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Employment Trends

By: Chris Carlson

The stock market isn?t the only market worth watching these days. Tenured professionals and those now entering the ?real world? can find tremendous value in keeping tabs on the employment market and understanding shifting employment trends. Just as understanding the stock market can help investors make financial decisions, understanding the job market will help professionals make career decisions.

According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), three of the top eight professions expected to experience above-average growth during the next decade include accounting, information technology, and management. Combined, these professions are expected to add approximately 1 million new jobs to the market by 2014. Other professions tapped for growth include nursing, nursing aides and orderlies, postsecondary teachers, and elementary school teachers.

High earning potential and new online degree resources make jobs in accounting, information technology, and management more desirable than ever. But what?s the reason behind the surge in these industries and what does this mean for those currently in the profession?

The BLS reports that employment of accountants and auditors is expected to grow faster than average for all occupations through the year 2014. To meet the demand, according to an aol.com article, the American Institute of CPAs cites 11 percent more accounting degrees were awarded in 2003 than the previous year. A 2005 salary survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers reported that these degreed accountants could expect starting earnings averaging $42,940 a year.

The hype surrounding accounting in recent years can be attributed to several factors: Primarily, accounting scandals flooding the news, including the collapse of Enron and the subsequent demise of Arthur Anderson, sparked interest in the field, while the creation of the Sarbanes ? Oxley Act in 2002, stemming from said corruptions, increased the demand for well-trained accountants and created new jobs.

The media generated interest in accounting helped to highlight the important role accountancy plays in business and the profession has started to look sexy, dangerous and challenging says Eva Rosenberg, MBA, EA, publisher of TaxMama.com, and author of ?Small Business Taxes Made Easy?.

To capitalize on the surge, universities expanded their accounting programs and began offering more online resources to accommodate the working professional who is only able to take classes online.

Information Technology
The technology industry continues to grow as does the number of individual fields that require highly skilled information technology (IT) professionals. Fast-growing fields such as Web design and development, systems engineering, and database management connect driven cyber-savvy professionals to the digital world and opportunities that are exciting, cutting-edge and creative.

A 2004 report indicated that median annual earnings of computer systems analysts were $66,460 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $99,180. Since computing is here to stay, with an estimated 357,000 new IT jobs projected by 2014 according to the BLS, the demand for qualified professionals continues to soar making well educated IT professionals worth every penny.

More and more IT professionals are taking advantage of certificate programs and online classes to learn additional technologies and continue their education. As Web-based classrooms become more advanced more schools become accredited and are accepted by employers making it easier for working professionals to get a quality education without disrupting their existing careers.

Business Management
Executives at the top of their field are among the highest paid workers, according to the BLS?s Occupational Outlook Handbook, and employment growth for top executives within professional, scientific, technical, administrative, and support services is expected to be much faster than average.

This is good news for those intrigued by all things business and addicted to ?The Apprentice?. Climbing the corporate ladder appeals to many, but how do you get to the top? According to David A. Wilson, president and CEO of the Graduate Management Admission Council, an extensive formal education, specifically study toward an MBA, can help one achieve success. Often, the reward of one?s education comes in the form of career advancement and then mobility.

Advanced study is especially impressive in the boardroom and MBA earners are consistently courted by corporate bigwigs. ?In an era where people don?t stay with a company or job track for their entire career, the MBA allows them to take control of their career and change course when they want or need to,? says Wilson.

Although the boardroom is usually accompanied by long hours, extensive travel, and intense pressure, salaries are often in line with such hard work, experience and educational attainment.

What it All Means
As interest in Accounting, Information Technology and Management increases, so does the opportunity for advancement through educational means. Take advantage of the online resources and Web courses offered to ensure the salary and position you desire is available for you.