Employers value applicants who have already obtained a degree, gained the skills necessary to enter the job force, and are willing to continue their education throughout their career.
It is no secret that job layoffs, outsourcing and cutbacks have become the norm in today’s economic recession. If you are just graduating college, looking to change your career or have been the unfortunate victim of company downsizing, you probably want to know America’s fastest growing jobs. The good news is that despite the economic downturn, there are still some careers that continue to flourish.
Today, the fastest growing jobs require at least an associate's degree. Employers value applicants who have already obtained a degree, gained the skills necessary to enter the job force, and are willing to continue their education throughout their career.
This list represents the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statics report of America’s fastest growing jobs over the next ten years.
1. Biomedical Engineering: A biomedical engineer develops and designs artificial organs and prosthetic limbs. With an associate's degree in biomedical engineering, individuals are trained to be engineering technicians. Most entry-level positions require a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering, or the equivalent four year program certificate. It is best to get your master's degree in biomedical engineering when you are looking for a faculty or research position.
2. Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts: In this position, Network systems and data communications analysts design and test various organization network systems. An associate's degree in technology or a professional certificate, along with related work experience will get you an entry-level job in computer analysis. With a bachelor's degree in technology, you will take computer related courses and have a better chance for advancement. For higher positions some employers prefer applicants to have a master's of business administration (MBA) with a concentration in information systems.
3. Home Health Aides: A home health aide assists elderly or disabled clients with their daily living routines like bathing, dressing, grooming and cooking. Individuals working with agencies that are reimbursed from Medicare or Medicaid must complete a training program, granting you with either a home health aide certificate or an associates degree.
4. Personal and Home Care Aides: Personal and home care aides duties are comparable to a home health aide, only typical job tasks are extended to housekeeping and advising families on nutrition, cleanliness and household duties. Training for a personal and home care aide is similar to that of a home health aide, except it is less focused on health-related services.
5. Financial Examiners: A financial examiner ensures that finances are in compliance with government laws and regulations. A bachelor's degree in finance, business, accounting, or statistics is required for any entry to mid-level job as a financial examiner. If you acquire your MBA in finance , your job opportunities expand and your salary may increase.
6. Medical Scientists, Except Epidemiologists: A medical scientist completes studies exploring various human diseases and the enhancement of human health. Becoming a medical scientist takes time and dedication. If you are planning a career as a medical scientist, you should pursue a bachelors degree in biological science. The minimum education requirement for medical scientists is a doctorate degree in biological science and it is preferable that you also earn your medical degree.
7. Physician Assistant: Vital to maintaining the flow of the office, a physician assistant performs duties, such as administering medication, conducting physicals, and counseling patients. Some physician assistant programs require applicants to hold a physician assistant bachelor's degree or masters degree, while others will accept individuals who have combined work-related experience and an associate's degree.
8. Skin Care Specialists: Skin care specialists provide an assortment of skin treatments according to client’s preference. Skin care programs can last anywhere between four months and two years and can be found at some public or private vocational colleges. Most skin care specialists earn their certificate in skin care, but those who earn their associate's degree in clinical or medical skin care have an edge in the market, and a better chance at a higher paying job.
9. Biochemists and Biophysicists: Biochemists and biophysicistsstudy chemical physical properties of living cells to understand the relationship between the chemical reactions involved in metabolism, reproduction, growth and heredity. A bachelor's or master's degree in biology will get you applied research positions. If your goal is to conduct independent research, a doctorate degree in biology is necessary.
10. Athletic Trainers: Athletic Trainers mainly work to prevent injuries in clients by showing them the proper ways to use equipment and exercises to improve balance. Job prospects are the highest in schools and the health care industry, but competition is expected for professional athletic and colleges sports team positions. Usually a bachelor's degree in athletic training is the minimum degree requirement to become an athletic trainer. If you have already earned your bachelors degree, strongly consider attempting your masters or master's degree in athletic training because it will increase your advancement opportunities and your chances of working for a college or university.
11. Physical Therapist Aides: A physical therapist aide sterilizes and organizes the physical therapy room and prepares patients for their treatment. Though physical therapist aides are always trained on-the-job, in most states it is required that they hold an associate's degree. Check your state’s employment statistics for more information.
12. Dental Hygienists: An integral position in a dentist’s office, a dental hygienist uses an assortment of dental tools to clean hard and soft deposits from teeth, provide oral hygiene counseling and other preventative dental care. Most entry-level positions only require applicants to hold an associate's degree in dental hygiene. A bachelor's degree or master's degree in dental hygiene will allow you to advance to a private dental firm.
