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Three Jobs That Will Survive the Changing American Economy

Updated on June 5, 2011

The Great Recession is Just the Beginning!

The economy of the future will not even remotely resemble what came before. Young people considering college should look long and hard at career options for an economy that has dramatically changed with the implosion of the tech and housing bubble. Even strong career paths in medical health are becoming increasingly uncertain as spiraling costs will have to be addressed by a heavy-handed Federal government. Not even highly-skilled medical professionals are safe. Once the baby boomer generation passes away, the American healthcare system will experience a scaling-back that will exacerbate the federal restructuring that is likely to happen over the next twenty years.

When you consider your career, it's important to take steps to focus on careers that can't go away. Working in technology is not an automatic path to riches and success. In fact, I recommend to my own children learning a trade that will never change or fade, even as the environmental impact of global warming happens. There are fundamental careers that will always be needed.

For instance, people will always need haircuts. It doesn't matter whether the economy is rising or declining. People still need haircuts. No machine can replace the precise and artistic application of a skilled stylist or barber on human hair. Also, people will always want to eat. Organic farms are an increasingly important industry to feed people as the economy shifts into local food production to save costs with the rising price of fuel.

These two careers are only two out of many. They aren't even the beginning. Traits to look for are careers that feature working with physical, real things that people will always need, and maintaining the infrastructures that support things people need every day, regardless of fads or technology or age.

Plumbers are Respected and Necessary!

One of the oldest and noblest professions in America, Plumbing, is in a severe decline in America. Popular Mechanics recently looked into new programs starting up all over America to address this decline. Anyone who needs water needs plumbers. Every building needs a good plumber to install, maintain, and repair the complex pipes and systems that move water in and out of a household. Plumbing used to be an exciting career choice for hard-working men and women with an independent streak, who liked setting their own hours and traveling around different job sites as needed for a flexible, constantly-shifting work day doing something important. People don't work without water. Toilets don't flush. Dishes don't get washed. Water doesn't boil. Without plumbers, and particularly without new waves of plumbers, the American homes and businesses will not be able to keep up with demand.

Plumbing is a secure job, as well. It's impossible to picture the American economy over the next thirty years without pipes and running water. The decline of plumbers has only exacerbated this exciting and respectable career.

To pursue a career in plumbing, look around you for technical schools in your area. Many community colleges offer coursework in plumbing, and becoming a certified plumber is a fast-track to a solid, lasting career that could easily lead to running your own small business!

All Our Electronics Will Need Electricians!

We love electricity. We can't get out of bed without our alarm clocks and coffee makers and light switches. Alternatives to gas-burning fuels include integrated electronics and batteries. The future is electric. Electricians are the men and women who build, maintain, and repair our electronic devices and the integrated systems that move electricity from power plants to wall sockets. Electronics are the future. A career in electronics is an exciting way to stay on the cutting edge of technology while still maintaining a solid, stable and lasting career in a field that has proven reliable.

Even the influx of illegal immigration labor into construction working has not dampened the need for electricians. State-certified Journeymen and Master Electricians are still a requirement for any job site. And, illegal immigrant workers can't legally work day-to-day in offices and campuses and factories to maintain and repair company equipment. Certified electricians are a requirement for any major company, or technology-oriented construction or maintenance firm.

To pursue this career path, search out technical and community colleges for a course of study in electronics. In this case, certification is a requirement, and a way to secure your future as an electrician.

Computer Integration Will Only Increase, Requiring More Computer Scientists and Engineers!

With the advent of the iPad Tablet, the first truly revolutionary development in personal electronics since the development of the cellphone, the future of personal computing seems certain. Tablets are only the beginning. With inexpensive tablet technology, computer integration can happen with all sorts of devices, from kitchen appliances to business applications that would benefit from the deeply-networked data enhancement of small, easy-to-use tablet devices. Computer science is the future. Fewer people are going to be working in data management, security and storage, and the ones that do that work are going to be computer-savvy engineers, programmers and technologists with degrees in Engineering and Computer Science.

For college-bound high school students, determined in acquiring a college degree, the future is to be found in technical skill-based work supporting all the electronic devices and networks in our wired economy. Don't just fall for the "fun" fields of web-design or graphic design or marketing. These are not going to be as viable or as vital to a strong, steady income as the more technical degrees in Engineering, Computer Science and Programming.

Take Off Your Suits! Put On Your Work Boots!

The future of our economy is not going to be found in board rooms. In fact, board rooms are the problem in our current economy as shortsighted, greedy executives pursued business practices that were completely divorced from actual reality. Working with your hands, in skilled professions is the solution to protecting yourself and your economic future in this economy.

The "classical" education that led to college degrees and graduate degrees and management is no longer the clear, viable future that it used to be. The flood of graduates after the GI-Loan created an economic expectation that simply isn't true. Not everyone needs to go to college. Most students would be better off pursuing a technical skill that can provide a secure and stable income for decades no matter the rising or falling of the stock market.


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