Industries with the Greatest Job Prospects

Dear Alex: I don’t want to start a new career and find that it’s downsizing in a year or two.  What are you suggestions for getting into an industry with staying power?

A lot of people have been asking me about the best types of jobs to pursue these days. I’ve read some varying opinions on this, but here are a few of my favorites:

Healthcare: There is already a major labor shortage in fields such as nursing, and this is only bound to increase as the boomers continue to age and need more services, more often. Others will continue to get sick and be treated whether they can afford care or not. Job prospects that result from the combination of the fields of healthcare and technology are particularly promising.

Education: Children in the United States are still guaranteed schooling until the 12th grade, and many states are perennially experiencing teacher shortages. Plus, laid off or unsatisfied adults are returning to school in record numbers.

Accounting: It has been hot since federal regulations forced companies to get serious about their books a few years ago, and now, more people than ever are looking for accountants’ help to pinch every penny they can.

Agriculture and Utilities: The economy may still be a little sickly, but the first things people pay for include food to eat and gas to heat their homes. These jobs are not affected by the loss of discretionary income and will remain intact.

Local Service Sector: Every town needs at least one plumber, electrician, and hairstylist. In a recession, though, just make sure you live somewhere where the demand outweighs the supply.

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Alexandra Levit

Alexandra Levit’s goal is to help people find meaningful jobs - quickly and simply - and to succeed beyond measure once they get there. A former nationally syndicated columnist for the Wall Street Journal and a current contributor for Fortune and Metro US, Alexandra has authored several books, including the bestselling They Don't Teach Corporate in College, How'd You Score That Gig?, Success for Hire, MillennialTweet, and New Job, New You. Her book on the top myths of business success is due out from Penguin/Berkley in the fall of 2011. Since serving as a member of Business Roundtable's Springboard Project, which advised the Obama administration on current workplace issues, Alexandra produced the critically acclaimed JobSTART 101 (, a free online course that better prepares college students and graduates for the challenges of the workplace. She is a frequent national media spokesperson and has been featured in thousands of outlets including the New York Times, USA Today, National Public Radio, ABC News, Fox News, CNBC, the Associated Press, Glamour, and Cosmopolitan. In 2010, she was named Money Magazine's Online Career Expert of the Year and the author of one of Forbes' best websites for women. Known as one of the premiere spokespeople of her generation, Alexandra regularly speaks at conferences, universities, and corporations around the world including the American Society for Training and Development, Campbell's Soup, McDonalds, and Whirlpool — on issues facing modern employees such as how to communicate effectively between generations.

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