’s degree in the field.

Public School Teachers

Money pours into education hand over fist at the state and federal level in order to up the ante in and see that our children succeed. To date, America’s children are well behind other parts of the world, and the popular consensus amongst those funding schools is simply that they need more funding.

Whether or not this is true remains to be seen, but the increased funding and tailored policies for public schools means that teaching jobs are expected to grow exponentially over the next decade.

The median wage for teachers across the nation is around $53k/year, and in most states tenured teachers have their salaries matched by great benefits packages.

A Bachelor’s degree is required to teach in public schools.

Software Engineers

From the automobiles we drive to the way we heat and cool our homes, computers are playing a larger role in our lives than we fully realize. The world’s reliance on technology is only growing, especially America’s, and no computer technology is able to operate without proper software.

With a Bachelor’s degree in a related field, computer software engineers are making over $85k/year with pay and positions expected to increase going forward.

Some experts estimate a rise of over 200,000 new software engineering positions by 2020, and that’s on the low end.

Green Technology

This term encompasses quite a few different career choices, from engineers and electricians to biochemists and automobile manufacturers. There are dozens of careers wrapped up in the expansion of green technology, and with government’s insistence on breaking our dependency on foreign oil and pushing for more wind farms and solar stations and fuel-efficient vehicles, the green market is expected to almost triple in size by 2020.

If you’re looking to study specifically for a career, researching green trends would be in your best interest. With the way our world is trending, green jobs promise to be the future.

In 2011, it is impossible to predict which specific careers will do the best. But we can certainly see that some are trending in a very positive direction.

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