Posted by: Tom Ross | June 21, 2011

Where the Jobs Will Be in 2018

Are we teaching the right stuff? Are our kids heading in the right direction? If you are a CTE teacher or a teacher integrating career-related elements into academic subjects in hopes of inspiring a budding workforce with career options, you’ll find the latest predictions of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of great interest.

Every two years the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects what it calls “long-term occupational employment.” By that they mean they take into consideration the many factors and variables that affect employment over time when projecting job needs in the future—things like population growth, industry trends, and advances in technology.

Their last prediction—covering 2008 through 2018—estimates that there will be over 15 million new jobs in the United States by 2018. They report that the main area of growth will be in health care. That’s not too surprising perhaps as we watch the Boomers reach retirement age and see the average life expectancy reach and surpass 80. But what is surprising—in light of the speed of advancements in technology we are witnessing every day—is that only three out of the top 30 top job growth fields will be in technology and computer-related occupations.

Here are the top ten jobs the New York Times calls the categories of “looming worker shortage”:

1. Biomedical Engineer

2. Network Systems and Data Communications Analyst

3. Home Health Aide

4. Personal and Home Care Aide

5. Financial Examiner

6. Medical Scientist

7. Physician Assistant

8. Skin Care Specialist

9. Biochemists and Biophysicists

10. Athletic Trainers

As you can see, 8 of the 10 top occupations in this prediction are health related—as are more than half the top 30 fastest growing jobs. Great news for SB70 Health Science Capacity Building grantees and other health care related career pathway teachers.

Students at the Health Science High & Middle College in San Diego, an amazing example of a health pathway charter school that works:

You can find the top 30 fastest growing occupations and the BLS report here. For the accompanying article, click here.

Michael Wolf, an economist with the BLS, reminds us, however, that just because we foresee a lot of jobs in a certain industry doesn’t preclude that education and training aren’t necessary. “The mere fact that a category is fast growing does not mean you can get a job in it,” he says in the NYT article. His article, “Job Outlook by Education, 2006-2016” can be found here.

Will the jobs of today be the jobs of tomorrow? What are we to do with this information, especially about the health related job market—not to mention the other future hotbeds of labor: financial advising, technology, and veterinarian sciences (see the list of 30 fastest growing occupations above.) Are your school sites offering the types of courses that will help prepare students to take advantage of future job growth?


  1. […] job market has more positions for certain types of scientists than […]

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