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Hot Jobs in a Down Economy

Updated on November 23, 2012
Learn where the jobs are.
Learn where the jobs are.

Misery loves company

Out of work, down-sized, doesn't matter how you classify yourself because it all stinks! I was just reading in the paper how we are at a lower unemployment rate than in the 1930s meaning they suffered worse than we are now. Big deal! Aren't we supposed to be wiser today with better infomation, more knowledge about how things work, and are students of history? In case you haven't noticed, things have changed drastically in the past 20 years. We need to adapt or get left behind.

Some industries are either untouched or are thriving right now. For instance, my husband sells sanitary process and engineering to food and beverage manufacturers. I don't see us giving up food any time soon! The secret is to find your own niche in one of those more secure industries.

Earn a Profession

Back in the 1980s, I remember a time when college graduates could get a good paying job with any old degree. Not anymore. A four-year degree is a dime a dozen these days. And for those of you who think more education is better, well it isn't. A master's degree won't help you land a new job (for the most part). Go to school with a profession in mind, not a degree. And make sure that profession is hiring and will pay well.

What's out

Looking for the top jobs? Here's a list of what NOT to get into. These are either dead-end jobs or the industries are not growing. You'll thank me later if you limit your time in the dead-end, low wage jobs. Think long term and growth potential.

  • anything retail
  • teaching
  • real estate or mortgage
  • police or fire fighter
  • child care
  • construction
  • culinary
  • writing
  • anything related to the government whether state or federal
  • auto dealership
  • airlines

If you see an offer for a school in one of these areas, just say NO! And these government jobs tend to draw people who are only in it for the pensions and easy hours. If the best thing about your job is your retirement from it, I say how sad.

For those of you in college...stay away from anything in the liberal arts! Studies show they consistantly make less than those with other four-year degrees.

What next?

Not sure what you're good at? A Psychology class I once took had us take a free, online assessment called humanmetrics ( Look for the section called career development assessment. I took it and was surprised how accurately it nailed me. I saw all of the subjects I had either majored in or thought about majoring in. It's not overly detailed but might at least point you in the right direction. Be careful. Just because it's an area that interests you doesn't mean it's a good field for the long-term. Been there, done that.

Bigger degrees don't mean better. Just because you have a MBA (and are now $50K+ in debt) doesn't mean you have a leg up for any job. The new greeter at my gym has a MBA and is marking time at the gym while he searches. Make sure there are real openings and potential.

It's not all about the money. Don't get me wrong, I would never work a job solely for the money. But, I would also never stay at a job that didn't adequately compensate for my time and neither should you. Research. Ask around. I have lots of friends who are doing quite well, even in this down economy.

Top careers now

Not everyone is meant to be a college graduate so I've included some jobs where you need either degrees or certificates :

  • engineering
  • nursing
  • radiology
  • plumbing
  • electrician
  • automotive
  • heating and air
  • sales
  • computer science
  • IT
  • chemistry
  • actuary
  • web development
  • project manager
  • accounting
  • truck driving (big demand right now)
  • photography

My best advice in closing is to try classes that are outside your comfort zone. You might surprise yourself. I had a big career change after taking a class I had avoided my entire life. Now that class is the reason for my new direction!

Paying for training

Paying for a new career can be a bit costly. Start with filling out a federal application. I got funding through my state financial aid program, even though I had a degree! If you need a student loan, the best advice I've heard is to only take out federal loans, not private ones. It seems the private ones can jack up the interest rates while the federal ones stay low.

Books are usually extra but look to book rental places like Chegg to cut your costs. Use code CC119700 for a 5% discount. And always buy used if you can. I like Amazon. It also doesn't hurt to put up a notice at school or just ask around. And sometimes, the book is not even necessary.

Compare programs. They are not all created equal. For example, I was going to go to ultrasound school. Here in GA there is one that is private, very expensive and has no waiting list. However, it lacks the needed accreditation that the state one offers. The state school is small competitive, and is challenging to get into. The secret for ultrasound is to specialize in echocardiography or vascular instead. There is less competition. You can get all three certifications if you choose.

State technical schools are a safe, less expensive alternative.

Please share your wisdom

Do you know of other hot or dud jobs? Please share your insight!

Thanks for reading!!


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    • my_girl_sara profile imageAUTHOR

      Cynthia Lyerly 

      7 years ago from Georgia

      Let's add the dental field to the list. Great idea!

    • Indian Chef profile image

      Indian Chef 

      7 years ago from New Delhi India

      Very useful hub but I didnt see it any dental branch in it which I feel gets jobs easily and very good earning. voted it up and useful.

    • my_girl_sara profile imageAUTHOR

      Cynthia Lyerly 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      What an inspiring comment! I think we all go through seasons where we are forced to reinvent ourselves.

    • dzoing profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for sharing what you're going through, and how you're dealing with it. I'm actually in a somewhat different situation, having no husband and no kids, yet this hub still spoke volumes to me. We all want to reinvent ourselves at some point, and I'm right there.

      "The whole point behind reinvention is getting it right this time."

      Especially inspiring!


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