And now for some, um, better career news.
If you are ready to think beyond the doom and gloom of the there-are-no-jobs rat-at-tat, read on. I’ll share trends that can direct your career choices to a more promising course. I know you’d love a list of careers that guarantee to keep you snug and secure. Since that’s not going to happen – ever – here instead is a look at where qualified professionals are in demand and why.
First, finance. Despite the economic downtown, there is a higher demand for expertise in account reconciliation and credit/collections, according to the 2009 Robert Half Salary Guide research. Companies are most interested in professionals who can help their firms reduce inefficiencies and enhance profitability, and all the better if you’re familiar with International Financial Reporting Standards.
Three in-demand finance and accounting positions:
• Staff and senior accountants, with strong desire for CPAs with at least three years experience.
• Public accountants. Anticipating a lot of upcoming baby boomer retirements, firms area seeking skilled professionals who can help clients address fundamental accounting, tax and audit issues.
• Credit and collections specialists. The credit crunch makes it even more critical for companies to manage credit risk and collect on delinquent accounts.
Another thought: Get experience abroad. Seventy-one percent of CFOs say international experience will be necessary for accounting and finance professionals five years from now, according to a Robert Half survey.
On the technology front, there’s demand for highly skilled people due to the “increasing complexity and proliferation of new technology.”
Three in-demand information technology roles:
• Web developers. This is due to the rise of social media and companies expanding their online presence.
• Programmer analysts. People who know .NET, SharePoint, Java and PHP are at a premium in all industries, says the research.
• Help desk professionals. As companies migrate from older operating systems and update desktop systems, the demand for people who can troubleshoot software and hardware problems goes up.
In demand administrative roles:
• Customer service representative. This role is especially crucial now as companies focus on customer satisfaction and loyalty in an uncertain economy.
• Data entry specialist. Companies especially need this help during software conversions and upgrades to take customer orders quickly and accurately and for IT projects closely related to revenue generation.
• Administrative health care jobs. These include medical file clerk/scanner, medical secretary, patient registration/admissions clerk and credentialing specialists.
The more technical aptitude, multilingual abilities and professional certification you have, the better.
About 45 percent of Americans are eating out less this year to save money, according to BIGResearch statistics cited in USA TODAY. That means we’re going to the grocery store more, which means stores are concocting more prepared foods. So stores need chefs, cooks and cheese and wine stewards. I just got a postcard from the Kroger grocery chain saying they have openings for such positions. I can’t ever recall getting a postcard like that from a grocery chain looking for such professionals.
With companies’ focus on revenue generation, reducing inefficiency and enhancing profitability, it’s not surprising to see hundreds of jobs in marketing and communications, with technical and bilingual know-how as an added plus. You’ll find such openings as creative director for integrated marketing firms, interactive media manager for direct response marketing agencies, bilingual brand manager and e-mail marketing producer.
Next week I’ll talk about more trends and jobs. But don’t wait another day to start figuring out how to adapt to a marketplace that’s in a perpetual state of change, trying to accommodate changes that can be good and, other times, not so good.
Andrea Kay is the author of “Life’s a Bitch and Then You Change Careers: 9 Steps to Get Out of Your Funk and On To Your Future.” Send questions to her at 2692 Madison Road, No. 133, Cincinnati, Ohio 45208; www.andreakay.com. E-mail: email@example.com.