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Spotlighting America's Hottest Jobs

"And the award goes to…".

Recently the spotlight shined brightly on the best motion picture for 2007. Do you recall which film won? If you answered "The Departed," you're right. If you answered "Babel," you're right. So, which of these two films was the best in 2007? It all depends on which "winner's list" you're reading - "The Departed" took the Academy Award while "Babel" captured the Golden Globe.

When you shine the spotlight on our growing job market, you'll see that several different "winner's lists" are used to describe America's hottest jobs. So, how do you spot the real winners? Check to see which "winner's list" you're reading.

"Hot jobs" are ranked in many ways. Taking center stage are two key job growth measures used by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS): fastest growth and largest growth. Here's an overview of the jobs projected to have the most growth between now and 2014:

Top 10 Jobs - Fastest Growth (2004 - 2014)*
The "fastest growing" jobs are growing in terms of total number of jobs. Keep in mind that the term "fast-growing" may be somewhat misleading in that, if small numbers of people are employed in this occupation currently, even a 100% growth results in relatively few overall employment opportunities. A good example of this is the healthy 36% projected increase in Forensic Science Technicians, reflected in a relatively small overall population of technicians: 10,000 in 2004, and 14,000 by 2014.

1. Home health aides

2. Network systems and data communications analysts

3. Medical assistants

4. Computer software engineers/applications

5. Physical therapist assistants

6. Dental hygienists

7. Computer software engineer/systems software

8. Dental assistants

9. Personal and home care aides

10. Network and computer systems administrators

*Access BLS's detailed list.

Top 10 Jobs - Largest Growth (2004 - 2014)**
The "largest growth" jobs are as those with the highest number of projected new workers. These occupations employ large numbers of people and have good job growth. Several of these jobs do not require a college degree.

1. Retail salespersons

2. Registered nurses

3. Postsecondary teachers

4. Customer service representatives

5. Janitors / cleaners

6. Waiters and waitresses

7. Food preparation and serving workers

8. Home health aides

9. Nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants

10. General and operations managers

**Access BLS's detailed list.

While the BLS "winner's lists" shown above are widely used to spotlight "hot jobs" overall, here's another list high school and college students will want to see under the bright lights:

Top 10 Fastest Growing Jobs with a Bachelor's Degree (2004 - 2014)***
Listed below are the top 10 jobs for which you need at least a bachelor's degree that are expected to grow faster than all other occupations through 2014, according to BLS projections. Note that half of these are jobs are in the technology field. This may seem a bit counterintuitive, as some IT jobs have been outsourced overseas. Yet, the most creative and difficult high-tech jobs cannot be easily outsourced. In addition, high numbers of retiring baby boomers will create openings for new tech workers.

1. Network systems and data communication analysts

2. Physician assistants

3. Computer software engineers/applications

4. Computer software engineer/systems software

5. Network and computer systems administrators

6. Database administrators

7. Physical therapists

8. Medical scientists except epidemiologists

9. Occupational therapists

10. Postsecondary teachers

***Access BLS's detailed list.

Hot jobs are only one part of the career decision process. The first step of making great career choices always begins with in-depth self-knowledge. Before anyone decides to pursue any of these hot jobs, they need to gauge how well that job and work environment aligns with their natural talents, interests, personality and values. Just as in all great movies, the actor has to choose the roles that are best for them.

So if you're looking for an occupation that offers plenty of opportunity for growth and advancement, be sure you understand the criteria used to determine the "winner's list." Keep in mind that, while it's helpful to take growth trends into consideration as you explore career options, the best direction to follow is one that allows you to showcase your talents!

© Copyright 2007, Career Vision. Article may be reprinted with permission.


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