13. Veterinary Technologists and Technicians: A veterinary technologist conducts medical tests as well as treats and diagnoses medical conditions and diseases for animals. There are many entry-level positions that require only an associate's degree in the subject. As technology continues to develop and improve, more bachelor's degree programs for veterinary technologists and technicians are appearing across the country.
14. Dental Assistants: Dental assistants retrieve the patients’ dental records, as well as sterilize, disinfect and organize instruments and equipment to be used by dentist. There are currently two dental assistant program options in the US. The first is a one year program where students graduate with dental assistant certification or a diploma. Others may choose to attend a community college or junior college to obtain an dental assistant associate's degree, which will give you an edge in the job market.
15. Computer Software Engineers, Applications: This type of computer software engineer applies theories of computer science to design and develop software. This is a job that is constantly evolving due to the rapid changes in technology that occur. An associate's degree is acceptable for some positions, however employers prefer applicants to have some job experience as well. Common computer software engineering bachelors degree programs are computer engineering, computer science, information technology, or mathematics.
16. Medical Assistants: At small practices, medical assistants take care of administrative and clinical duties, while those in large practices tend to specialize in one area. Aspiring medical assistants have the option of pursuing a 1-year program that results in medical assistant certification or a diploma, and a two year program that results in an associate's degree. The more education you receive, the higher pay and the more responsibilities you will get.
17. Physical Therapist Assistants: A physical therapist assistant works under the direction of a physical therapist to provide treatment that adds to a patient’s mobility, relieves pain or lessens physical disabilities. In most states, applicants are required by law to hold an associates degree from an accredited physical therapist assistant program.
18. Veterinarians: Veterinarians care for pets, livestock, and animals in captivity by treating diseases and dysfunctions in animals. Admission to veterinarian school is highly competitive. Veterinarians are required by federal law to hold a graduate degree in Veterinary Medicine. Most students applying for veterinary school hold a bachelor's degree, however it is not always required for admission.
19. Self-enrichment Education Teacher: A self-enrichment teacher instructs a variety of subjects from hobbies like knitting to practical information like how to properly file your taxes. Very little experience is necessary and the time commitment is low. There is not a specific degree requirement for this occupation, but self-enrichment education teachers must be experts in their field.
20. Compliance Officers, Except Agriculture, Construction, Health and Safety Transportation: A compliance officer may work in a variety of fields, but their duties remain consistent. Main duties include reviewing and regulating compliance issues within the organization where they work. A criminal justice degree is a common pursuit for aspiring compliance officers. A bachelor's degree in the compliance field that you wish to work is necessary for all entry-level positions. A masters degree is generally required for senior compliance positions.
21. Occupational Therapist Aides: Under the direction of an occupational therapist (OT), an occupational therapist aide prepares patients for therapy, as well as performs routine tasks. Most aides receive their experience on-the-job, but there are many accreditation programs throughout the US that one can apply to and receive a license, registration or certification. Increase your chances of being admitted to the program by taking biology and health courses in high school. If your goal is to advance to an assistant, attending a two-year associate's degree is your best option.
22. Environmental Engineers: An environmental engineer plans, designs, and performs other engineering duties with the aim of controlling various environmental hazards. With an associate's degree in environmental engineering, one has the ability to enter into environmental engineering technician and technology jobs. However, most entry-level engineering jobs require a bachelor's degree in engineering. Environmental engineers interested in research should pursue an advanced degree.
23. Pharmacy Technicians: Under the supervision of the pharmacist, a pharmacy technician prepares medication and also works in customer service. Technician programs can last anywhere between six months to two years. Depending on the length of the program you choose, you will receive pharmacy technician certification or an associate's degree.
24. Computer Software Engineers, Systems Software: A computer systems software engineer analyzes computer systems based on the users need. Computer programmers sometimes only need an associate's degree in computer programming and can enter into their job after completing their two year program. A bachelor's degree in computer programming is generally the minimum education required to enter into a computer software career. To advance in your position and increase your salary, pursue your master's degree in computer software.
25. Survey Researchers: Survey researchers are hired to create and conduct a variety of surveys for different companies, governments and organizations. A bachelor's degree is sufficient education for an entry-level survey research job. A master's degree in business administration, marketing, or statistics will help you advance in your career, and get more technical careers.