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US / Where Job Growth Will Come Over This Decade

U.S. workers can expect to see 55 million new and existing job openings over the course of this decade. Will you have the right stuff to snag one of them?

A look at the industries expected to generate the most job growth in the next seven years.

Health care: As the U.S. population ages, there will be lots of new jobs here, says David DeLong, a workforce consultant in Concord, Mass.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that health care and social assistance will gain 5.6 million jobs during 2010-20, the most of any sector. That means jobs like registered nurses, physician assistants, radiology techs and home health aides.

Medium-skill jobs: While outsourcing has killed many of these jobs over the last two decades, there are still opportunities for noncollege grads that have career potential and pay well. These jobs combine technical and interpersonal skills that can’t be outsourced or automated, says David Autor, an economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

These “new artisan” jobs include tradespeople like plumbers and electricians, chefs, college coaches and construction supervisors.

Leisure and hospitality: Waiting tables isn’t the most glamorous gig, but the industry will add 1.3 million jobs by 2020, says the bureau.

Vacation and business travel are picking up as the economy improves and international travel to the U.S. increases.

“There’s always going to be a great need for folks” in this sector, says Brent Rasmussen, president, North America, CareerBuilder. “You really can’t outsource a job in a restaurant or a job in a hotel to another country.”

He warns, however, that wages won’t increase much because many people are qualified to do these jobs.

Professional and business services: The BLS projects this sector—comprising consultants and other professionals skilled in areas such as legal services, accounting and advertising—will generate 3.8 million openings this decade.

Fuelling growth: Companies are farming out more back-office functions and relying on consultants to cut costs, says Mark Waldman, executive-in-residence at the Kogod School of Business at American University in Washington. The consulting sector can be good for someone who wants to go into business but earned a liberal-arts degree.

“With a general degree, if you’re young, it’s a very good experience to go into consulting,” says Anthony Carnevale, director of Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, in Washington.

Getting into one of the big consulting firms can be an advantage because “that gives you a set of experiences across business functions,” he says.

Technology and information services: With companies increasingly storing data off-site and integrating technology into their business, they need more people to keep everything operating smoothly, guard against cyber intrusions and analyze data to find business opportunities.

The bureau expects there to be 778,000 new jobs this decade in what it calls the computer and mathematical sector—jobs such as computer-systems analysts, information-security analysts and software developers.

As people spend more time on mobile phones and tablets, there will be increasing demand to develop advertising and applications for these devices.

“If you can educate yourself there, if you can train yourself in terms of being a valuable asset, whether it’s a cloud developer, a software developer, a mobile developer, something around the IT-engineering space around that field, you’re going to have a job in the United States for a long time, and probably a pretty good paying job,” says Mr. Rasmussen.

Business and financial operations: This field is expected to add 1.17 million jobs this decade for jobs like credit counselors, compliance officers and financial examiners. Companies are ramping up staff to comply with tighter financial regulations and the new health-care law.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at 


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