OCCUPATIONAL TRENDS

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Important Job Skill Lacking

Many graduates of US colleges do not have the critical thinking and problem solving skills necessary in an increasingly high technology, global economy, according to an assessment analysis. On an international ranking, US graduates rate poorly on this attribute which many employers are naming the number one work-ready shortcoming. (Wall Street Journal June 6, 2017)

STEM Occupations Celebrated During National Engineers Week

The National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) created National Engineers Week and encourages current and future STEM workers to celebrate. It falls during George Washington’s birthday (the 22nd), which is a fitting tribute to one of the country’s first prominent engineers. Classroom activities can engage and inspire others to pursue engineering. [STEM Jobs, February 20, 2017]

In Demand Occupations

Data Scientist, Home Health Aide, Physical Therapist, Financial Advisor, Truck Driver, Software Engineer, RN, Medical Services Manager, Information Security Analyst, Operations Manager ("10 Jobs Growing the Fastest Are Also the Toughest to Fill" USA Today February 2, 2017)

Jobs in U.S. Computer Industry Declining

Overall employment in computer and chip manufacturing, software publishing and related electronics firms continues to decrease due to outsourcing manufacturing outside the US, sophisticated automation, and much higher worker productivity ("Tech Boom Creates Too Few Jobs" Wall Street Journal, Oct 13, 2016)

High Paying Job Skills

Employment increased substantially in the last 25 years for occupations requiring more education, experience, soft skills and analytical abilities. Workers realize they need continuous training and it is their responsibility. Certification programs are considered the best means of being well prepared for a good paying job.["Key findings about the American workforce and the changing job market" Pew Research Center, October 6, 2016]

Good Jobs in Manufacturing Apprenticeships

With over 2 million US manufacturing jobs expected to be unfilled over the next 10 years, more companies are starting apprenticeship programs. Nearly 90% of program completors are finding employment at at a $50,000 or higher annual salary. ("US Turns to Germany (Model) to Fill Jobs" Wall Street Journal September 27, 2016).

Economists Recommend Career Counseling

Behavioral economics indicates people have a bias toward short term, easy, visible and status quo decisions which may not be the best means of job decisions making. Interests, fulfillment and purpose which can be provided through internships, mentors and career counseling are more important than pay and prestige. (Finding a Job That Works for You, New York Times March 25, 2016)