Written By: Nadia Ibanez
Executives, marketing gurus, and business professionals are always trying to predict the latest industries that are bound to make a mark in today’s economy. From technology, construction, manufacturing, and beyond, it seems that the top industries are ever-changing in America.
We sit down with Henry DeVries, Assistant Dean for External Affairs for Continuing Education at University of California San Diego and co-author of the new book “Closing America’s Job Gap” in which he writes about top industries poised for success in 2011. DeVries’ professional background also lies in advertising and public relations and the book discusses what the top industries will be for the future.
JOB TRENDS RESEARCH
DeVries has been the Assistant Dean at UCSD since 2007 and part of his responsibilities is to get the message out to students and beyond about job trends research. “We conduct research regularly for the federal government, private foundations, and for our own students about where new job trends are going,” he says. “We meet with over 1,000 advisors and find out where they see the job trends going; that helps us to shape the 5,000 courses we offer at UCSD to enrollees.”
“We have about 100 advisory boards broken down by different industry segments,” DeVries says. “We use them as sounding boards and also to share information with us. For instance, people in the gaming industry tell us we need certain programmers for mobile game applications and they need certain training to fill those jobs. We take that information back and create courses at UCSD, create internships, and practicums, which are like paid internships, so that students are working in industry they want to be in, while also with the university. So what people are doing there is actually practical for future professional experience.”
“Our mission is to help recent and mature college graduates in bridging to new areas of employment.” UCSD offers about 100 certificates, ranging from accounting to sustainable business practices, and all of which have an advisory board.
According to “Closing America’s Job Gap,” here are the top shops that are being shaped by innovation in science and technology:
1. Embedded engineering. There are career options for software developers willing to learn some new tricks. Devices from phones, appliances and televisions, to automobiles and iPods, all use processors to run. These complex digital processors, or computers, are embedded systems, often built around a microprocessor core, that are designed by software engineers.
2. Mobile media. Graphic designers, videographers and video editors, casual game/app developers and software engineers are needed to design and develop websites and create video content, software applications, games, interfaces, mobile platforms, and more, as demand continues to increase for Web content and next-generation cell phones.
3. Occupational health and safety. More specialists are needed to cope with technological advances in safety equipment, changing regulations, and increasing public expectations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 11 percent job growth over the next decade, with 6 out of 10 jobs being in the private sector.
4. English translation and foreign languages. In the next 40 years, it is predicted that the number of Spanish speakers in the United States will rise from 31 million to more than 100 million. For those completely bilingual in Spanish and English, these highly marketable language skills open doors to new careers.
5. Renewable energy and the greening of all jobs. By the mid-21st century, all jobs will be green jobs. Organizations today must address potential regulation changes and look for business growth opportunities in the new era of sustainable environmental economics.
6. Health law, international law, intellectual property law. Employment of lawyers is expected to grow about 14 percent in the coming decade, primarily as a result of growth in the population and in the general level of business activities.
7. Action sports innovators. Job seekers searching for a strong sector should consider this: despite the current economic slump, the surf/skate industry has shown notable resiliency during recent global economic challenges, posting U.S. retail sales of $7.22 billion in 2008, according to the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA).
8. Setting up an independent consulting practice. Often there is work to be done, but no jobs. The trick is to offer to provide the labor as a true independent contractor. This is done to market your skills and experience whether in fine cabinet making, catering, technical writing, contract engineering or strategic planning.
9. Geriatric health care. The growing population of seniors continues to have a major impact on careers in health care. In the U.S. 34 million are 65 years or older, and that population will double by 2030. About 8 out of 10 seniors have at least one chronic health condition and about 50 percent have at least two.
10. Repurposing America's skilled and technical workers for "new economy" applications, i.e., welders, pipe fitters and mechanics. Nearly 100 percent of welding school graduates find jobs. The average welder is nearing retirement, with twice as many welders retiring as being trained.
For more information about “Closing America’s Job Gap,” visit www.closingamericasjobgap.com.