The purpose of a map is to assist a person in navigation and to help determine a route to a destination.
Likewise, job data can help establish priorities by offering occupational insight and options to help navigate career planning and the search process.
One sure way to stay ahead of the job search process is to understand where jobs are. Also, you should look at areas of job growth with the highest percentage of positive change over a 10-year period. This does not mean you have data of actual job openings, but job data is a forecasting tool to help you see opportunities.
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In 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released information about occupations projected to experience a higher than normal growth rate through 2022. The list is helpful in career planning and the job search process.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average growth for all occupations is 11 percent. The top jobs growth predictions ranged from 41 percent to 53 percent. These jobs overall have good salaries and are expected to be more available. They include:
■ Industrial organizational psychologists.
■ Personal care aides.
■ Home health aides.
■ Mechanical insulation workers.
■ Interpreters and translators.
■ Diagnostic medical sonographers.
■ Helpers of brick masons, block masons, stonemasons, and tile and marble setters.
■ Occupational therapy assistants
■ Genetic counselors.
■ Physical therapist assistants.
The leading median salary for industrial- organizational psychologists is $83,330, compared to $53,360 for physical therapist assistants. Obviously, the hottest jobs aren't necessarily the top-paying ones. For example, the median salary for home health aides is $21,020.
Ron Crouch, director of Research and Statistics with the state Education & Workforce Development Cabinet, provided insight into the salaries offered.
"We do not project occupational salaries but show only the most current salary for the occupations," said Crouch.
Key to your success in your job search is to use the growth information to research those occupations and gain an understanding of where the jobs might be. Secondly, you should be willing to get the required training or education to become competitive for that job. Also, take a close look at variables that influence industries, such as America's aging population. In Kentucky, and nationwide for that matter, we know that health care-related occupations are expected to grow at a high rate primarily because of this factor.
The national and Kentucky Occupational Projections are updated every two years and are based on historical occupational trends, said Crouch.
The Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, Labor Market Information reported that Kentucky's health care support occupations are projected to be the fastest growing occupational group. Close behind are community and social services occupations, health care practitioners, and technical occupations.
Where can you look to get job information? The Occupational Outlook Handbook — available at Bls.gov/ooh — is an excellent resource to explore information on any career.
You can discover a wealth of information to use in determining your interest in a job, such as work environment, what the position does, pay projections and job outlook.
Moreover, you will get information on the education requirements and similar occupations that you might want to pursue.
Other fast-growing occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, are veterinary technologists and technicians; personal financial advisors; veterinarians; financial analysts; gaming surveillance officers and gaming investigators; forensic science technicians; marriage and family therapists; gaming and sports book writers and runners; and environmental science and protection technicians, including health.
There are many resources available for job seekers or those considering changing careers, such as the best jobs listing compiled by U.S. News and World Report, Top Careers for College Grads put together by College Board, 2015-16 Recruiting Trends Report from the Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University, and more.
Knowing which direction to head for your job search probably will help lead to securing the career of choice.